The density of residential development varies throughout Northwest Lower Michigan, as well as within its townships, villages, hamlets, and cities.  This spectrum of low,  medium, and high densities provides residents a full range of housing options to accommodate their changing preferences and needs.  As the area continues to grow, new housing will be needed.  Designating land areas for higher-density residential development can accommodate growth, maximize infrastructure investment, and create neighborhoods while protecting the region’s valuable agricultural and wooded lands.  Local jurisdictions which recognize this and determine the most desirable locations for the full range of housing needs (i.e., low- to high-density developments) are more likely to avoid urban sprawl as well as the associated environmental and financial costs. 

Communities are advised to determine where a higher density of residential development makes sense (i.e., next to established areas where extension of existing infrastructure is appropriate and/or where future establishment will be possible at the least expense to taxpayers), as well as opportunities to develop more land-efficient projects (e.g., cluster or infill developments).  Today’s efforts help ensure future residential developments will complement regional character and protect natural resources.


Lot with width-to-depth ratio 1:2


Low-Density Residential
Carefully designed developments provide opportunities for rural living without detracting from the area’s character.

Medium-Density Residential
Developments within or adjacent to communities make efficient use of existing infrastructure and protect rural lands.

High-Density Residential
Well-designed developments can meet a growing market demand and provide desirable amenities not possible at lower densities.