Giffels Webster Acquires Clearzoning

DETROIT — Giffels Webster, a Detroit-based consulting firm providing infrastructure and land development services for public, private and institutional clients, has acquired Clearzoning, a planning and zoning consultant located in Lathrup Village.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“The talent of Clearzoning significantly strengthens our community planning abilities and deepens the service portfolio we offer to our clients,” said Scott Clein, PE, LEED AP, president and partner at Giffels Webster. “Clearzoning’s service and culture mesh with Giffels Webster’s philosophy of improving quality of life in the communities we serve. We are thrilled to have them join our family.”

This month, Clearzoning will begin transitioning its team to all three of Giffels Webster’s offices in Detroit, Oakland County and Macomb County. At that time, Clearzoning President and Co-founder Rodney Arroyo, AICP, will become a partner at Giffels Webster, overseeing all of the firm’s community planning. Arroyo’s founding partner, Clearzoning CEO David Birchler, AICP, will retire later in the year.

“David and I founded a planning and transportation firm 27 years ago that grew into a nationally known pioneer in the development of electronic, online municipal codes. We believe joining Giffels Webster is the next step to elevating the reach and impact of our proprietary service,” Arroyo said. “We will continue to provide community-planning consulting to more than 30 municipalities. I anticipate a seamless transition that will allow us to continue our well-known client service.”

Giffels Webster will continue offering Clearzoning’s namesake product that converts zoning ordinances into illustrated, digital documents, and its “Nextsteps for Downtown” planning process for downtown districts.

With the acquisition, Giffels Webster employs a workforce of more than 100 professionals.

Giffels Webster is a collection of civil engineers, landscape architects, planners, GIS specialists and surveyors who help make communities better. Since its inception in 1952, Giffels Webster has evolved to offer a broad scope of services, including civil engineering, municipal consulting, planning, land development consulting, landscape architecture, traffic engineering and GIS data creation and management. For more information, visit

Clearzoning is a 27-year-old planning, zoning and transportation consulting firm that was originally established as a subsidiary company of Birchler Arroyo Associates Inc. Clearzoning is at the forefront of developing clear and user-friendly zoning ordinances. Its clients range in size from rural communities and small towns to cities. Its Clearzoning product reorganizes zoning and other development regulations for greater efficiency, identifies and resolves conflicting regulations, and provides a significant “health checkup” for zoning codes.

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