What is zoning?
In Michigan, land development regulation is a local responsibility. Individuals can have a great influence on the policies and regulations that affect their area.
Zoning is an important tool to bring about the orderly development of local community. Zoning is a public regulation of the use of land adopted to protect public health, safety, and welfare. A zoning ordinance will divide the community into differing districts (or zones), each of which permits certain uses of land according to specific standards.
Of the 93 units of general purpose government in the six-county area, 10 townships and 3 villages do not have any zoning regulations. A township, village, city or county is authorized to adopt a zoning ordinance by state statute. The local zoning administration is depicted on the map of the region:
Why Should Your Community Have a Zoning Ordinance?
- PA 110 of 2006, as amended, the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act, allows communities to adopt zoning ordinances. Zoning ordinances are based on Master Plans, addressing future development plans and goals. Zoning ordinances allow for the implementation of Master Plans by regulating the use of land, buildings and structures to promote the public health, safety and welfare based on the following:
Establishment of zoning districts and general regulations applicable to each district
regarding the use of land and dimensions for building and site development with such
minimum regulations to meet the requirements of the Ordinance.
- Accommodate and promote land use compatible with the community's character.
- Limit or prohibit improper use of land.
- Reduce hazards to life and property.
- Facilitate adequate and cost effective infrastructure systems.
- Establish controls over conflicting land uses and uses that may need special regulations.
- Promote the gradual elimination of uses and buildings that do not conform to the
regulations and standards of this Ordinance.
Does your community's Zoning Ordinance Need To Be Updated?
The Michigan Legislature adopted P.A. 110 of 2006, Michigan Zoning Enabling Act. The statute is effective as of July 1, 2006. This bill codifies the zoning enabling acts for cities, villages, townships, and counties. This is a major change for zoning in Michigan. The codification of the three acts into one act resulted process and procedure changes that every member of a zoning board, planning commission, zoning commission, zoning board of appeals and zoning administrator will need to know.
Michigan Zoning Enabling Act
Some of the major changes include:
- Reorganization of all elements and the addition of new definitions
- New public hearing notice requirements for all zoning activities
- Phasing out zoning boards (not zoning boards of appeals)
- Changes to use variance authority, standards and procedures
- Elimination of state review of county zoning ordinances and amendments
What is the Typical Structure of a Zoning Ordinance?
- Article I-Purpose and Introduction
- Article II-Definitions
- Article III-Zoning Districts
- Article IV-General Regulations
- Article V-Signs
- Article VI-Site Plan Review
- Article VII-Conditional Use Permits
- Article VIII-Planned Unit Development
- Article IX-Nonconforming Uses and Structures
- Article X-Administration and Enforcement
- Article XI-Zoning Board of Appeals
- Article XII-Planning Commission
- Article XIII- Interpretation, Severability,Vested, Right, Penalties, Effective Date
- Zoning Map
A number of communities desire fewer regulations and certain communities require more regulations than listed above. A CUPPAD staff member will work on a draft of each Article with your community's Planning Commission. The entire process takes about 12 to 18 months. CUPPAD can also assist your community with the Zoning Ordinance adoption process and can also help with any future amendments.
CUPPAD staff can assist your community with the development of a Planning Commission Ordinance, Bylaws and updates to your existing Zoning Ordinance to ensure compliance with the MZEA. For more information, please contact Michelle Dewitt.
Questions? Call us at 906-786-9234 or