Michigan-county-map_medium MI Land Use

The MI Land Use Group is made up of statewide Michigan State University Extension Educators focused on community planning, zoning and other related topics including master planning, downtown development, the Michigan Planning and Zoning Enabling Acts, the MI Right To Farm Act and more. This group doesn't answer gardening, geology or horticulture questions.

(This group currently has 7 experts available to answer questions)

Questions asked to this group


The elevations on some lakefront properties are such that owners build a set of stairs to go down toward the water. Should the zoning ordinance have a setback requirement for detached steps that are strictly to get down to the beach? Our ordinance currently does not have verbiage to cover this item.

Muskegon County MI community planning and zoning aabi Posted 6 days ago

road abandonment

what is the procedure for county road abandonment/

Delta County MI zoning and land use regulation cfei Posted 18 days ago

road abandoned by county for public use but

Hello, this is a complicated area we live in. We own a lot that has a easement which leads to a “30’ paper” road on the plat map. These both have been used for the past 40years. Two new residents habe claimed ownership of the portion that is next to their property claiming abandonment. The road was abandoned by the county but Is still in use by residents to access their property. Is this legal? One of the residents that previously accessed the road to their cottage can longer use the road.

Kent County MI Posted 20 days ago

Special Use Permit Duration

In our Zoning Ordinance, a Special Use Permit is "valid as long as the permitted use continues in accordance with the conditions, requirements and site plan included in said permit, unless otherwise stated in the SUP." My question is this: If an SUP is granted, and said use subsequently becomes a use by right due to a zoning district amendment, does the SUP dissolve by virtue of becoming unnecessary, or does the SUP continue until the use ceases because it is tied to the conditions outlined in the original SUP?

Eaton County MI community planning and zoning rezoning special use permit cfei Posted 24 days ago

Variance question

I currently have a variance to operate a boarding kennel for dogs on an agriculturally zoned property and have been in operation for the past past 23 years. We received the variance in 1997 to operate the kennel on a horse farm we had purchased. My question is this... I would like to expand my business and build a new pet resort (kennel) on the property. Do I have to obtain a new variance in able to do this or is my current variance good enough??
Thanks in advance for any help....

Snyder County PA Posted 27 days ago

Ag. Not Permitted In Residential Districts

Does the RTF Act preempt residential districts that do not permit agriculture by right? And does it matter if such a district allows a few horses or chickens on a small parcel as a special use.

Wayne County Michigan right to farm act cfei Posted 28 days ago

Road end on great lakes

We have a voluntary association for our subdivision that has started putting up barriers at the road ends. I would like to use the road ends to launch a water craft. However the barriers only allow foot traffic. Do they have the right to control the water access. It is a road that is perpendicular to Lake Huron. I asked the”association’s” president if they have a deed to the land. She said no. Again I am not a member to the association and I believe it’s just a bunch of people who live near the public access that are trying to decide who they deem worthy of using the public land near their land. Thank Dan

Iosco County Michigan Posted 30 days ago

Can a zoning board ignore expert input?

We attempted to get a variance to slightly encroach into a bluff impact zone. We had an engineer, State forester, an architect give evidence of absolutely no environmental impact of our proposal. The area of encroachment only has a 5.5% slope. The board ignored our experts and denied our variance because they said we could build in another location and meet all setbacks. Yes, but we would have to clear cut our forest, lose access to the sun for our passive solar home and lose our view of the lake. They said asking for a variance is in opposition of the comprehensive plan - asking to break the ordinance is wrong. Also they said that if they give us a variance they won’t be able to give any future owners of our property a variance and that deprives these future owners of their property rights and finally that grating our variance makes more work for the current board and future boards. We were stunned that they didn’t care about the environment, the negative impacts on our neighbors if variance is denied, we don’t think they considered the right issues. We think the whole discussion section had nothing to do with what we were proposing and only with they just don’t want to grant variances in general. Please offer your opinion.

Ramsey County Minnesota Posted about 1 month ago

Solar Farm - Escanaba Township, MI

A Solar Co. is trying to persuade our township officials.
Originally offered $10,000,000. After much opposition from the public for
about 9 months or so,they raised it to $13,000,000.
Won't this be considered a bribe directly or indirectly even though it was done publicly?
Also, the planning commission claims they don't even know if they have any bylaws when asked
publicly. If this is the case, no one has signed or dated any bylaws.
Can these be provided to the public to view?
Isn't this in violation if they don't in Michigan?
I see you answered another question on this subject here.
Smart response there.
Thank you.

Delta County Michigan Posted 2 months ago

Inland lake new construction setbacks

Who’s rules control on setbacks from the waters edge, regarding new construction on Inland Lakes, The State or local municipalities where the property is located ? Jerry

Ottawa County Michigan Posted 4 months ago