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 address geology, gardening or other non-policy topics.

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

Questions asked to this group

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 12 days ago

Unusual Rock

What kind of rock might this be?

Maricopa County Arizona Posted 18 days ago

Planning Commission By-Laws for Escanaba Township

Absenteeism requirements - What are the rules related to this problem? They have a member who missed 4 meetings now on the proposed Solar Farm Project. How do we enforce this bylaw by the public.? He is a brother to one of the land owners who will benefit from it. There is a conflict of interest too. I can't find theirs online. Thank you.

Delta County Michigan board governance Posted 20 days ago

Outside United States Posted about 1 month ago

Determination of allowable open space for residential development

Community in one of the townships in our county is dealing with the following development question:

In determining the allowable open space for a particular development, does the intent of the MZEA's definition of "open space preservation" include lot open space to be included in the overall open space calculations for a typical open space/cluster development. The township, in it's open space chapter of the zoning ordinance includes this provision: OPEN SPACE DESIGN REQUIREMENTS C. Yard Setback Exceptions. The Planning Commission may allow specified areas located within the required yard setback or setbacks of an individual parcel to be included as required open space, if the Commission finds that the protection of that open space area is consistent with the intent of the open space concept.

Clearly the intent of the above regulation is to allow some flexibility. However, the provision clearly says "individual parcel", not the entire development.

The township, as well as myself are wrestling with whether this regulation could be in violation of the MZEA's intent of open space preservation regulation in any regard.

Case in point: There is a proposed development before the local township planning commission that would be utilizing the township's open space preservation option. The local ordinance follows the MZEA in all but this provision. In order to meet the required 50% open space, in their proposal, the petitioner is basically utilizing all of the required rear yard setback area as open space. There is not adequate enough land available otherwise in order to satisfy this requirement. they have indicated that the land will be set aside as land in an "undevelopable state", as defined by the MZEA.

So the question is, does the township's regulation as cited above in any way violate the intent of the MZEA with regard to determining allowable open space, because the applicant for this proposed development is utilizing it to it's fullest extent, to the entire development, not to one individual lot. Each lot in the development has carved out a percentage of the total lot area (mainly the entire rear lot area of the parcel) and is utilizing that in their overall calculations for open space requirement compliance. Thank You

Livingston County Michigan community planning and zoning zoning Posted about 1 month ago

Tell tale signs of glacier deposits.

I have 52 acres in Mundy Township. There is a vein of sand that runs through the middle of the land. The vein is not very wide and there is not any sand anywhere else. In addition to that I have one very large boulder near a swamp. I sure would like to learn more about this subject! Thank you for your consideration of this matter!

Genesee County Michigan Posted 2 months ago

Mixed Use Definition

What is the legal definition of mixed use? Can the definition of mixed use include a legal nonconforming use and a permitted use combined on the same piece of property? Our township has disallowed us from doing permitted uses on our property because we also have a legal nonconforming use. They have termed it a mixed use, and say it's not allowed since the nonconforming use isn't included in the list of permitted uses for our zoning. The subject of "Mixed use" isn't in the zoning ordinance. They say it's an 'interpretation' of the section that simply lists permitted uses. Please don't confuse this with a conditional use or variance. We have been told we cannot do permitted uses. Is a municipality ever allowed to disallow someone from doing permitted uses?

Genesee County Michigan zoning legal issues Posted 4 months ago

stay away from conditional rezoning?

small village. main intersection, commercial zoned. housing people want to put up apartments. Want to change the zoning, are going to present conditional rezoning as an 'answer' to get out of the commercial zoning. zoning ordinance is in step with master plan, the problem of .expanding commercial opportunities as presented in master plan cornerstone and expectations'. attorney will help, but anything with the 'look' or 'feel' of spot zoning is not going down well with planning commission. off site parking which is against the ZO. People are going super nova about how wonderful this will be when the process hasn't even started until after the holidays. what do you really think about conditional rezoning as an evasion to by-pass zoning requirements?

Michigan mi land use Posted 4 months ago

Right to Farm Act and Ag Tourism Regulations

The RTFA and the GAAMPS regulates Farm Markets (including CSA and U-pick operations). Can I include these in my ag tourism regulations if the regulations regulate more than just the Setbacks, Signage, and Parking. The GAAMPS states that local regulations for Setbacks, Signage and Parking need to be followed. I would like to regulate that Larger Farm Markets be located on lot over 10 acres and with direct access to a public roadway. Is that allowed?

Washtenaw County Michigan Posted 4 months ago

What are the headaches of putting in a gravel / sand pit

Who do I need to contact in the state of Michigan to see if it's possible to open a gravel pit?

Tuscola County Michigan Posted 5 months ago