lots on 28 acres of riverfront

Asked July 20, 2015, 3:05 PM EDT

The property owner next to us is going to divide his 28 acres into lots. Does the land division act restrict how many lots he can have? If so how many? We are on the Muskegon River and in a Rural Residential area and keep hearing conflicting answers.

Newaygo County Michigan

1 Response

In answering your question, I will have to make a few assumptions. If any of these assumptions are incorrect, it could change the number of splits allowed.

Assumption #1: The 28 acre parcel was created more than 10 years ago (if the parcel was created less than 10 years ago, the parcel could have had additional splits transferred to it from its parent parcel).

Assumption #2: When you state that the parcel is going to be divided into “lots”, you mean that it will be split into smaller parcels. (Lots would require going through the subdivision process, which is a long process that takes a year or longer, requiring approval by the township, county and state. There is also an option for a “site condo” development, but that would also require going through a shorter process with its own set of requirements).

Assumption #3: The proposed split parcels will all meet the State of Michigan’s minimum width-to-depth ratio requirements (1:4), be accessible (road frontage, private drive, easement, etc.) and meet all local township zoning requirements (minimum parcel acreage size, shape, etc.).

Assumption #4: The splits will NOT result in one parcel equaling 60% or more of the parent parcel (if this happened, there would be an opportunity for additional “bonus” parcels allowed).

Based on the assumptions above, the maximum allowable number of spits on the 28 acre parcel is 5 splits.

The land division process is guided by a complicated set of rules that is dependent on many contributing factors that can affect the number of spits on a parcel, which often leads to confusion and differences of opinion as to the number of splits allowed. I would recommend speaking with your township’s land division officer (usually your township zoning administrator) for clarification if you have additional concerns. You may also contact me directly in my Fremont office at (231) 924-9677.