Rezoning and land split

Asked October 6, 2015, 10:19 AM EDT

There are two 5-acre parcels near my home proposed to be rezoned from RF to R-2. Each of these parcels has a single family home already. Along with the rezoning, they would like to each split two lots from the parent parcel (total of 4 new lots). The parent parcels are 165' wide and very deep. Two of the new lots would have no road frontage. The other two would share 66' of cul-de-sac frontage.

he proposal calls for two narrow shared driveways, each servicing two of the homes (each drive would service a home with cul de sac frontage and a home with no road frontage). The driveways would extend from the 66' of cul de sac frontage. It seems that this proposal is out of compliance with our local zoning ordinance., which requires 125' of road frontage for R2. Along a cul de sac, the frontage is reduced to 80%, or 100 feet. Our local ordinance states that a private driveway is not considered a public or private road, so it seems that these proposed new lots cannot be zoned R2. Yet our local planning commission recommended the rezoning and land split be approved (they said the land split is conditional upon the rezoning from RF to R2). Is it possible to rezone and divide land simultaneously, when the resulting lots do not conform to the requirements for R2? Doesn't the Michigan Land Division Act also require that the resulting lots be "accessible" in order to be buildable?mesites.

Livingston County Michigan

4 Responses

There are several issues at play here which make this more complicated than normal.

Regarding the Land Division Act: It meets the requirements of accessible if there are driveway easements. The rezoning would have to be completed before the divisions so to be compliant with local zoning. It is not done simultaneously but consecutively.

Compliance with the local zoning ordinance is unclear. Sec 38-136 of the zoning ordinance states width is measured at building site. Sec 38-137 discusses width at street frontage. Sec 38-180 discusses required street frontage to a street or private road, however sec 38-445 states private drives may serve up to two parcels.

The decision of recommendation should have findings of fact relevant to each of these standards as to how each has been met or why the planning commission used its discretion as allowed in sections of the ordinance. The findings of fact should be located in the minutes.

As this is a zoning amendment the final decision rest with the board of trustees so these points can be raised to ensure compliance with the ordinance.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my initial question.

Because I am not familiar with zoning ordinances in general, can you clarify another point for me? If this proposal (with land splits) is approved by the township, does that effectively amend the ordinance for all parcels in the future? Because some of these parcels do not have public or private road frontage (only private driveway frontage), if this proposal is passed, does that mean future parcels zoned R-2 would not need to have public or private road frontage either?

This decision is not technically precedent setting for all property zoned R-2 regarding frontage.

However there may be previous interpretations of the ordinance that address the uncertainty of this situation. There may be a past administrative or board of appeals interpretation of how to apply frontage standards with private driveway easement. When there is a lack of clarity or conflict in the ordinance standards there is often a formal interpretation that does not get added to the ordinance but is part of the administrative process.

Thank you again for your help. I suppose I will just have to hope that the township will make a good decision regarding this proposal. It does not seem that the new lots meet the requirements for frontage, and the proposed new driveways do not fit in well physically or aesthetically with the existing homes.