Act 33 of 2008, Sec 81 question

Asked November 18, 2015, 4:44 PM EST

If the legislative body did not adopt/amend an ordinance creating/continuing a planning commission prior to the July 1, 2011 deadline, would they now have to follow the ordinance adoption process as if starting a new commission?

Jackson County Michigan

1 Response

Below is some information for educational purposes, none of which should be construed as legal advice. This is an issue that definitely needs to be discussed with a (your) municipal attorney with land use law experience before any action.

First, it is important to determine whether you have a legal planning commission in place. It may not be legal for several reasons: 1) there is no planning commission - probably because there was a zoning commission instead or because the governing body was acting illegally as the planning commission; 2) because the ordinance creating the planning commission was procedurally invalid - perhaps it was created by resolution instead of ordinance, or the documentation of the valid creation of the planning commission or of the posting of a notice of its creation is missing; or 3) because the ordinance creating the planning commission was substantively invalid - it fails to meet the content requirements for a planning commission in the Michigan Planning Enabling Act. In those situations, a new ordinance establishing the planning commission would have to be enacted according to the procedures outlined in the Michigan Planning Enabling Act.

If the community has a lawfully-created planning commission, that is, the original ordinance (not resolution) meets the requirements of the Planning Enabling Act, but was not reaffirmed prior to July 1, 2011, the community might be able to get by with an ordinance that ratifies the planning commission by reaffirming and referencing the original lawful ordinance that created it.

For additional information about procedures for adopting or amending a zoning ordinance, please visit the MSU Extension Land Use web site, http://lu.msue.msu.edu/.

Professor Mark Wyckoff, and Senior Extension Educator Kurt Schindler contributed to this response.