Zoning Administrator Vs. Landowner rights

Asked January 11, 2016, 8:55 PM EST

Does a zoning administrator have the right to enter my property after I obtain a land use permit? My zoning administrator basically thinks he has a free pass to "investigate" my property. What if I tell him that he doesn't have permission to be on my property and hes trespassing?

Lake County Michigan zoning and land use regulation land use zoning administration zoning enforcement

1 Response

No. A zoning administrator is no different that any other law enforcement official. A zoning administrator, or a policeman/woman can come to the property, approach the front door and knock, etc. If the property owner does not let them in, or tells them to leave; then that is what they have to do. The zoning administrator would have to obtain a search warrant to still be able to enter the property.

The zoning administrator (just like a policeman/woman) does have the right to observe and act upon anything on the property that they can see while standing within public land (e.g., the road) or adjacent property where that property owner has consented, as well as other means of observing while not on your land.

One important note: Many times (most times) the land use permit application includes a statement that says the land owner applying for the zoning permit gives permission for the zoning administrator to enter the property to make inspections in the course of administering that zoning permit. So by applying for the permit, you may have given permission to enter your land. I do not know if that is the case in your township, or not, but you may want to double check that before pursuing this further.