Citizen ordinance amendment application process

Asked March 18, 2016, 9:49 PM EDT

What Michigan Laws address a citizen's right to ask for a zoning ordinance amendment? What law governs the process of the application, public hearing, PC recommendation, legislative vote on recommendation? What rights do applicants have to appeal a decision? Can a PC simply refuse to take up an ordinance application? What is the process supported by Michigan Law? Thanks!

Mason County Michigan zoning zoning amendment process

3 Responses

The Michigan Statute regarding all aspects of zoning -- including the

amendment process is the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act, MCL 125.3101 et seq.

This flyer summarizes the zoning amendment process: Land Use Series Check List #4 For Adoption of a Zoning Ordinance Amendment (including some PUDs) in Michigan" (found at web page http://lu.msue.msu.edu/pamphlets.htm#Zone).

Adoption of an ordinance (including an amendment to a zoning ordinance) is not an administrative decision. Only administrative decisions can be appealed. For county and township zoning there is an opportunity to petition to bring the zoning ordinance adoption up for a popular vote. That option does not exist for city or village zoning. In cities and villages a different process used is a protest petition. Those are spelled out in the flyer, above.

If a municipality or county have a formal application to initiate consideration of a zoning amendment, and that process was used (usually including payment of a fee to initiate the amendment) then the process for considering the amendment should go through the entire set of steps/process up to and including final action by the legislative body.

If a formal application to initiate consideration of a zoning amendment was not used, then the process can be abandoned at any point during the process-- including not considering it in the first place.

Kurt,

thanks for the response.

in your last paragraph "if a formal application to initiate consideration of a zoning amendment was not used, then the process can be abandoned at any point during the process-including not considering it in the first place". If an amendment application is filed with appropriate fees paid, justifications, etc. by a resident for consideration... Under Michigan Law, can it be ignored? Does the law require it to be considered? Is there flexibility as to timing, etc? We have recently had citizens bring forward applications to amend the ordinance. We had public hearings and adopted one and voted not to adopt the other. I never considered any right we (the PC) had to ignore the application or to vote to simply not take it up. I would think that the applicant could appeal doing nothing or denying he/she be heard as denying due process? Please explain, formal application.

If an amendment application is filed with appropriate fees paid, justifications, etc. by a resident for consideration... Under Michigan Law, can it be ignored?
No.

Does the law require it to be considered? Is there flexibility as to timing, etc?
Case law requires a formal amendment request (with fee paid) to be acted upon without unnecessary delays. One has asked for and paid for a service -- the consideration of the zoning amendment. Failure to do so is denial of due process. One would seek a remedy for that by taking the issue to court.

Formal application is where the municipality has a system for one to ask for a zoning amendment (usually with use of a form for that purpose) and a fee that has to be paid. The formal application process is outlined in Land Use Series Check List #4 For Adoption of a Zoning Ordinance Amendment (including some PUDs) in Michigan" (found at web page http://lu.msue.msu.edu/pamphlets.htm#Zone).

The planning commission, with zoning amendments, can only recommend. Only the legislative body (township board, village council, city council, county board of commissioners) can decide to adopt a proposed amendment or to not do so. The process is not over until that vote by the legislative body has taken place.