seperate ordinances

Asked January 30, 2017, 9:38 AM EST

Can a county, that has a land use (zoning) ordinance, have separate stand alone ordinances for specific land uses? Should any land use ordinance be incorporated into an existing ordinance? Could a separate ordinance be passed for Wind Turbines or Med. Marijuana, as that develops? If a County or Municipality currently has no land use ordinance, could they pass an Ordinance to just regulate a specific ordinance?

Delta County Michigan

4 Responses


In Michigan if it is a "zoning" ordinance, it must be adopted under the authority of the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act and based on a plan adopted under the authority of the Michigan Planning Enabling Act. Result is it would be part of the county zoning ordinance.

If an ordinance regulates land use (use of property) it must be considered a zoning ordinance. See "Zoning and police power ordinances are not the same, and should not be mixed together" Conversely, if the ordinance does not regulate land use (use of one's land) then it cannot be treated as a zoning ordinance and must be adopted as a police power ordinance.

Further a Michigan county has very little, or no, authority to adopt general police power ordinances. See: ":County government powers are very limited." Unless one can find a Michigan statute that specifically says a county has authority to adopt a police power ordinance about a particular topic, the county cannot do so. There is no specific authority to do so for wind turbines, and no authority to do so for Medical Marihuana/Marijuana. (Townships, cities, and villages have more police power ordinance authority.) So the county must do so within its zoning ordinance which means it must focus on the land use side of the subject.

There will be Medical Marihuana training for local governments in February and March 2017 at several locations around Michigan. See:"MSU Extension offers local government training on new Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act"

I understand the difference between zoning and police ordinance. Counties have statutory authority to enact animal and ATV ordinances but not blight ordinance which a Township could enact. I guess my question is does a County keep One document (ie: Zoning ordinance No. 76-2) and amend it as needed thru amendatory Ordinances or is it possible to have more than one document enacted under authority of the Planning and Zoning Enabling Acts? Can "repeal and replace" happen with an existing ordinance?

I am registered to attend up coming training on Med. Marihuana

The county would have one zoning ordinance and amend it as needed thru amending ordinances. The MZEA statute uses the term "zoning ordinance" in the singular.

Any adopted ordinance can be repealed, repealed and replaced, or amended. The process to do so is the same process statute required for the ordinance to be adopted in the first place.