Asked May 17, 2018, 10:59 AM EDT

If a violation of the zoning ordinance can be seen from the road, is it legal for a code enforcement officer to enter the property to inspect the entire parcel?

Muskegon County Michigan

1 Response

Assuming no permission was given, an enforcement officer must obtain a search warrant to enter the property and inspect the entire parcel. There is an exception for exigent, i.e., emergency, circumstances, but that is rare for zoning ordinance violations.

Also note that zoning permit applications often include a statement that the applicant is giving permission for the zoning administrator to enter the property to make inspections in the course of administering that zoning permit.