Unchartered Township Zoning Ordinance

Asked September 25, 2019, 10:24 PM EDT

Are unchartered townships allowed to pass zoning ordinances? Eaton County Commissioners passed an amendment to our zoning allowing Industrial Solar on an unlimited number of acres of Eaton County farmland. Many residents of our Township would like more restrictions than provided for in the County’s zoning. Can the township pass an ordinance restricting the development of solar developments on land zoned limited ag?

Eaton County Michigan

2 Responses

Yes, Civil, or General Law Townships can adopt their own local zoning ordinances. But in order to do so, and in order for your zoning decisions to be upheld in a court of law, the ordinance must be based on an adopted Master Plan. A fine example of a civil township zoning ordinance and master plan is in Williamstown Township in Ingham County. Here is a link to their planning and zoning documents: http://williamstowntownship.com/page.php?id=14

Thank you for your prompt response. After reading Williston Township’s master plan I need clarification. My Township follows Eaton County zoning. Can the Township pass a specific zoning ordinance while still following all of the County’s zoning laws?