Communities across the state are amending zoning ordinances in reaction to the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. Because of the controversial subject matter, many more citizens are following the actions of their local governments. Below is a summary of the rezoning procedure to help citizens understand the process and to serve as a refresher for local officials.

The Michigan Zoning Enabling Act (MZEA) sets forth a single set of rules for Michigan cities, villages and townships; however the actual body that undertakes certain tasks may vary (some township boards may also serve as the planning commission while cities likely have separate planning commissions) . The statutory process is as follows:

1.       Initiate proposal to amend zoning ordinance: this can be accomplished by the Planning Commission, legislative body or any person with an interest in the zoning jurisdiction;

2.       Create draft ordinance language: the planning commission should use input from the public, experts in the field, and legal counsel;

3.       Public hearing: the planning commission is required to hold at least one public meeting regarding the zoning ordinance. Notice for this hearing must be given at least 15 days before the hearing and describe: 1) the nature the hearing; 2) the properties subject to the proposed ordinance; 3) the time and place of the meeting, and; 4) when and where written comments will be received regarding the issue. Notice must be published in a newspaper of general circulation and served upon owner of property that is subject to the rezoning and owners of property within 300 feet of the subject property.

4.       Adopt a Resolution: The planning commission should vote to adopt a resolution advising the legislative body to adopt or reject   the proposed ordinance. Note: some townships may require county approval prior to adopting a resolution to recommend an ordinance.

5.       Legislative Body Action: The legislative body of a municipality may hold another hearing with proper notice. It may also recommend certain changes and refer the proposed ordinance back to the planning commission for further debate. Finally, it must vote on the adoption of the proposed ordinance.

6.       Filing: A copy of the zoning ordinance must be filed with the local clerk and, for townships, the county clerk.

7.       Notice of Ordinance Adoption: This notice must be published in a local newspaper within 15 days of adoption and include either a summary of the ordinance or its text, its effective date and a place where and time where a copy of the ordinance may be inspected.

This is a general summary and municipalities enacting zoning amendments should consult legal counsel.  If you have questions about how your municipalities’ ordinance or procedure, please contact me by clicking here.


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One Response to How to Amend a Zoning Ordinance in Michigan

  1. admin says:

    Glad I could be of assistance!

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