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Planning & Zoning Responsibilities

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  1. Planning & Zoning Responsibilities Planning and Zoning Workshop Jackson County March 28, 2012

  2. Agenda • Part 1  Statutory Authority • Part 2  A Shared Responsibility • Part 3  Master Plans • Part 4  Zoning • Part 5  Break • Part 6  Duties of Planning & Zoning Officials • Part 7  Zoning Actions and Issues • Part 8  Litigation

  3. Statutory Authority Part 1 Planning and Zoning Workshop Jackson County March 28, 2012

  4. Statutory Authority to Zone • Michigan Zoning Enabling Act (PA 110 of 2006, MCL 125.3101 et seq) • Replaced the following on 7/1/2006: • City and Village Zoning Act (PA 207 of 1921) • County Zoning Act (PA 183 of 1943 • Township Zoning Act (PA 184 of 1943) • Always available online through:

  5. Statutory Authority to Plan • Michigan Planning Enabling Act (PA 33 of 2008, MCL 125.3801 et seq) • Replaced the following on 9/1/2008: • Municipal Planning (PA 285 of 1931) • County Planning (PA 282 of 1945) • Township Planning (PA 168 of 1959) • Always available online through:

  6. Joint Municipal Planning –Statutory Authority • Joint Municipal Planning Act (PA 226 of 2003, MCL 125.131 et seq) • Provides for joint land use planning and zoning by local units of government • Provides for the establishment, powers, and duties of joint planning commissions and zoning boards of appeals • Always available online through:

  7. Joint Municipal Planning –Ordinance and Agreement • Multiple municipalities may each adopt an ordinance approving an agreement establishing a joint planning commission • The agreement must designate: • Which of the following categories of planning commission powers, duties, and procedures will be applicable: • A township who’s planning commission was created under the former Municipal Planning Act • A township who’s planning commission was not created under the former Municipal Planning Act • A city or village • Whether the zoning commission powers, duties, and procedures applicable to a township or a city or village will be followed • Any additional provision concerning powers or duties authorized by the MZEA to be included in a zoning ordinance

  8. Joint Municipal Planning –Ordinance and Agreement (continued) • The agreement must also specify the: • The jurisdictional area, which may consist of all or part of the combined territory of the participating municipalities • Sharing of the operating budget among participating municipalities • Procedures by which a municipality may join or withdraw from the joint planning commission. • Composition (membership), qualifications, selection by election or appointment, and the terms of office • Conditions and procedures for removal from office of members and for filling vacancies • The effective date of the agreement.

  9. Joint Municipal Planning –Potential Benefits • Fulfills the state mandate for the cooperative/regional provision of municipal services • If a joint plan allocates land for a particular land use within a participating municipality and the jurisdictional area: • Land for that use does not need to be allocated within the territory of any other participating municipality within the jurisdictional area • Land for that use does not need to be allocated within the territory of a participating municipality, but outside the jurisdictional area, • If a plan of a participating municipality allocates land for a particular land use within its territory, but outside of the jurisdictional area, the joint plan need not allocate land for that use

  10. A Shared Responsibility Part 2 Planning and Zoning Workshop Jackson County March 28, 2012

  11. Planning and Zoning “Players” • Citizens • Developers or Petitioners • Local Municipalities • Legislative Bodies • Township Boards • City/Village Councils • Planning Commissions • Zoning Boards of Appeal • Zoning Inspectors/ Administrators • Planners and Attorneys (staff or consultants) • Jackson County • Coordinating Zoning Committee (CZC) • County Affairs and Agencies Committee • Staffed by the R2PC • Community Planning Committee • Membership open to all municipalities • Staffed by the R2PC • Circuit Court

  12. Planning and Zoning –A Shared Responsibility • Land use and infrastructure planning and zoning responsibilities are divided between the Legislative Body and its Planning Commission • The Planning Commission performs background studies and analysis on planning and zoning issues, enabling the Legislative Body to take action, efficiently and effectively • “The planning commission proposes and the legislative body disposes” • Zoning Inspectors/Administrators, Zoning Boards of Appeal, and other public bodies and officials are also responsible for specific issues regarding the interpretation, administration, and enforcement of the zoning ordinance

  13. Planning and Zoning Responsibilities After June 30, 2011

  14. Master Plans –vs. –Zoning Ordinances Master Plan • Plan • Generalized • Long range • Policy orientation • Defines community goals Zoning Ordinance • Law • Specific • Short range • Regulatory orientation • Implements community goals

  15. Master Plans Part 3 Planning and Zoning Workshop Jackson County March 28, 2012

  16. Purposes of Master Planning • Make choices and set goals rather that simply accepting what happens (proactive-vs.-reactive) • Prevent wasteful expenditures • Allocate scarce resources • Protect property values • Facilitate economic development • Achieve orderly growth and development • Minimize negative impacts of community change while maximizing positive aspects

  17. What is a Master Plan? • A ‘blueprint’ for the community which expresses a vision about the future • Comprehensive (covers the entire geographic area and its functions relevant to physical development) • Long range (20+ years) • Policy oriented • Flexible • The legal basis for the zoning ordinance

  18. Contents of a Master Plan • Identification of problems, issues, and opportunities facing the community • Analysis of data (past trends and future projections) – • Population, housing, the environment, economic base, land use, public facilities, transportation, open space, revitalization, etc. • Clear statement of community goals and policies • Alternative land use options • A preferred course of action • Plan implementation • Zoning Plan

  19. Master Plans Should: Master Plans Should: • Be easy to read and understand • Have both long- and short-term focuses • Clearly describe how to achieve objectives • Preserve community character • Indicate timing of change • Have a strategy for old and new areas • Be prepared with citizen involvement • Be prepared with knowledge of Legislative Body • The Legislative Body can also adopt the Master Plan • Be updated at least every 5 years • Involve other government agencies • Be coordinated with other plans from adjacent jurisdictions

  20. Multijurisdictional Plans, Programs and Regulations • Jackson County Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control (SESC) Program • Jackson County Solid Waste Management Plan • FEMA Floodplain Mapping • Cross-Jurisdictional: • Jackson Co. Airport Zoning Ordinance • Heart of the Lakes Area Recreation Plan • Grass Lake Area Recreation Plan • Upper Grand River Watershed Management Plan • Model site plan review (SPR) regulations under development • River Raisin Watershed MNGT Plan • Mill Creek Sub-watershed MNGT Plan • Region-wide: • Region 2 CEDS Plan • Applying for Economic Development District (EDD) designation • Countywide: • Jackson Community Comp. Plan • Greater Jackson Comm. Cultural Plan • JACTS Transportation Plan • JACTS Transp. Imp. Program (TIP) • Jackson City/Co. Joint Recreation Plan • Jackson Co. Regional TrailwayStudy • Non-motorized Transportation Plan under development • Jackson County Hazard Mitigation Plan • Jackson County Wellhead Delineation Study

  21. Cross-Jurisdictional Planning & Zoning Matrix

  22. Jackson County Airport -Reynolds Field Zoning Map

  23. Zoning Part 4 Planning and Zoning Workshop Jackson County March 28, 2012

  24. What is Zoning? Zoning is public regulation of the use of land through an ordinance which divides a community into districts, or zones, each of which lists permitted land uses and regulations governing such items as lot area, setbacks, building height, parking, and signage. Zoning is a “police power” regulation to protect public health, safety, and welfare.

  25. Purposes of Zoning • Protect property values • Implement the comprehensive plan • Protect natural resources • Prevent nuisances • Ensure compatibility of uses • Prevent overcrowding • Prevent overuse Zoning runs with the land, not the owner. If a property changes hands, current zoning goes with the transfer. The new owner must use the property according to the zoning in place. Previously imposed conditions apply

  26. Contents of a Zoning Ordinance • Legal basis • Definitions • District regulations • Regulations for conditional/special land uses • Regulations for site plan review • Regulations applicable to nonconforming uses • Supplemental regulations • Ordinance administration • Appeals from decisions

  27. As a Legitimate Use of thePolice Power, Zoning Must: • Be applied in a reasonable manner, • Enhance the public welfare, • Not be arbitrary or discriminatory, • Enforcement of the ordinance should not be complaint based because of this prohibition • Not deprive persons of rights without “due process of law” or their rights to “the equal protection of the laws.”

  28. Basic Zoning Functions #1 • Legislative Body • Legislative • Administrative • Planning Commission • Legislative (advisory) • Administrative (may be advisory) • Zoning Board of Appeals • Quasi-Judicial • Zoning Inspector/Administrator • Administrative

  29. Basic Zoning Functions #2

  30. Zoning Ordinance –Legislative • Planning Commission • Researches, studies and proposes a draft ordinance/amendment • Based upon the master plan • Holds a public hearing • Recommends approval or disapproval/denial to the Legislative Body • Taking into account public concerns • Sends it for review by the CZC (County Affairs and Agencies Committee) • Legislative Body • Reviews and considers the text and/or map and all public comments • May hold an additional hearing if requested / warranted • May refer back to the Planning Commission with changes • Adopts the ordinance by majority vote of the entire Body • Publishes notice of adoption in a newspaper of general circulation

  31. Zoning Ordinance –Administrative • Planning Commission • Review special approval requests, as authorized by the Zoning Ordinance • Approve, approve with conditions, or deny the request • Advise Legislative Body to take one of the above actions • Types of special approvals • Various Planned Unit Developments (PUDs) • Conditional (CUP) or Special (SUP) Use Permits • Site Plan Review (SPR) • Other authorized special approvals • Legislative Body • Make final decision on various special approvals, as required by the Zoning Ordinance • Zoning Administrator • Answer questions of property owners and the general public • Enforce Zoning Ordinance, issuing • Various zoning permits • Certificates of compliance • Zoning violations • Determine need for amendments of special approvals • Prepare, mail, and/or publish public hearing notices

  32. Zoning Ordinance –Quasi-Judicial • Zoning Board of Appeals • Decides questions arising from ordinance administration • Interprets the zoning map or text where it is unclear • Makes decisions on various questions delegated by the ordinance • Hears appeals from administrative decisions • Grants variances A practical difficulty must exist in order to approve a non-use variance and an unnecessary hardship must exist in order to grant a use variance All decisions must be made using the criteria established in the ordinance and documented • Circuit Court • Appeals to ZBA decisions are made in circuit court.

  33. 10 Minute Break Part 5 Planning and Zoning Workshop Jackson County March 28, 2012

  34. Calvin and Hobbes First published on July 17, 1992

  35. Duties of Planning & Zoning Officials Part 6 Planning and Zoning Workshop Jackson County March 28, 2012

  36. Duties of a Zoning Inspector/Administrator • Primary contact with the general public • Obtains information for decision-making • Makes the following determinations • Is a proposed use a permitted or special/conditional use in the pertinent zoning district? • Are any special approvals needed? • Is a variance, appeal, or interpretation required? • Conducts administrative plan reviews and inspects sites • Issues zoning compliance and occupancy permits

  37. Tips for the Zoning Inspector/Administrator • Know the ordinance • Use the ordinance with the petitioner • Treat all petitioners the same • Be consistent, firm, and thorough • Develop and use good forms • Communicate regularly with the Planning Commission, the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Legislative Body, and the Building Inspector/Official

  38. Duties of a Planning Commission • Education of the public about planning • Adopt and amend a master plan, coordinating with adjacent communities • Adopt a capital improvements program • Make recommendations on subdivision ordinances and plats • The adoption/implementation of the zoning ordinance and the creation of a zoning plan

  39. Planning Commission —Officers, Meetings and Bylaws • A chairperson and secretary must be elected annually (ex officio members cannot be the chair) • Bylaws regarding the transaction of business must be adopted • A written report must be submitted to the Legislative Body annually • At least four meetings must be held each year • Compliance with the Open Meetings Act is required • Records of resolutions, transactions, determinations, and findings must be kept and made available to the public • Commissioners may be compensated, including funding for educational and training programs, conferences, and workshops • A detailed annual budget may be submitted to the Legislative Body for approval or disapproval

  40. Duties of a Zoning Board of Appeals • ZBAs hear and decide: • Appeals from any zoning decision made by an administrative official or body • Appeals from special/conditional land use and planned unit development decisions (only if provided for in the zoning ordinance) • Ordinance administration questions, including zoning map interpretation • Other duties delegated by the zoning ordinance • Most requests concern the review of actions previously taken determine if the ordinance has been properly applied. “Appeal” is operative

  41. Zoning Board of Appeals —Board Membership • Regular members  # established in the ordinance • Not less than 5 if population is ≥5,000, otherwise not less than 3 • Alternate members Up to 2 alternate members • Called upon to serve in the absence of a regular member or if a regular member abstained due to a conflict of interest • Ex officio members • Appointment of a planning commissioner as a regular member is required in townships and permitted in cities and villages • A single member of the legislative body may be a regular or alternate member, but can’t serve as its chairperson. • A city or village council may serve as the ZBA.

  42. Zoning Board of Appeals —Officers and Meetings • “Chairperson” and “acting chairperson” are the only officers mentioned in the MZEA • Meetings will be held at the call of the chairperson as well as other times established by the ZBA • Records of the proceedings of a ZBA must be maintained and filed with the municipal clerk • A concurring vote of the majority of members is needed to grant a variance or appeal • Business can’t be conducted unless a majority of the regular members are present

  43. Zoning Board of Appeals —Granting Variances • Variances should not be easy to obtain: • Granting of a variance should be reserved for those rare situations where a zoning regulation doesn’t fit existing circumstances • Decisions should be based upon standards contained in the ordinance • Economic hardships are not a reason to approve a variance • Nonuse (dimensional) variances • May be granted if a practical difficulty exists • Ability provided to all local governments by the MZEA • Use variances • May be granted if an unnecessary hardship exists • Ability provided to cities and villages but prohibited to most townships

  44. Zoning Board of Appeals —Conflicts of Interest • Members may be removed by the legislative body for misfeasance, malfeasance, or nonfeasance • Planning commissioners and legislators can’t participate in a public hearing or vote on the same matter they voted on as a commissioner or legislator • Failure of members to disqualify themselves from votes in which they have a conflict of interest constitutes malfeasance

  45. Tips for Planning Commissioners and Zoning Boards of Appeal Members • Control the meeting • Keep the master plan and zoning ordinance up to date • Consult with a professional planner or attorney • Be prepared — read materials and visit the site • Make a record of the decision • Listen to the public • Respect the rights of the petitioner • Avoid “straw” votes • Contribute and participate — express your point of view • Avoid conflicts of interest (malfeasance) • Conduct business openly

  46. Zoning Actions and Issues Part 7 Planning and Zoning Workshop Jackson County March 28, 2012

  47. Public HearingNotification Requirements • Zoning decisions which require a public hearing by the MZEA or local ordinance must be noticed • Notice must be made at least 15 days prior to the public hearing: • All public hearings must be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the community • Property owners and residents within 300 feet of property that is the subject of a request must be notified by mail or personal delivery • Notices must contain the following information: • Describe the nature of the request • Identify all property that is the subject of the request • State when and where the public hearing will be held and when and where written comments can be submitted

  48. Considerations for Rezonings • Is the rezoning consistent with the plan? • Is the rezoning good for the community? • What are the impacts on community health, safety, and welfare? • Traffic • Compatibility of the proposed district and its permitted uses with adjacent uses • Impact on public services

  49. Spot Zoning Definition: A zoning ordinance or amendment that creates a small area of inconsistent use within a larger zone. • Some of the Criteria for Spot Zoning • Request is not consistent with the township master plan. • Zoning is inconsistent with the surrounding zoning. • Size of zone is small relative to the surrounding area. • Provide a special right to use property that is not enjoyed by similar, adjacent properties.

  50. Conditional Rezonings • Must be voluntary • Owner of land must voluntarily offer in writing • Local government must agree • Time period may be established for the conditions: • Conditions are binding and cannot be changed by local unit during time period • Time period may be extended by agreement between the owner and the township • If conditions are not satisfied, the land reverts to the previous zoning classification