Category Archives: Zoning

The Growth of Form-Based Codes in Michigan Zoning

            In Michigan the governmental regulation of land use is largely achieved through the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act, (“MZEA”), MCL 125.3101, et seq.  The MZEA allows local municipalities to adopt zoning ordinances which regulate the physical appearance and use of property within their jurisdiction.  For decades zoning ordinances adopted pursuant to the MZEA or its predecessors focused primarily on regulating the use of property, and not necessarily on the physical form of the property and its buildings.  Over the past two decades there has been a slow and gradual shift from use-based zoning to zoning based on the physical form of property, especially in downtown areas.

 

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Regulating Land Use: An Introduction to the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act


Introduction

            Zoning is the regulation of the use of land.  It is the exercise of police power intended to protect the public health, safety, and general welfare.  Zoning does not create divisions of land nor does it guarantee development.  Zoning constitutes an effort on the part of the designated governmental body to avoid land use conflicts between neighbors by ensuring that uses and structures are generally compatible with other uses and structures in the area.  It is a means to promote the welfare of the community by guiding orderly growth.

The Michigan Zoning Enabling Act

            In Michigan zoning is implemented and statutorily authorized under the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act, MCL 125.3101, et seq. (“MZEA”).  The MZEA was enacted in 2006 and consolidated several prior zoning enabling acts Read more