Zoning Board of Appeals

The Zoning Board of Appeals establishes and enforces the classification & regulation of land use. They meet the 1st Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. in the Commission Chambers. Please contact Jeremiah Klemann with questions at 517-264-4861. Copies of the Zoning Board of Appeals agendas and minutes are available here.

Zoning Board of Appeals Forms

Section 27.04 – Zoning Ordinance

The Board of Zoning Appeals shall act upon questions as they arise in the administration of this Ordinance.   The Board shall perform its duties and exercise its powers as provided in Act 207 of the Public Acts of 1921, as amended.  The Board of Zoning Appeals shall not have the power to alter or change the zoning district classification of any property, nor make any change in the terms or intent of this Ordinance, but does have the power to act on those matters for which this Ordinance provides an administrative review, interpretation, variance, or temporary use permit.  Within this capacity the Board of Zoning Appeals may reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify the order, requirement, decision, or determination of the Building Inspector, Planning Commission or any official administering or enforcing the provisions of this Ordinance as set forth in Section 27.05.

Section 27.05  Authorized Appeals:  The Board of Zoning Appeals shall hear the following specified categories of appeals in accordance with the following standards:

  1. Administrative Review:  The Board of Zoning Appeals shall hear and decide appeals where it is alleged by the appellant that there is an error in any order, requirement, permit, decision or refusal made by the Building Inspector or by any other official in administering or enforcing the provisions of this Ordinance.
  2. Interpretation of the Ordinance:  The Board of Appeals shall hear and decide upon request to:
    • Interpret the provisions of this Ordinance when it is alleged that certain provisions are not clear or that they could have more than one meaning.  In deciding upon such request the Board of Appeals shall insure that its interpretation is consistent with the intent and purpose of the Ordinance and the article in which the language in question is contained.
    • Determine the precise location of the boundary lines between zoning districts when there is dissatisfaction with a decision made by the Building Inspector.
    • Classify a use which is not specifically mentioned as part of the use regulations of any zoning district so that it conforms to a comparable permitted or prohibited use, in accordance with the purpose and intent of each district.
    • Determine the parking space requirements of any use not specifically mentioned either by classifying it with one of the groups listed by an analysis of the specific needs.
  3. Variance:  The Board of Zoning Appeals shall have the power to authorize specific variance from site development requirements such as lot area and width regulations, building height and bulk regulations, yard width and depth regulations, off-street parking and loading space requirements, of this ordinance, provided that all the required findings listed below are met:
    • That there are practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships which prevent carrying out the strict letter of this Ordinance.  These hardships or difficulties shall not be deemed economic, but shall be evaluated in terms of the use of a particular parcel of land.
    • That a genuine hardship exists because of unique circumstances or physical condition such as narrowness, shallowness, shape, or topography of the property involved, or to the intended use of the property, that do not generally apply to other property uses in the same zoning district, and shall not be recurrent in nature.
    • That the hardship or special conditions or circumstances do not result from actions of the applicant.
    • That the variance will be in harmony with the general purpose and intent of this Ordinance and will not cause a substantial adverse effect upon surrounding property, property values, and the use and enjoyment of property in the neighborhood or district.
    • That granting the variance will not confer on the applicant any special privilege that is denied by this Ordinance to other lands, structures or buildings in the same district.
    • That the variance requested is the minimum amount necessary to overcome the inequality inherent in the particular property or mitigate the hardship.
    • That the variance shall not permit the establishment, within a district, of any use which is not permitted by right within the zoning district, or any use for which a special use permit or a temporary use permit is required.
  4. In granting the variance, the Board of Zoning Appeals may prescribe appropriate conditions and safeguards in conformity with this Ordinance.  Violations of such conditions and safeguards, when made part of the terms under which the variance is granted, shall be deemed a violation of this Ordinance and shall automatically invalidate the permit.
  5. Each variance granted under the provisions of this Ordinance shall become null and void unless:
    • The construction authorized by such variance or permit has commenced within six (6) months of granting of the variance.
    • The occupancy of land, premises or building has taken place within one (1) year after the granting of the variance.
  6. No application for the variance which has been denied, wholly or in part, by the Board of Zoning Appeals shall be resubmitted for a period of one (1) year from the date of the last denial, except on the ground of newly discovered evidence or proof of changed conditions found upon inspection by the Board to be valid