If considering requesting rezoning, please review the procedural steps below as well as the County's position on Spot Zoning. The petition for amendment is included within the Permit Application forms provided within this site.
Planning Director (Formerly Zoning Administrator)
The Planning Commission
The County Board of Commissioners
General Procedural Steps:
Amendments of rezoning, as legislative actions, must follow the same route required for the adoption of the original ordinance (MCL 125.214). All proposed amendments of rezoning will have to meet Luce County's current and future land use policies and plans, and zoning ordinances.
The following are the general steps required for proposing zoning changes:
The following is required for Amendments of rezoning:
An application of rezoning, and fee must be submitted to the Planning Director.
A Petition Completes and files the application form along with any required fee with the
Planning Director (any other information the applicant feels may help in determining the
application can be filed).
Reviews amendment of rezoning application and studies the appropriateness of the
proposed amendment. The criteria to use in the study are the established planning
polices, current and future land use plans, and zoning ordinances. A public hearing on the
request is scheduled (MCL 125.209). Usually the next regular meeting. By law, the
Planning Commission must hold a public hearing before submitting its recommendation to
the County Board of Commissioners (MCL 125.209).
Guidelines and requirements for the public hearing:
One public hearing is mandatory.
Not less than twenty (20) days notice of the time and place of the hearing must also be given by mail to each electric, gas, pipeline, and telephone public utility company that registers its name with the planning Commission for the purpose of receiving notice of public hearing, and to each railroad within the zone affected.
If notice is sent by mail, an affidavit of mailing must be filed with the Planning commission as proof of mailing (MCL 125.209).
Public input is considered and evaluated.
Upon completion of the public hearing:
The Planning Commission transmits application and a summary report to the County Board of Commissioners (MCL 125.210). The summary report includes:
A summary of the comments made at the public hearing.
Detailed findings concerning the application based on the planning and zoning criteria and concerns raised at the hearing.
A recommendation supported by the above findings and concerns.
County Board of Commissioners (MCL 125.210):
Adopts amendment of rezoning.
Rejects amendment of rezoning.
May hold additional public hearings on the proposed amendment at its own initiative.
If changes to the proposed amendment of rezoning are desirable, the County Board of Commissioners may refer the proposed amendment of rezoning back to the Planning Commission for its further recommendation within thirty (30) days. Thereafter, the County Board of Commissioners may either adopt the amendment with or without changes, or reject it. If substantial changes are recommended, such as changing the area affected or the zones under consideration, the Planning Commission should advertises and conduct a new public hearing on the request.
Following approval by the County Board of Commissioners, the amendment of rezoning is sent to the Michigan Department of Commerce for review. Approval shall be conclusively presumed if after thirty (30) days, no notice of disapproval has been received. Disapproval must be based "upon noncompliance of conflict with either state of federal law or administrative rule or regulation, or a decision of a state or federal court" (MCL 125.211).
In April of 2000, the Luce County Board of Commissioners, upon the recommendation of the Planning Commission resolved that henceforth there will be no "Spot Zoning" with-in Luce County.
A New Jersey court provided the classic definition of spot zoning in 1954:
Spot Zoning is defined as the process of singling out a small parcel of land for a use classification totally different from that of the surround area, for the benefit of the owner of such property, and to the detriment of other owners, spot zoning is the very antithesis of planned zoning.
The following is to be used as examples, and is not an all-inclusive list, of the types of situations that are considered to be spot zoning.
Spot zoning can also be claimed when a small parcel is rezoned at the request of surround owners for their benefit. Although courts usually mention private benefit when they invalidate spot zoning, the real criterion is the absence of public benefit. A rezone of a small parcel to permit the owner to make a more profitable use will be upheld if the public benefit is significant enough. Public utility uses are a good example as are apartment buildings if the community clearly lacks housing. The size of a rezone is one of the most important indicators of spot zoning. Be wary of anything under three acres and relax somewhat for anything over ten acres. Whenever property is rezoned, the change can disturb people's expectations. Existing uses typically are protected as nonconforming uses in the zoning regulations but sometimes land use interests must be protected even before they are in place on the land. These interests are called "vested rights." Vested right can be found when a valid, existing use such as a gravel pit can reasonably be expected to expand into an area unused at the time a restrictive zoning classification goes into effect. This is called the diminishing asset doctrine and it establishes a right to use the entire tract so long as it is very clear that is what the developer always intended.
Permitting a relatively high-density (6-7 dwelling units (DUs) per acre) mobile home park in an agricultural or relatively low-density (2-4 DUs per acres) residential zone.
Permitting an industrial park or site in an agricultural zone.]
Permitting the conversion of an older residential structure on a single lot to an office building or some other commercial use in a residentially zoned district.
Permitting legitimate home occupations to expand to the point where they become the most obvious and dominant use of a lot that was originally a single-family dwelling unit structure in an exclusively single-family zoning district.
Permitting the conversion of a large home on a single lot to a multiple-family dwelling unit in an otherwise single-family
Permitting a multiple-family dwelling structure to locate among retail commercial uses in commercial zone.