What is Land Use Regulation?
Canton Township receives its authority to regulate land development from the State of Michigan. Townships are statutory creatures and have only limited powers. Townships are granted, by the state, specific powers through the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act. The Michigan law authorizes the townships to provide zoning ordinances for the regulation of the use of the land and structures. These ordinances must be reasonable in nature.

There are limited tools provided by the State of Michigan to control growth. Community zoning and planning is the most effective method to control both growth and development. Since the historic 1926 United States Supreme Court decision of Euclid versus Ambler Realty Co., it has been held that zoning ordinances do not, in principle, offend the United States Constitution. Courts have held that the power to regulate human conduct and promote public welfare through zoning ordinances is a valid exercise of police power when the communities have been authorized to enact such ordinances by the legislature.

In Michigan, with the enactment of the original Township Zoning Act in 1973, Michigan Townships were given specific authority to regulate land development and over crowding of land and congestion of population through zoning ordinances. However, communities are not given unlimited authority to control private property. The zoning ordinances must be reasonable to pass the test of its legality. Generally speaking, zoning ordinances which destroy the value of property or which are labeled "confiscatory" have been found to be unreasonable and thereby unenforceable.

This rule of reason applies to all zoning ordinances and municipality efforts to control growth and development. For instances, courts have prohibited some municipalities’ efforts to frustrate growth by unreasonably refusing to expand water and sewer systems. Also, the courts have overturned zoning ordinances which attempt to restrict population densities when there is no showing of good reason for the restrictions.

In general, the control of growth and development is best achieved through a well reasoned master land use plan in combination with a zoning ordinance which reflects the objectives of the master plan. The courts are not hesitant to overturn any ordinance which is unreasonable in its application or confiscatory in its effect.

Show All Answers

1. What is the Planning Services Division responsible for?
2. What is Land Use Regulation?
3. What is the role of the Planning Commission?
4. What is a comprehensive or Future Land Use Plan (FLUP)?
5. Why does a community need such a plan?
6. How is the comprehensive or Future Land Use Plan developed?
7. What is zoning?
8. Why does a community use zoning?
9. What is the process for establishing zoning?
10. How is the zoning map changed?
11. What are zoning districts?
12. How much of each zoning district does a community need?
13. How is the Zoning Ordinance used?
14. What is the Subdivision Control Ordinance?
15. What is the subdivision plotting process?
16. What are site condominiums?
17. What are Planned Unit Developments and Planned Development Districts?
18. What are the advantages of a Planned Development District (PDD)?
19. What is cluster development?
20. What are the limitations on Building Permits?
21. What is a building moratorium?
22. What are Land Use Exclusions?
23. What is a non conforming use?
24. Can you please describe the Planning Process?