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Planning and Zoning Information

Village ordinances are available online under the Building and Zoning Department.
What are the setbacks (i.e. distance structures must be from property lines) for residential properties?
In District R-1-----Front=30 ft.-----Side=12 ft.-----Rear=35 ft.

In District R-2-----Front=30 ft.-----Side=10 ft.-----Rear=35 ft.
In District R-3-----Front=25 ft.-----Side=8 ft.------Rear=35 ft.
In District R-3.5---Front=25 ft.-----Side=8 ft.------Rear=35 ft.
In District R-4-----Front=25 ft.-----Side=8 ft.------Rear=35 ft.
(Note: Under certain conditions front yards in the R-4 District may be decreased. All other questions regarding amount of lot coverage, allowed height of structures, and what constitutes a legal size lot and questions regarding other Zoning Districts should refer to Ord. #231, ARTICLE XI., Sec. 94-302, SCHEDULE OF REGULATIONS

What are the requirements for accessory structures on residential lots?

1. If the accessory structure is to be attached to the main structure, it must conform to all setbacks of the main structure.
2. If the accessory structure is detached from the main structure, the following shall apply: a. maintain at least 3 ft. from the rear and side lot lines.
b. The accessory structure cannot be placed in the front or side yards.
c. The accessory structure cannot be larger than the main structure or occupy more than 25% of a required rear yard.
d. If the accessory structure is to be located less than 10 ft. from the main structure, 42 inch footings will be required.
e. If the garage is to be located less than 5 ft. from the main structure, a 1 hr. firewall is required on the garage side. ( NOTE: Decks, pools, sheds, and garages are all considered accessory structures.)

What are the fence requirements and where are they not allowed in residential districts?
Fences shall not exceed 6 ft. in height and shall not extend toward the street further than the front of the house. Fences shall be constructed so the finish side faces the neighbor (when framing members are used). Vinyl, cedar, redwood and pressure treated wood are acceptable material. Only decorative fences are allowed in the front yards, and they shall not exceed 36" in. in height and must be 50% open. (NOTE: A fence permit is not required but a drawing and a site plan should be submitted with the building department before construction to avoid problems).

What do I have to do to obtain a variance to construct a shed/garage/fence/deck that does not meet the setback requirements? First, submit a plan to the building department to verify the variance that will be needed. Then the applicant will be required to fill out an application and pay a $200.00 application fee.  The applicant will be required to provide 13 copies of the site plan with all pertinent information explaining the type of variance requested. The applicant will be given a date that he will appear on the Zoning Board of Appeals agenda where he may present his case.

What Zoning District am I in?
It is necessary to refer to the zoning map for this information. You can access the zoning map on this website by choosing Zoning Map.

To open up a new business is it necessary to go before any boards?
If there was a similar business before and the building has not been vacant for more than 6 months it may not be necessary, however, before any new business opens, the intentions of the new business owner should be made known to the Building/Zoning Official to avoid any problems or misunderstandings. It is possible that the new business owner will have to go through site plan review procedures that may be reviewed administratively if the changes are minor or by Planning Commission if the changes are more extensive.

What are the sign requirements in the Village?
See Ord.#231, ARTICLE XII,Sec 94-350.

When is a permit required?
A permit is required for any new structures such as a home, addition, garage, shed, deck, or any structural changes. Also when replacing a furnace, installing air conditioning, upgrading electrical or wiring, installing a ceiling fan or new fixture, installing new plumbing fixtures, water heaters, and irrigation systems. Repair, replacement or installation of sidewalks or drive approaches and repairing water/sewer lines also requires a permit. A permit for re-shingling a roof is also required.

When are permits not required?
The Village does not require permits for siding, replacing existing windows of the same size (egress windows cannot be reduced), replacing existing plumbing fixture (sink, toilet) or replacing existing electrical fixtures (light fixture).

How deep do footings have to be?
Footings must be 42" deep for a house, deck, attached garage or detached garage when 5' to 10' from house; 24" deep for detached garage. No footings are needed for a shed if the floor is constructed of treated material.

What are deck requirements?
Footings must be 42" deep (undisturbed soil), treated material may be used and the decking and rails may then be treated, cedar or plastic composite. The deck is to support 60 lb. live load. Railings are to be 3 ft. high minimum, and spindle spacing so a 4 in. sphere cannot pass through. Stairways are to be 3 ft. wide minimum with a separate graspable handrail.

What is the maximum number of roof coverings that I can place on my house before completely tearing off the roof to the existing boards?
Only two roofs can be placed on a house before complete replacement.

What is meant by a Change of Use?
An example of this would be changing a residence into an office or industrial-type facility. In this example there are some obvious differences in the possible dangers or liabilities that might take place that would be different from a residential use. To change the use it is possible that the entire structure would have to be totally renovated to comply with all current codes of the new use. (Zoning would also have to allow for this new type of use).

What is needed to apply for a building permit?
Two sets of building plans; two plot plans; sewer use request form (if necessary); copy of builder's license; homeowner's affidavit (if pulling your own permit); completed permit application.

What specific items should be included on a set of building plans?
Aside from an accurate site plan, all plans should include the following when applicable: footings or foundation type and size; front, rear and side views of the proposed building with accurate elevations; a floor plan; a wall sectional that identifies the stud spacing, insulation type, interior finish, joist spacing and type of flooring, all structural supports, the spacing of all trusses or rafters and ceiling joists, the type of roof sheathing, felt and shingles and roof ventilation; all exterior finish material.

Is it the building department’s obligation to help me design my plans?
No. It is the building department's job to check for zoning and code compliance. Any questions regarding design or any help needed with any drawing should be referred to an architect or registered design professional.

What type of inspections are generally required on a typical building in the Village?
Some buildings require special inspections but the most common inspections are footings, before backfill if there is a basement, underground plumbing, rough plumbing, rough electric, rough heating, rough frame, insulation, final plumbing, final electric, final heating, and final building. Inspections in the Right-of-Way may also be required.

What construction code is being used by the Village?
It is currently the Michigan Building & Michigan Residential Codes which incorporates the 2000 International codes.