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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 

Zoning

Question:
Can the citizens vote on an amendment to the zoning ordinance?

Answer:
This is a question for your municipal attorney. The Michigan Constitution does not guarantee a right of initiative and referendum with respect to municipal ordinances. The home rule acts, however, contain provisions permitting a charter to include the option of initiative and referendum on "all matters within the scope of the powers of that city". The General Law Village Act (1895 PA 3, MCL 61.1 et seq.) and the Home Rule Village Act (1909 PA 278, MCL 117.1 et seq.) do not contain such a provision.

The City and Village Zoning Act (PA 207 of 1921, MCL 125.584) does allow for presentation of a protest petition, signed by at least 20% of the owners of the property affected by the change, or 20% of the owners within 100 ft. of the affected property. A protest petition requires a two-thirds vote of the council (or perhaps three-fourths if required by the charter) to enact the amendment.

 

 

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