Zoning and Planning Services Development Guide

Assistance with development within the Township
 

Building & Planning Department

(616) 842-1340
(616) 847-1393

Lukas Hill

Community Development Director

Greg Mason

Building Official

Michigan Township Services
(231) 865-3310
mtsm@frontier.com
5855 Airline, Fruitport, MI 49415

I want information on…

Zoning
The Township has various zoning districts, and each zone has different requirements for lot area, lot width, and building setbacks. There are also different uses allowed in each zoning district.

The zoning map can be found here, where you can determine what the property is zoned. Once the zoning has been determined, the zoning requirements may be reviewed in the Zoning Ordinance.
Table 402.A – Table of Land Uses summarizes the applicable regulatory standards for the land uses governed under the Zoning Ordinance. It is provided for expeditious reference. However, it should not be substituted for careful reference to the specific language of the Zoning Ordinance, which shall control in the event of a conflict.

The Zoning Administrator reviews all permit applications and facilitates site plan reviews for any commercial, office, or multifamily development. The Zoning Administrator is the staff liaison to the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Planning Commission.

Rezoning requires a change to the Zoning Ordinance through the Zoning Map. Rezoning requests are reviewed by the Planning Commission, which then makes a recommendation to the Township Board.
A fee of $380 and an initial escrow of $720 is required. Payment may be made with cash or check made out to Spring Lake Township.
Rezoning Application

Commercial and Industrial Developments

Commercial and industrial developments require detailed site plan reviews, which are conducted by the Planning Commission. Contact Lukas Hill, Community Development Director, for assistance with your application.

Appointments are available during regular business hours for preliminary reviews.Preliminary sketches of proposed site and development plans should be submitted for review by the Zoning Administrator, Department of Public Works, Fire Chief and Building Official prior to official review and approval. This is to allow discussion to better inform the applicant of the acceptability of the proposed plans prior to incurring extensive costs preparing detailed plans.
Preliminary Sketch Plan Review Requirements

More information:
Site Plan Review – Article 10 of the Zoning Ordinance
Zoning Ordinance – Complete Text

Site Plan/Special Use Review & Application - $470 fee and $1180 escrow deposit required. Payment may be made with cash or check made out to Spring Lake Township.

Large-Scale Residential Developments

Large scale residential developments require detailed site plan reviews, which are conducted by the Planning Commission. Contact Lukas Hill, Community Development Director, for assistance with your application.

Per Section 332 of the Zoning Ordinance, large scale residential developments, consisting of 8 or more lots or site condominium units in the RR, R-1, R-2, R-3 or R-4 district shall be developed only as Planned Unit Developments.

Appointments are available during regular business hours for preliminary reviews.Preliminary sketches of proposed site and development plans should be submitted for review by the Zoning Administrator, Department of Public Works, Fire Chief and Building Official prior to official review and approval. This is to allow discussion to better inform the applicant of the acceptability of the proposed plans prior to incurring extensive costs preparing detailed plans.
Preliminary Sketch Plan Review Requirements

More information:
Site Plan Review – Article 10 of the Zoning Ordinance
Planned Unit Developments – Article 14 of the Zoning Ordinance
Zoning Ordinance – Complete Text

Site Plan/Special Use Review & Application - $350 fee and $2000 escrow deposit required for Planned Unit Developments. Payment may be made with cash or check made out to Spring Lake Township.

Signs

Signs, including temporary signs, require a zoning permit. Temporary signs require a permit, and may be displayed for up to 84 days in a year. NOTE: Flag signs are NOT ALLOWED in Spring Lake Township.

Sign Permit Application - Requires a $25 fee payable by cash or check made out to Spring Lake Township

Signs may require a building permit, and lighted signs will require an electrical permit. Check with Michigan Township Services for more information.
Permit Applications - MTS - Requires a separate fee

For more information, see Article 8 of the Zoning Ordinance.
Standards and Requirements for Signage – Article 8 of the Zoning Ordinance
Definitions Related to Signs

New Homes

Requirements for new homes:

All new homes require a zoning permit from Spring Lake Township. The zoning permit fee for new homes is $50. For developments larger than 7 units, see the Large Scale Development information.

All new homes require building, electrical, mechanical and plumbing permits from Michigan Township Services Muskegon (MTSM)

New Residences/Additions – Information Sheet
Zoning Permit Application
Permit Applications - MTSM - Requires a separate fee

Additional Township permits that may be required:
Bike Path/Sidewalk Cut Permit Application
Wetland/Wetland Buffer Land Use Permit
Water Service Application
Sewer Service Application

In addition to Township permits, Ottawa County permits may be required:
Soil Erosion Permit
Driveway Permit
Well Permit
Septic System Permit

Procedures for Variances, Authorizations, and Determinations

Variances, authorizations and determinations are decided by the Zoning Board of Appeals. Contact Lukas Hill, Community Development Director, for assistance with your application. A pre-application meeting or discussion is strongly encouraged.

Variances may be applied for when a unique undue hardship is present on the property. Variances have the most stringent requirements that must be met before a variance can be granted.
Standards for Variances

Authorizations may be applied for when a proposed accessory building or attached garage is larger than allowed by right.
Standards for Accessory Building Authorizations
Standards for Attached Garage Authorizations

Determinations are made for waterfront setbacks when the Zoning Administrator determines there is an unusual shoreline configuration, unusual topographical problem, or unusual circumstance.
Standards for Waterfront Setback Determinations

Zoning Board of Appeals Application - $350 fee and $300 escrow deposit required. Fees and escrow can be paid in cash or with a check. There is no refund if the request is denied. The escrow is used to pay for public hearing notices, attorney fees, engineering or survey fees, or any other special studies. Should expenses total more than the deposit, the applicant will be billed by the Township for the additional costs, or additional escrow payment shall be required to complete the Zoning Board of Appeals process. Should expenses total less than the deposit received, excess amounts of the escrow fee shall be returned to the applicant.

After receiving your application and supporting materials, Township staff will review the application and schedule a date for a public hearing for the request. The submission deadline is typically 4 weeks in advance of the preferred meeting date unless otherwise specified by Township staff. Deadlines are set to comply with various Ordinance requirements and to permit adequate time for Board and staff review.
2023 PC/ZBA Deadline Calendar

At least 15 days prior to the public hearing, Township staff will advertise the public hearing in the press and send notices to all residents within 300 feet of the property making the request (1000 feet for Planned Unit Developments).

At the public hearing, the ZBA will hear the request. The applicants will be required to attend to speak on their request. After the presentation, the ZBA will typically ask follow-up questions. Public comment will also be held to get the views of interested residents.

After hearing the request, the ZBA will vote to Approve the request, Approve the request with Conditions, Deny the request, or Table the request for further information or considerations.

Approved variances are valid for one year. Variances not acted upon by that time become null and void.

See the Zoning Ordinance for complete information.
Zoning Ordinance – Complete Text

Land Divisions and Lot Line Adjustments

Land Division Application - Fee of $100 per parcel created payable by cash or check made out to Spring Lake Township
Transfer of the Right to Make a Land Division (Form 3278)
Property Line Adjustment/Combination Application - No fee to adjust a lot line or to combine parcels

Applications for land divisions must be approved by the Building and Planning Department. After that approval, the Assessing Department will work with Ottawa County to create the new parcels.

Lot mergers, lot splits and lot line adjustments require deeds. These deeds must be recorded before a new parcel number will be issued. All approved land divisions must record documents for any ownership changes within 90 days of the approval with the Spring Lake Township Assessing Department and/or with the Ottawa County Register of Deeds or the land approval will be null and void.

Summer and winter taxes for the year of the land division should be paid by the end of the calendar year in which the division is requested. Once the new parcel numbers are issued, the old parcel number will become inactive; however, the taxes must be paid before a land division is finalized.

NOTE: Land divisions become official in January. Any application received between February and December may be processed, but the new parcel numbers will not be official until January of the following year, for that year's tax roll.

Wetlands

Wetlands in the Township are regulated per Chapter 14, Article V of the Code of Ordinances. There may be wetlands that are regulated by the Township which are not regulated by other state or federal agencies. Wetlands in the Township require a 25-foot wetland setback.

Contact Lukas Hill, Community Development Director, for assistance with wetland issues.

Activities requiring a wetland use permit include:

  • Depositing or permitting the placement of fill material
  • Grading the surface profile of the land
  • Dredging, removing, or permitting the removal of soil, vegetation or minerals
  • Draining, or causing to be drained through artificial means, any water into of from a wetland
  • Constructing, operating, or maintaining any use or development - any activity that requires a local, county or state permit

Wetland/Wetland Buffer Land Use Permit
Fee Schedule – Wetland Review

Fee Schedules

Fee Schedule – Building & Planning Department Permits
Fee Schedule – Planning Commission & ZBA
Fee Schedule – Wetland Review

Fees to the Township may be paid by check made out to Spring Lake Township or in cash at Township Hall, mailed to us, or dropped in one of our drop boxes.

Fees for building, electrical, mechanical and plumbing permits may be paid by check made out to Spring Lake Township or by credit card at Michigan Township Services Muskegon, 5855 Airline, Fruitport MI.

Note: Any credit card payments require a convenience fee to be paid.

Solicitors

Solicitation in the Township requires a permit. Permits are valid for 30 days and may be renewed.
Hours of operation are 11am to one hour before sunset, or 9pm, whichever is earlier.

Solicitor’s Permit – Non-Profit Organizations

 

Solicitor’s Permit – For Profit Organizations