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Zoning

Zoning Administrator: Peter Lance

Zoning is the process whereby a jurisdiction determines the types of uses and structures, as well as details like size and placement, which will be permitted within its borders.  Although in some areas townships have broad authority to regulate such criteria, there are also restrictions on that authority by state and federal law.  Zoning affects nearly every construction project, from a simple shed to a full-scale housing development.  The collected rules, known as a zoning ordinance, set forth the township’s guidelines for each district as delineated on the zoning map. 

Because zoning ordinances vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and even from district to district within a jurisdiction, it is highly recommended that the property owner contact their township’s zoning administrator before beginning any construction project.  Due to a variety of circumstances, it is possible that a proposed project may be illegal, require special permission to be achieved, or may need to be modified.  It is best to check first in order to avoid violating the local zoning ordinance, which can result in various legal actions by the township.

The zoning administrator is the official tasked with enforcement of the zoning ordinance, and is also responsible for reviewing proposed uses and structures for their conformity with that ordinance.  The township zoning administrator writes civil infraction citations for violations of the zoning ordinance, issues zoning permits for construction projects, and serves as a primary contact for applicants to the PC or ZBA.  As staff for those groups, the zoning administrator may also research information desired by the members and draft preliminary ordinance language for consideration by the PC.  The zoning administrator is available to answer questions from the public concerning the zoning ordinance or specific projects proposed within the township prior to any official application.