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Village of Cassopolis, MI
Cass County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
The Village Council may from time to time, at its own initiative or upon recommendation from the Planning Commission or on petition, amend, supplement, or change the district boundaries or the regulations herein, pursuant to the authority and procedures set forth in Public Act No. 110 of 2006 (MCLA 125.3101 et seq.). Text amendments may be proposed by any governmental body or any interested person or organization. Changes in district boundaries may be proposed by a governmental body, any person having a freehold interest in the subject property, or by the designated agent of a person having a freehold interest in the property.
B. 
The Village Council shall establish, by resolution, a fee to be paid in full at the time of receipt of any application to amend this chapter. Said fee shall be collected by the Village and no part shall be refundable to the applicant. No fee shall be charged when the applicant is the Village.
A. 
Application. A petitioner shall submit a completed and signed application for an amendment to this chapter, along with the appropriate fees, to the Village. An application shall be submitted for each parcel of land which is not contiguous to any adjacent parcel of land being proposed for the same amendment.
B. 
Action of the Village. The Village shall review the application form to ensure it is complete. Any application not properly filed or completed shall be returned to the applicant. Completed applications shall be transmitted to the Planning Commission. The application shall be placed on the agenda of the next regularly scheduled Planning Commission meeting.
C. 
Notice of hearing. After receiving the amendment application, the Planning Commission shall establish a date for a public hearing on the application which will be conducted by the Planning Commission within two months of the date of application receipt by the Village. The Village shall give notice of the public hearing in the manner required by Public Act No. 110 of 2006 (MCLA 125.3101 et seq.).
D. 
Planning Commission and Village Council action; hearing. Following the hearing on the proposed amendment, the Planning Commission shall make written its findings of facts along with its recommendations to the Village Council of receipt of the completed petition. The Village Council may hold additional hearings if the Council considers it necessary. The Village Council may, by majority vote of its membership:
(1) 
Adopt the proposed amendment.
(2) 
Reject the proposed amendment.
(3) 
Refer the proposed amendment back to the Planning Commission for further recommendation within a specified time period. Thereafter, the Village Council may either adopt the amendment with or without the recommended revisions, or reject it.
The Planning Commission and Village Council shall, at a minimum, consider the following before taking action on any proposed amendment:
A. 
Will the proposed amendment be in accordance with the basic intent and purpose of this chapter?
B. 
Will the proposed amendment further the comprehensive planning goals of the Village?
C. 
Have conditions changed since this chapter was adopted, or was there a mistake in this chapter, that justify the amendment?
D. 
Will the amendment correct an inequitable situation created by this chapter, rather than merely grant special privileges?
E. 
Will the amendment result in unlawful exclusionary or spot zoning?
F. 
Will the amendment set an inappropriate precedent, resulting in the need to correct future planning mistakes?
G. 
If a rezoning is requested, is the proposed zoning consistent with the zoning classification of the surrounding land?
H. 
If a rezoning is requested, could all requirements in the proposed zoning classification be complied with in the subject parcel?
I. 
If a rezoning is requested, is the proposed zoning consistent with the trends in land development in the general vicinity of the property in question?
J. 
What is the impact on the ability of the Village and other governmental agencies to provide adequate public services and facilities and/or programs that might reasonably be required in the future if the proposed amendment is adopted?
K. 
Does the petitioned district change adversely affect environmental conditions or the value of the surrounding property?
(1) 
Protest. Whenever a written protest against a proposed amendment is presented, in writing, to the Village, signed by the owners of at least 20% of the area included in the proposed change, or by the owners of at least 20% of the area of land included within an area extending outward 100 feet from any point on the boundary of land included in the proposed change, excluding publicly owned land in calculating the twenty-percent requirement, such amendment shall not be passed except by the favorable vote of 3/4 of the entire Village Council.
(2) 
Reconsideration of a proposed amendment. No application for a map amendment which has been denied by the Village Council shall be reconsidered unless there have been changes in the facts, evidence, and/or conditions in the case. Determination of whether there have been such changes shall be made by the Planning Commission at the time the application is submitted for processing.
(3) 
Notice and record of amendment adoption. Following adoption of an amendment by the Village Council, notice shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the Village within 15 days after adoption. A record of all amendments shall be maintained by the Village. A current master Zoning Map shall be maintained by the Village and displayed for public information and viewing.
A. 
Enforcement of chapter by Village Manager. This chapter shall be enforced by the Village Manager or his designee, who shall, in no case except under a written order of the Board or the Village Council or Board of Zoning Appeals, issue any permit for the erection or structural alteration of any building, nor grant any occupancy permit for any building or land where the proposed erection, structural alteration or use thereof would be in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter. The Village Manager or his designee shall investigate any alleged violation of this chapter coming to his attention, whether by complaint or arising from his own personal knowledge, and if the violation is found to exist, he shall serve notice upon the owner, and notify the Village Council and prosecute a complaint to terminate said violation before the appropriate magistrate. The Village Manager or his designee shall make an inspection of all new construction from time to time to ascertain that the dimensions and conditions stated on the application are complied with. The Village Manager shall also make periodic inspections throughout the Village to ascertain that the requirements of this chapter are complied with.
B. 
Maintenance of records. It shall be the further duty of the Village Manager or his designee to keep all records of all inspections and applications for building permits and of all such permits issued, with a notation of all special conditions involved. The Village Manager shall file and safely keep copies of all plans other than for one-family houses and fees submitted with such application, and the same shall form a part of the records of his office and shall be available to the Village Council and all other officials of the Village.
A. 
Required. No land shall be occupied or used, and no building hereafter erected or altered shall be occupied or used, in whole or in part, for any purpose whatsoever until a certificate of occupancy shall have been issued by the Village Manager or his designee stating that the premises or building complies with all the provisions of the approved plans and all ordinances of the Village. Such certificate of occupancy shall be granted or denied within 10 days from the date the written application therefor has been received by the Village Manager or his designee. Where any special use conditions are applicable, said conditions shall be stated on the certificate of occupancy.
B. 
Records. A record of all certificates of occupancy shall be kept on file in the office of the Village Manager or his designee, and copies shall be furnished upon request to any person having a proprietary or leasehold interest in the building or land affected.
A. 
Any owner or agent, and any person or corporation, who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter or fail to comply therewith or with any of the requirements thereof or who shall erect, structurally alter, enlarge, rebuild or move any building or structure or who shall put into use any lot or land in violation of any detailed statement or plan submitted hereunder, or who shall refuse reasonable opportunity to inspect any premises, shall be responsible for a municipal civil infraction.
B. 
The owner of any building or structure, lot or land, or part thereof, where anything in violation of this chapter shall be placed or shall exist, and any architect, builder, contractor, agent, person or corporation employed in connection therewith who knowingly assists in the commission of such violation shall each be responsible for a municipal civil infraction.
There is hereby created a board of zoning appeals, consisting of five members appointed by the Village Council as authorized under Article VI of Public Act No. 110 of 2006 (MCLA 125.3601 et seq.).
The Board of Zoning Appeals shall perform all the duties and have all the powers prescribed by the revised state statutes and the amendments thereto and herein more particularly provided. It shall adopt such rules of procedure, not inconsistent with the provisions of the revised state statutes and local ordinances, as it may deem necessary to the proper performance of its duties and the proper exercise of its powers.
The Board of Zoning Appeals may employ such clerical or other assistance as may be necessary, provided that it shall not at any time incur any expense beyond the amount of the appropriation made and then available for that purpose.
Appeals to the Board of Zoning Appeals in any matter over which it may have jurisdiction may be taken by any party aggrieved by the decision or order appealed from, or by an officer, department, board or agency of the Village affected by such decision or order. A notice of appeal, specifying the grounds thereof, shall be filed with the Village Clerk within 30 days after the date of the action appealed from. An appeal shall stay all proceedings in furtherance of the action in respect to which the decision or order appealed from was made, unless the officer from whom the appeal is taken certifies to the Board of Zoning Appeals that by reason of the facts stated in the certificate, a stay would, in his opinion, cause imminent peril to life or property. In such case, proceedings shall not be stayed except upon a restraining order granted by the Board of Zoning Appeals or by the circuit court upon notice to the officer from whom the appeal is taken and on due cause shown.
Subject to the provisions of this section, and in addition to other duties and powers specified herein, the Board of Zoning Appeals, after public hearing, shall have the power to decide applications for variances:
A. 
Where it is alleged by the applicant that by reason of the exceptional narrowness, shallowness or shape of a specific piece of property on the effective date of the ordinance from which this chapter is derived, or by reason of exceptional topographic conditions or other extraordinary situation or condition of the land, building or structure, or of the use of development of the property immediately adjoining the property in question, the literal enforcement of the requirements of this chapter would involve practical difficulties or would cause undue hardship, provided that the Board of Zoning Appeals shall not grant a variance on a lot of less than the requirements of its zone, even though such lot existed at the time of the passage of this chapter, if the owner or members of his immediate family owned adjacent land which could, without undue hardship, be included as part of the lot;
B. 
Where it is alleged by the applicant that there are practical difficulties or unnecessary hardship in the way of carrying out the strict letter of this chapter relating to the construction, structural changes in equipment, or alterations of buildings or structures, or the use of land, buildings or structures, so that the spirit of this chapter shall be observed, public safety secured and substantial justice done; or
C. 
Where it is alleged that the condition or situation of the specific piece of property or the intended use of said property for which the variance is sought is not of so general or recurrent a nature as to make reasonably practical the formulation of a general regulation for such conditions or situation as part of this chapter.
No variance in the provisions or requirements of this chapter shall be authorized by the Board of Zoning Appeals unless the Board finds from reasonable evidence that all the following facts and conditions exist:
A. 
That there are exceptional or extraordinary circumstances or conditions applying to the property in question as to the intended use of the property that do not apply generally to other properties in the same zoning classification;
B. 
That such variance is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of a substantial property right similar to that possessed by other properties in the same district and in the vicinity, provided that the possibility of increased financial return shall not be deemed sufficient to warrant a variance;
C. 
That the authorization of such variance will not be of substantial detriment to adjacent property, and will not materially impair the intent and purposes of this chapter or the public health, safety and welfare; and
D. 
That the condition or situation of the specific piece of property or the intended use of said property for which the variance is sought is not of so general or recurrent a nature as to make reasonably practical the formulation of a general regulation for such conditions or situation as part of this chapter.
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former § 370-67, Land use variances prohibited, was repealed 11-25-2019 by Ord. No. 259.
The Board of Zoning Appeals shall have the power to hear and decide, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, interpretations of this chapter, and may make decisions upon other special questions on which the Board of Zoning Appeals is authorized to pass. In considering such applications, the Board of Zoning Appeals shall review the case within the intent of this chapter, giving due regard to the nature and condition of all adjacent uses and structures and the consistency therewith of the proposed use. Before authorizing a use, the Board of Zoning Appeals shall determine whether the proposal would be hazardous, harmful, noxious, offensive or a nuisance to the surrounding neighborhood by reason of noise, smoke, odor, vibration, dust, dirt, cinders, noxious gases, glare, heat, fire potential, sewage wastes, pollution, parking, transportation, traffic aesthetic effect, devaluation of property values and/or psychological effects, and for the purpose of making such a determination may enlist the aid of experts, technicians and consultants. The Board of Zoning Appeals shall decide the appropriateness of exceptions and conditional uses within the intent of this chapter and may impose such requirements and conditions necessary to preserve such intent. In the determination of such requirements and conditions of use, the Board of Zoning Appeals shall consider the standards enumerated herein for similar uses devising such proportionate requirements as will achieve compatibility of use and do substantial justice and serve the public interest.
Upon the filing of any appeal as hereinafter provided, or other application in any matter or proceedings over which the Board of Zoning Appeals shall have jurisdiction by law or ordinance, the Board shall hold a hearing on such appeal or application at its next meeting, to be held not less than 15 days after the date of such filing, and shall cause notice of the time and place of the hearing to be given as required by Section 604 of Public Act No. 110 of 2006 (MCLA 125.3604).
The Board of Zoning Appeals shall render its decision upon such appeal or application within 60 days after the hearing thereon, and in any event within 90 days after the date of filing of the appeal or application, and upon failure to do so, such appeal or application shall thereupon be deemed to be decided adversely to the appellant or applicant in the same manner as though the Board of Zoning Appeals had rendered its decision to that effect.
Upon the filing of any appeal or application to the Board of Zoning Appeals by any person other than an officer, department, board or agency of the municipality, the appellant or applicant shall pay fees as determined by Village ordinance to defray the cost of publishing notice of the appeal or application and the Board of Zoning Appeal's decision thereon, of hearing and recording the matter.
The concurring vote of three members of the Board of Zoning Appeals shall be necessary to reverse any order, requirement or decision of any administrative official or to decide in favor of that applicant on any matter they are required to pass.
The secretary shall keep minutes of the Board of Zoning Appeal's proceedings showing the vote of each member upon every question, or if absent or failing to vote, indicating that fact. The secretary shall keep records of the Board's examinations and official actions, all of which shall be immediately filed in the office of the Board and shall be a public record.