[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Board of Trustees of the Township of Lawrence 6-12-1997, as amended 3-8-2012 (Ord. No. 16 of the 2005 Code). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
An ordinance to regulate partitioning or division of parcels or tracts of land, enacted pursuant to but not limited to Michigan Public Act 288 of 1967, as amended, and Act 246 of 1945, as amended, being the Township General Ordinance statute; to provide a procedure therefor; to repeal any ordinance or provision thereof in conflict herewith; and to prescribe penalties and enforcement remedies for the violation of this chapter.
This chapter shall be known and cited as the "Lawrence Township Land Division Ordinance."
The purpose of this chapter is to carry out the provisions of the State Land Division Act (1967 PA 288, as amended, formerly known as the "Subdivision Control Act"), to prevent the creation of parcels of property which do not comply with applicable ordinances and said Act, to minimize potential boundary disputes, to maintain orderly development of the community, and otherwise provide for the health, safety and welfare of the residents and property owners of the municipality by establishing reasonable standards for prior review and approval of land divisions within the municipality.
For purposes of this chapter, certain terms and words used herein shall have the following meaning:
- A natural person, firm association, partnership, corporation, or combination of any of them that holds an ownership interest in land whether recorded or not.
- COMBINATION or COMBINED
- The joining or merging of any parcel or tract of land with another, boundary adjustments, lot line adjustments, or other adjustments or alterations to adjacent parcels wherein the parcels or tracts are not divided by the proprietor thereof or by his or her heirs, executors, administrators, legal representatives, successors or assigns.
- DIVIDED or DIVISION
- The partitioning or splitting of a parcel or tract of land by the proprietor thereof or by his or her heirs, executors, administrators, legal representatives, successors or assigns for the purposes of sale or lease of more than one year, or of building development that results in one or more parcels of less than 40 acres or the equivalent, and that satisfies the requirements of Section 108 and 109 of the State Land Division Act.
- EXEMPT SPLIT or EXEMPT DIVISION
- The partitioning or splitting of a parcel or tract of land by the proprietor thereof, or by his or her heirs, executors, administrators, legal representatives, successors or assigns, that does not result in one or more parcels of less than 40 acres or the equivalent; provided all resulting parcels are accessible for vehicular travel and utilities from existing public roads through existing adequate roads or easements or through areas owned by the owner of the parcel that can provide such access.
- FORTY ACRES OR THE EQUIVALENT
- Either 40 acres, a quarter-quarter section, containing not less than 30 acres, or a governmental lot containing not less than 30 acres.
- GOVERNING BODY
- The legislative body of Lawrence Township.
- Lawrence Township, Van Buren County, Michigan.
Editor's Note: See MCLA §§ 560.108 and 560.109.
Land in the municipality shall not be divided or combined without the prior review and approval of the municipal Assessor, or other official designated by the governing body, in accordance with this chapter and the State Land Division Act, provided that the following shall be exempted from this requirement:
A parcel proposed for subdivision through a recorded plat pursuant to the municipality's subdivision control ordinance and the State Land Division Act.
A lot in a recorded plat proposed to be divided in accordance with the municipality's subdivision control ordinance and the State Land Division Act.
An exempt split as defined in this chapter.
An applicant shall file all of the following with the municipal Clerk or other official designated by the governing body for review and approval of a proposed land division or combination before making any division or combination either by deed, land contract, lease for more than one year, or for building development:
A completed application form on such form as may be provided by the municipality.
Proof of fee ownership of the land proposed to be divided or combined.
A survey map of the land proposed to be divided or combined, prepared pursuant to the survey map requirements of 1970 Public Act 132, as amended, (MCLA § 54.211) by a land surveyor licensed by the State of Michigan, and showing the dimensions and legal descriptions of the existing parcel(s) and the parcel(s) proposed to be created by the division(s) or combination(s), the location of all existing structures and other improvements and the accessibility of the parcels for vehicular traffic and utilities from existing public roads.
The history and specifications of any previous divisions or combinations of land of which the proposed division or combination was a part sufficient to establish the parcel to be divided or combined was lawfully in existence as of March 31, 1997, the effective date of the State Land Division Act.
Proof that all due and payable taxes or installments of special assessments pertaining to the land proposed to be divided or combined are paid in full.
If transfer of division rights is proposed in the land transfer, detailed information about the terms and availability of the proposed division rights to be transferred.
Unless a division or combination creates a parcel which is acknowledged and declared to be not buildable under § 16-9 of this chapter, all divisions and combinations shall result in buildable parcels containing sufficient buildable area outside of unbuildable wetlands, floodplains and other areas where buildings are prohibited therefrom, and with sufficient area to comply with all required setback provisions, minimum floor areas, off-street parking spaces, on-site sewage disposal and water well locations (where public water and sewer service is not available), and maximum allowed area coverage of buildings and structures on the site.
The fee as may from time to time be established by resolution of the governing body of the municipality for land division reviews pursuant to this chapter to cover the costs of review of the application and administration of this chapter and the State Land Division Act.
Upon receipt of a land division or combination application package, the municipal Clerk or other official designated by the governing body shall forthwith submit the same to the municipal Assessor or other designated official for decision. The municipal Assessor or other designee shall approve, approve with reasonable conditions to assure compliance with applicable ordinances and the protection of public health, safety and general welfare, or disapprove the land division or combination applied for within 30 days after receipt of the application package conforming to this chapter's requirements, and shall promptly notify the applicant of the decisions and the reasons for any denial. If the application package does not conform to this chapter's requirements and the State Land Division Act, the Assessor or other designee shall return the same to the applicant for completion and refiling in accordance with this chapter and the State Land Division Act. The municipal Assessor or other designee may waive conditions and standards that are inapplicable or where the conditions do not appear to pose a risk to public health, safety, or the general welfare of the community, unless said conditions or standards are required to be met by state or federal law or regulations.
Any person or entity aggrieved by the decision of the Assessor or designee may, within 30 days of said decision, appeal the decision to the governing board of the municipality or such board or person designated by the governing body which shall consider and resolve such appeal by a majority vote of said board or the designee at its next regular meeting or session affording sufficient time for a twenty-day written notice to the applicant (and appellant where other than the applicant) of the time and date of said meeting and appellate hearing.
A decision approving a land division or combination is effective for one year from and after the date of approval, after which it shall be considered revoked unless within such period a document is recorded with the Van Buren County Register of Deeds office and filed with the municipal Clerk or other designated official accomplishing the approved land division or combination.
The municipal Assessor or designee shall maintain an official record of all approved and accomplished land divisions or combinations.
A proposed land division or combination shall be approved if the following criteria are met:
All parcels to be created by the proposed land division or combination fully comply with the applicable lot (parcel), yard and area requirements of Chapter 1, Zoning, including, but not limited to, minimum lot (parcel) frontage/width, minimum road frontage, minimum lot (parcel) area, minimum lot width-to-depth ratio, and maximum lot (parcel) coverage and minimum setback for existing buildings/structures.
All parcels created and remaining have existing adequate accessibility, or an area available therefore, to a public road for public utilities and emergency and other vehicles not less than the requirements of Chapter 1, Zoning, major thoroughfare plan, road ordinance or this chapter. In determining adequacy of accessibility, any ordinance standards applicable to plats shall also apply as a minimum standard whenever a parcel or tract is proposed to be divided to create four or more parcels.
The ratio of depth to width of any parcel created by the division or combination does not exceed a four-to-one ratio exclusive of access roads, easements, or nonbuildable parcels created under § 16-9 of this chapter and parcels added to contiguous parcels that result in all involved parcels complying with said ratio. The depth-to-width ratio requirements do not apply to a parcel larger than 10 acres and do not apply to the remainder of the parent parcel or tract retained by the proprietor. The permissible depth of a parcel created by a land division or combination shall be measured within the boundaries of each parcel from the abutting road right-of-way to the most remote boundary line point of the parcel from the point of commencement of the measurement.
In the absence of applicable zoning or other ordinances providing a different standard, all parcels created by a land division or combination shall comply with the minimum standards:
For platted lands, a minimum frontage of 125 feet on a public road or municipally approved private road, and for unplatted lands, said minimum shall be 200 feet. In the case of an approved driveway, the point at which the driveway accesses the parcel shall constitute the front of the parcel and shall be subject to an 83 feet front-yard setback, unless a greater setback is required by this or other applicable ordinance.
For platted lands, a minimum width at the building line of 125 feet and, for unplatted lands, a minimum width of 200 feet at the building line. For purposes of this chapter, "building line" shall mean a line parallel to the abutting roadway and/or lake frontage at a distance from either no closer than the minimum setback as set forth in Chapter 1, Zoning.
A minimum lot (parcel) area of 50,000 square feet regardless of whether the land is platted or unplatted.
In determining whether or not a lot (parcel) satisfies minimum area requirements, no area shall be ascribed to more than one principal building or use, and no area necessary for compliance with this space requirement for one principal building or use shall be included in calculations for any other building or use.
In the absence of applicable zoning or other ordinances providing a different standard, all parcels created by a land division or combination shall comply with the following minimum standards:
Where accessibility is to be provided by a proposed new dedicated public road, proof that the County Road Commission or Michigan Department of Transportation has approved the proposed layout and construction design of the road and of utility easements and drainage facilities connected therewith.
Where accessibility by vehicle traffic and for utilities is permitted through other than a dedicated and accepted public road or easement, such accessibility shall comply with the following:
Where such private road or easement extends for more than 660 feet from a dedicated public road, or is serving or intended to serve more than one separate parcel, unit or ownership, it shall be not less than 66 feet in right-of-way width, 24 feet in improved roadbed width with at least three feet of improved shoulder width on each side and adequate drainage ditches and necessary culverts on both sides to accumulate and contain surface waters from the road area. It shall further be improved with not less than six inches of a processed and stabilized gravel base over six inches of granular soil, have a grade of not more than 7%, and, if dead-ended, shall have a cul-de-sac with a radius of not less than 50 feet of improved roadbed for the accommodation of emergency, commercial and other vehicles.
Where the private road or easement is 660 feet or less in length, and is serving or intended to serve not more than four separate parcels, units or ownerships, it shall not be less than 40 feet in right-of-way width, 20 feet in improved roadbed width with at least two feet of improved shoulder width on each side, and adequate drainage ditches on both sides with necessary culverts to accommodate and contain surface waters from the road area. It shall further be improved with processed and stabilized graved and granular soil, have a grade of not more than 7%, and a cul-de-sac where dead-ended as specified in the prior subsection. If said private road or easement is serving or intended to serve more than four separate parcels, units or ownership, the right-of-way and development standards set forth in the prior subsection shall apply.
If accessibility is by a private road or easement, a document acceptable to the municipality shall be recorded with the Van Buren County Register of Deeds and filed with the Assessor or designee specifying the method of private-road financing of all maintenance, improvements, and snow removal, the apportionment of these costs among those benefited, and the right of the municipality to assess such costs against those properties benefited, plus a 25% administrative fee, and to perform such improvements in the event of a failure of those benefited to privately perform these duties for the health, safety and general welfare of the area.
Any intersection between private and public roads shall contain a clear vision triangular of not less than two feet along each right-of-way line as measured from the intersecting right-of-way lines.
No private road or easement shall extend for more than 1,000 feet from a public road.
No private road shall serve more than 25 separate parcels.
All public or private roads or driveways, as provided in the following subsection, shall have corrugated metal pipe (CMP) or corrugated plastic pipe (CPP) running perpendicular, or at any other such angle as may be necessary, under the roadway or driveway at any point where it crosses a stream, creek or ditch, with the intent being to accommodate the flow of the stream or creek, to provide drainage within the ditch and to support fire and other safety vehicles. Where the roadway or driveway crosses a low spot, such that the grade of the roadway or driveway would deviate from the 7% grade required, a CMP or CPP shall be installed of a size sufficient to bring the roadway or driveway back within the required grade.
In the event a division or combination under this chapter results in a single parcel intended for the construction of a single-family home, access to the home may be provided by a driveway developed solely for use and benefit of that parcel. The owners of adjacent parcels and the public at large shall not be allowed to use the driveway for roadway purposes without the owner or owners fully complying with other applicable terms of this chapter. When access to a parcel is provided by a driveway restricted to the sole use of that parcel, the driveway shall be 66 feet in width if longer than 660 feet in length and 40 feet in width if less than 660 feet in length. No driveway under this provision shall be longer than 1,000 feet in length. As a condition of approval, the landowner seeking the division or combination agrees to:
Fix the location of the driveway through or in reference to a survey.
Not move the driveway to a new or different location on the parcel or adjacent parcel without first providing a revised survey and otherwise complying with the terms of this chapter.
Improve the bed of the driveway to a width of not less than 12 feet if the length of the driveway is less than 660 feet and 16 feet if the length is more than 660 feet.
Improve the bed of the driveway with processed and stabilized gravel and granular soil, have a grade of not more than 7%, provide adequate drainage with, where necessary, ditches and culverts and a cul-de-sac with a radius of not less than 50 feet or a turnaround providing either equal or greater access. If the grade of the driveway appears to be in excess of 7%, the applicant shall provide the Township or its agent with satisfactory proof that the driveway is in compliance.
Allow no trees to grow in any part of or in the full width of the driveway, whether 66 feet or 40 feet depending upon the width required above, or to allow any other permanent or ongoing obstruction within the same.
Record an affidavit acknowledging that the driveway was created for the sole benefit of the newly divided or combined parcel and that the driveway shall not be used for access by owners of other parcels except upon improvement to public or private roadway standards. The affidavit shall reference the survey and locate the driveway with a legal description.
Lots not abutting an improved public or private roadway, but rather being serviced by a driveway alone, shall be 200 feet at the building line and shall comply with the minimum lot size except as to roadway frontage.
The foregoing provisions regarding public and private roads shall equally apply to lots created through those provisions of the Land Division Act known as "Assessor's Plats," presently MCLA §§ 560.201 to 560.213, except that, where a platted lot does not have direct access to a dedicated public or private road or assured permanent access, an easement over and across a platted lot or a portion of a platted lot within the Assessor's plat shall be deemed permissible, in such width and length and upon such terms and conditions as may be approved by the Lawrence Township Board of Trustees.
Notwithstanding disqualification from approval pursuant to this chapter, a proposed land division or combination that does not fully comply with the applicable lot, yard, accessibility and area requirements of Chapter 1, Zoning, or this chapter may be approved in any of the following circumstances:
Where the applicant executes and records an affidavit or deed restriction with the Van Buren County Register of Deeds, in a form acceptable to the municipality, designating the parcel as not buildable. Any such parcel shall also be designated as not buildable in the municipal records, and shall not thereafter be the subject of a request to the Zoning Board of Appeals for variance relief from the applicable lot and/or area requirements, and shall not be developed with any building or aboveground structure exceeding four feet in height.
Any parcel created in noncompliance with this chapter shall not be eligible for any building permits or zoning approvals, such as special land use approval or site plan approval, and shall not be recognized as a separate parcel on the assessment roll. In addition, violation of this chapter shall subject the violator to the penalties and enforcement actions set forth in § 16-11 of this chapter and as may otherwise be provided by law.
Any person found to have violated this chapter by a court of competent jurisdiction is responsible for a municipal civil infraction under Chapter 25, Municipal Civil Infractions, of the Code of the Township of Lawrence.
The provisions of this chapter are hereby declared to be severable, and if any clause, sentence, word, section or provision is declared void or unenforceable for any reason by any court of competent jurisdiction, it shall not affect any portion of this chapter other than said part or portion thereof.
All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict with this chapter are hereby repealed, except that this chapter shall not be construed to repeal any provision in the municipal zoning ordinance, subdivision control ordinance, or building code adopted or hereafter adopted in Lawrence Township.
This chapter shall take effect 30 days following its publication after its adoption.