Chapter 1: Title, Legal Basis, Purpose and Scope
Table of Contents
Section 1.01: Title
This Ordinance shall be known and may be cited as the “Fremont Community Joint Zoning Ordinance”, “this Ordinance”, “the Ordinance”, “the FCJZO”, or phrased in similar fashion. In all cases, such terms and phrases shall refer to the “Fremont Community Joint Zoning Ordinance”.
Section 1.02: Legal Basis
This Ordinance is enacted pursuant to Public Act 110 of 2006, being the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act, as amended.
Section 1.03: Purpose and Intent
The zoning districts established by this Ordinance and the regulations specified for each such district have been developed in accordance with the formulation of the “Fremont Community Joint Comprehensive and Growth Management Plan” for the physical development of the Fremont community as part of Newaygo County.
Among other purposes, the Fremont Community Joint Zoning Ordinance is designed to foster a vibrant community through a lively mix of uses, with shop fronts, cafes and other commercial uses with upper story residences and offices in the downtown area, and additional commercial and industrial development in appropriate nearby locations. The core area will also incorporate and be surrounded by residential neighborhoods and individual homesteads, with agricultural uses bordering the central community.
In addition, the Ordinance is designed to ensure safety from fire and other dangers; to reduce excessive public costs which result from unguided community development; to avoid undue concentration of population by regulating and limiting the density of use of land; to lessen congestion on public highways and streets; to provide educational and recreational facilities, sewerage, drainage and water supply systems while avoiding the installation of such utility services in locations not adjacent to existing services; and to enhance the social and economical stability of the Fremont community.
The Fremont Community Joint Zoning Ordinance is a traditional zoning ordinance with some form-based* districts. The chapters of the Joint Zoning Ordinance that outline the form-based districts include provisions related to more specific design requirements. The primary advantage of design-oriented codes is that they are “prescriptive” outlining specifically what is expected of new design in each area and thus are likely to be better understood by the public, decision makers, and project professionals. These elements promote the ten tenets of Smart Growth, which are as follows:
Ten Tenets of Smart Growth
Create a Range of Housing Options
Create Walkable Communities
Encourage Community and Stakeholder Collaboration in Development Decisions
Foster Distinctive, Attractive Communities with a Strong Sense of Place
Make Development Decisions Predictable, Fair and Cost Effective
Mix Land Uses
Preserve Open Space, Farmland, Natural Beauty and Critical Environmental Areas
Provide a Variety of Transportation Options
Strengthen and Direct Development towards Existing Communities
Take Advantage of Compact Building Design
*Note: The form-based zoning districts are as follows:
- Downtown Commercial District (C-1)
- Urban Commercial District (C-2)
- Estate Residential District (R-3)
- Neighborhood Residential District (R-4)
- Mixed Use District (O-MU)
The Fremont Community Joint Zoning Ordinance regulates land development by setting careful and coherent controls on building form while employing more flexible parameters relative to building use and density. This greater emphasis on physical form is intended to produce safe, attractive and enjoyable public spaces (good streets, neighborhoods and parks) complemented with a vibrant and viable mix of uses. With proper urban form, a greater integration of building uses is natural and comfortable. The Ordinance uses simple and clear graphic prescriptions and parameters for height, siting and building elements to address the basic necessities for forming attractive public space.
The State of Michigan has declared through the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act, Act 110 of 2006 and by reference the Fremont community also hereby declares that the purposes of zoning are:
- To promote public health, safety and welfare;
- To encourage the use of lands in accordance with their character and adaptability;
- To limit the improper use of land;
- To conserve natural resources and energy;
- To meet the needs of state’s residents for food, fiber and other natural resources, places of residence, recreation, industry, trade, service and other uses of land;
- To ensure that uses of the land shall be situated in appropriate locations and relationships;
- To avoid the overcrowding of population;
- To provide adequate light and air;
- To lessen congestion on the public roads and streets;
- To reduce hazards to life and property;
- To facilitate adequate provision for a system of transportation, sewage disposal, safe and adequate water supply, education, recreation, and other public requirements; and
- To conserve the expenditure of funds for public improvements and services to conform with the most advantageous uses of land, resources and properties.
This Ordinance is adopted with reasonable consideration, among other things, to the character of each district, its peculiar suitability for particular uses, the conservation of property values and natural resources, and the general and appropriate trend and character of land, building and population development.
Section 1.04: Zoning Map
The Zoning Map entitled, “Fremont Community Zoning Composite Map – Includes the City of Fremont, Dayton Township and Sheridan Charter Township” depicts the Zoning Districts of this Ordinance, including Form-based Zoning Districts, Overlay Districts and Traditional Districts.
The boundaries of these classifications are hereby established as shown on the zoning map, which is incorporated into and made a part of this Ordinance and kept current by the Zoning Administrator.
Where uncertainly exists as to the boundaries of classifications as shown on the official zoning map, the following rules apply:
- Boundaries indicated as approximately following the centerlines of streets, highways or alleys shall be construed to follow those centerlines;
- Boundaries indicated as approximately following platted lot lines shall be construed as following the lot lines;
- Boundaries indicated as approximately following City limits shall be construed as following City limits;
- Boundaries indicated as approximately following Township limits shall be construed as following Township limits;
- Boundaries indicated as following natural features or shorelines shall be construed as following those features or shorelines, and in the event of change in either shall be construed as moving with the features or shoreline.
- In circumstances not covered by subsections a through e above, the Zoning Administrator shall interpret the boundaries.
If, in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter and the Zoning Enabling Act, changes are made in a Zoning District or Special District boundary or other matter portrayed on the official zoning map, those changes shall be entered on the official zoning map promptly after the amendment has been approved by all participating municipality.
In every case where property has not been specifically included within a district, the same is hereby declared to be in the Neighborhood Residential District. Provided, however, that where property annexed to the City or a participating Township has been restricted by previous City, Township or Fremont Community Joint Planning Commission zoning provisions or intergovernmental agreement, those provisions shall apply pending the adoption of Fremont Community zoning regulations for the property in the manner prescribed by law.
Overall, the purposes of the Districts are to:
- Allow a mixture of complementary land uses that may include housing, retail, offices, commercial services, and civic uses; create economic and social vitality; and encourage the linking of trips;
- Develop commercial and mixed-use areas that are safe, comfortable and attractive to pedestrians;
- Provide flexibility in the siting and design of new developments and redevelopment to anticipate changes in the marketplace;
- Reinforce streets as public places that encourage pedestrian and bicycle travel;
- Provide roadway and pedestrian connections to residential areas;
- Provide transitions between high traffic streets and neighborhoods;
- Encourage efficient land use by facilitating compact, high density development and minimizing the amount of land needed for surface parking;
- Provide appropriate locations and design standards for automobile- and truck-dependent uses;
- Maintain effective traffic flow along state trunk lines and safety for all streets/roads;
- Encourage Smart Growth; and
- Preserve Agricultural lands; open space.
Section 1.05: Scope
Except as otherwise provided for in this Ordinance, every building and structure erected; every use of any lot, building, or structure established; every structural alteration or relocation of an existing building or structure; and every enlargement of, or addition to, an existing use, building or structure occurring after the effective date of this Ordinance, shall be subject to this Ordinance.
In its interpretation and application, the provisions of this Ordinance shall be held to be minimum requirements adopted for the promotion of the public health, safety, comfort, convenience, or general welfare. It is not intended by this Ordinance to impair or interfere with any other existing provision of law or ordinance. However, where this Ordinance imposes a greater restriction than is required by existing Ordinance or by rules, regulations, or permits, the provisions of this Ordinance shall control.
Except as otherwise noted in this Ordinance, nothing in this Ordinance shall be interpreted or construed to give rise to any permanent vested rights in the continuation of any particular use, district, zoning classification, or any permissible activities therein; and all rights are hereby declared to be subject to such subsequent amendment, change or modification hereof as may be necessary for the preservation or protection of public health, safety and welfare.
The right to continue a land use or activity or construct a building or structure which is either permitted by Ordinance or established as a non-conformity shall be vested with the property rather than the owner. No rights shall be terminated for reasons of transfer of ownership. The right to continue a land use or activity shall transfer automatically upon the conveyance of the property unless terminated pursuant to the section of the “General Provisions” Chapter of this Ordinance dealing with “Nonconformity”.
Section 1.06: Validity and Severability
If any court of competent jurisdiction shall declare any part of this Ordinance to be invalid, such ruling shall not affect any provisions of this Ordinance not specifically included in said ruling. Further, if any court of competent jurisdiction shall declare invalid the application of any provision of this Ordinance to a particular parcel, lot, use, building or structure, such ruling shall not affect the application of said provision to any other parcel, lot, use, building or structure not specifically included in said ruling.
Section 1.07: Effective Date
This Ordinance shall become effective after the last of the participating governmental units vote to adopt it and 10 days after the expiration of the publication notice of its adoption in a newspaper of general circulation in the Fremont community following the approval of the last of the following governmental units’ adoption of the Ordinance: Dayton Township Board, the Sheridan Charter Township Board and the Fremont City Council.
Section 1.08: Repeal of Prior Ordinances
The Charter Township of Sheridan Zoning Ordinance adopted by the Sheridan Charter Township Board on August 21, 2007, and effective on September 5, 2007, as amended, and any prior zoning ordinances of the Charter Township of Sheridan are hereby repealed effective coincident with the effective date of this Ordinance. The Township of Dayton Zoning Ordinance adopted by the Dayton Township Board on March 12, 1985, and effective on April 27, 1985, as amended, and any prior zoning ordinances of the Township of Dayton are hereby repealed effective coincident with the effective date of this Ordinance.
The City of Fremont Zoning Ordinance adopted by the Fremont City Council on September 17, 2007, and effective on October 6, 2007, as amended, and any prior zoning ordinances of the City of Fremont are hereby repealed effective coincident with the effective date of this Ordinance.
The repeal of said ordinances shall not have the effect of releasing or relinquishing any penalty, forfeiture or liability incurred under said ordinance, or any part thereof, and said ordinance shall be treated as still remaining in force for the purpose of instituting or sustaining any proper action for the enforcement of such penalty, forfeiture or liability.
Conditions which have been attached to land, buildings, structures, and uses resulting from actions under prior ordinances shall remain in effect unless specifically waived by this Ordinance, or through proper amendment, subject to the requirements of this Ordinance.