Chapter 12: Administration
Table of Contents
Section 12.01: Enforcing Officials
An administrative official who shall be known as the Zoning Administrator shall be designated by the Townships’ Boards and the City of Fremont’s City Council to administer and enforce this Ordinance. Sheridan Charter Township, Dayton Township and the City of Fremont may each have a Zoning Administrator. This person may be assisted by other persons as may be directed by the Boards/Council. The Zoning Administrator may consult with building, legal, planning, engineering and other experts in coming to a determination or decision regarding administration and enforcement of this Ordinance.
When reference is made to the Zoning Administrator within this Zoning Ordinance, the intent is that each jurisdiction’s Zoning Administrator may carry out the function or responsibility.
In the exercise of their duties, the enforcing officials shall have authority provided by law for the enforcement of ordinances, including, but not by way of limitation, the authority to issue and serve civil infraction citations and civil infraction violation notices, as provided by Public Act No. 12 of 1994 (MCL 600.8701 et seq., MSA 27A.8701 et seq.) and this Ordinance, and for those purposes shall have the right to enter private premises as provided by law.
Section 12.02: Duties, Powers and Limitations
The Zoning Administrator shall have the power to grant zoning compliance and shall advise the designated Building Code official of the respective jurisdiction of zoning compliance prior to issuance of building permits. The Zoning Administrator shall make inspections of buildings or premises necessary to carry out his/her respective duties in the enforcement of this Ordinance.
No administrative official or department shall be permitted to make changes or vary the terms of this Ordinance in carrying out their duties.
Plot Plan: All requests for zoning compliance for projects not falling under the Site Plan Review requirements as outlined in
this Chapter shall be accompanied by plans and specifications including a copy of a plot plan, drawn to scale, showing, at a minimum, the following:
- The actual shape, location, dimensions and required setbacks of the lot.
- The shape, size, height and location of all buildings or other structures to be erected, altered or moved, and of any building or other structures already on the lot.
- The existing and intended use of the lot and of all structures upon it.
- Any other information concerning the lot or adjoining lots as may be necessary for determining whether the provisions of this Ordinance are being observed.
- Well and septic field locations, if applicable.
Permits: The Zoning Administrator shall have the authority to issue zoning compliance permits in accordance with the requirements of this Ordinance. The following shall apply in the approval of any zoning compliance under this Ordinance:
- Zoning compliance shall not be granted for the erection, alteration or use of any building or structure or part thereof, or for the use of any land, which is not in accordance with all sections of this Ordinance.
- No building or structure, or part thereof, shall be erected, altered, moved or repaired unless zoning compliance is approved and a building permit, if applicable, is issued by the designated Building Code official of the respective jurisdiction. The terms “altered” and “repaired” shall include any changes in structural parts; stairways; type of construction; type, class or kind of occupancy; light or ventilation; means of egress and ingress; or other changes affecting or regulated by the applicable Building Code, the housing law of the state, or this Ordinance, except for minor repairs or changes not involving any of the above features.
- It shall be unlawful to change the type of use of land, or to change the type of use or type of occupancy of any building, or to extend any use on any lot on which there is a non-conforming use, until the Zoning Administrator has determined the change to be in compliance with applicable provisions of this Ordinance and issues a zoning compliance permit.
- It shall be unlawful to commence expansion of, or construction of, any building or other structure, including an accessory building, or to commence the moving, alteration or repair of any structure, including accessory buildings exceeding two hundred (200) square feet in floor area, until the Zoning Administrator has determined the plans, specifications and intended use of such structure does in all respects conform to the provisions of this Ordinance.
- It shall be unlawful for the Zoning Administrator to approve any plans or issue a zoning compliance permit for any expansion or construction or use until the Zoning Administrator has inspected the plans in detail and found them in compliance with this Ordinance.
- Issuance of a zoning compliance permit shall in no case be construed as waiving any provision of this Ordinance.
- The Zoning Administrator shall not refuse to issue a permit when the applicant complies with conditions imposed by this Ordinance and all other applicable local, County and State regulations. Violations of contracts, such as private agreements and covenants, which may result upon the granting of the permit, are not cause for refusal to issue a permit.
- When the Zoning Administrator receives an application for a zoning compliance permit which requires Joint Planning Commission, Township Board/City Council or Joint Zoning Board of Appeals approvals, the Zoning Administrator shall so inform the applicant.
- A zoning compliance permit shall not be issued until all applicable fees, charges and expenses have been paid in full.
- Zoning permits shall be valid for a period of one year from date of approval. Extensions of up to one year may be granted by the Zoning Administrator when the proposed project will remain in compliance with the requirements of this Ordinance, as amended.
The Zoning Administrator is not allowed to grant exceptions to the actual meaning of any clause, order or regulation contained in the Ordinance to any person making application to expand, construct, move, alter or use either buildings, structures or land. The Zoning Administrator may not make changes to this Ordinance or vary the terms of this Ordinance in carrying out his/her duties.
The Zoning Administrator shall have the authority to make inspections of buildings or premises necessary to carry out his duties in the enforcement of the Ordinance.
The Zoning Administrator may accept a preliminary application and a fewer number of submitted documents than those required by this Ordinance in situations where basic clarification is desired before proceeding with the further technical work; and the Zoning Administrator may on a preliminary submittal indicate tentative denial or tentative approval.
The Zoning Administrator shall keep records of all zoning inspections, applications, and permits issued, with a notation of all special conditions involved. The Zoning Administrator shall file and safely keep copies of all plans, and records of any fees submitted with applications.
The Zoning Administrator will inspect all new construction or alterations after footings are placed and shall make such additional inspections as he/she deems necessary. The Zoning Administrator shall make periodic inspections of the Fremont Community to ascertain that the requirements of this Ordinance are being complied with. No person shall refuse to permit the Zoning Administrator to inspect any premises at reasonable times nor shall any person molest or resist the Zoning Administrator in the discharge of his/her duties.
Upon completion of any project for the construction, erection, alteration, repair or moving of any building, structure, or part thereof for which zoning compliance is required, the Zoning Administrator shall have the right to inspect the premises for zoning compliance.
Existing Buildings and Uses
- A zoning compliance review shall be required for a change of use or occupancy of existing buildings, structures, or parts thereof.
- A zoning compliance approval shall be obtained before there is any change of use or modification of an existing use of a building or land, or part thereof, if any additional parking is required for the new or modified use.
- If additional parking is required, it shall be provided. In addition, all requirements of this Ordinance for improving property that are reasonably related to providing the additional parking shall be made.
- Paving of the entire parking area, as otherwise provided by this Ordinance, shall not be required if the existing parking area is not paved and the number of the additional required parking spaces does not exceed the number of parking spaces existing on the property by more than twenty-five percent (25%).
- The Zoning Administrator may require Site Plan Review or Zoning Compliance Review for changes to existing buildings and uses in sufficient detail as may be required to show compliance with this Ordinance.
- Where not otherwise specified in this Ordinance, the Zoning Administrator shall have discretion to determine what requirements of this Ordinance shall apply to changes in existing uses and buildings.
- No use or structure shall be used or occupied until all on-site improvements required by the approved site plan and this Ordinance are constructed, installed, or placed on the property in accordance with said site plan and this Ordinance.
Section 12.03: Violations and Enforcement
A violation of this Ordinance constitutes a civil infraction. Any person who violates, disobeys, omits, neglects or refuses to comply with any provision of this Ordinance, or any permit or approval issued hereunder, or any amendment thereof, or any person who knowingly or intentionally aids or abets another person in violation of this Ordinance, shall be in violation of this Ordinance and shall be subject to the remedies allowed in this Ordinance.
The Zoning Administrator shall investigate any alleged violation of the Zoning Ordinance coming to his/her attention and shall pro-actively monitor the Fremont community to ensure adherence to the regulations in the Zoning Ordinance. If a violation is found to exist, he/she shall provide written notice to the person responsible for such violation, indicating the nature of the violation and stating the action necessary to correct it. If said owner fails to act diligently to correct said violation within 14 days of notification, the Zoning Administrator shall deem the violation one that constitutes a civil infraction.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this Ordinance, who is served with a civil infraction citation, shall, upon determination or admission of responsibility, be subject to a civil fine as outlined in the current fee schedule as set by the FCJPC and approved by the Township Boards and the City Council.
For the purposes of this Section, “subsequent offense” means a violation of the provisions of this Ordinance committed by the same person within twelve (12) months of a previous violation of the same provision of this Ordinance or similar provision of this Ordinance for which the person admitted responsibility or was adjudged to be responsible. Each day during which any violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense. A separate offense shall be deemed committed upon each day during or when a violation of this Ordinance occurs or continues. The rights and remedies provided in this Ordinance are cumulative and in addition to any other remedies provided by law. After an offense has been corrected or there is a new property owner, proceedings may begin again to remedy any alleged offense.
Buildings erected, altered, razed or converted, or uses carried on in violation of any section of this Ordinance or in violation of any regulations made under the authority of the Zoning Enabling Act are hereby declared to be a nuisance per se. In addition to other remedies, the relevant jurisdiction may commence and prosecute appropriate actions or proceedings in a court of competent jurisdiction to restrain or prevent any noncompliance with or violation of any of the sections in this Ordinance or to correct, remedy or abate any noncompliance or violation.
Forbearance in enforcement of this Ordinance shall not be deemed to condone any violation thereof.
Section 12.04: Stop Work Orders
Upon notice from the Zoning Administrator that any use is being conducted or that any work on any building or structure is proceeding contrary to the provisions of this Ordinance, such work or use shall be immediately stopped. The stop work order shall be in writing and shall be given to the owner of the property involved, to the owner’s agent, or to the person doing the work and shall state the conditions, if any, under which work or the use will be permitted to resume.
Any person who shall continue to work in or about the structure, land or building or use it after having been served with a stop work order, except work that the person is directed to perform to remove a violation, shall be in violation of this Ordinance.
Section 12.05: Fees
Applications for an amendment to this Ordinance, site plan review, review of a Special Land Use, zoning compliance, request for a variance, or other action pursuant to the regulations set forth in this Ordinance shall be subject to and accompanied by a fee as established by resolution by the Township Boards and the City Council. In addition, the FCJPC may require, subject to approval of the Township Boards and the City Council, deposit for the costs of review of applications, in accordance with an escrow policy adopted by resolution. The assessment and payment of application fees does not affect the requirements for a performance guarantee.
Section 12.06: Performance Guarantee
As a condition of approval of a Planned Unit Development, (PUD), Special Land Use, Site Plan Review, variance, or other approvals authorized by this Ordinance, the participating municipalities, the Joint Planning Commission, the Joint Zoning Board of Appeals or the Zoning Administrator may require a performance guarantee of sufficient sum to assure the installation of those features or components of the approved activity or construction which are considered necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public and of users or inhabitants of the proposed project.
The features or components, hereafter referred to as “improvements”, may include, but shall not be limited to, survey monuments and irons, streets, curbing, landscaping, fencing, walls, screening, lighting, drainage facilities, sidewalks, paving, driveways, utilities, and similar items.
Performance guarantees shall be processed in the following manner:
- Prior to the issuance of a zoning permit, the applicant or their agent shall submit an itemized cost estimate of the required improvements that are subject to the performance guarantee, which shall then be reviewed and approved by the Zoning Administrator.
- The amount of the performance guarantee shall be not more than one hundred percent (100%) of the cost of purchasing of materials and installation of the required improvements, including the cost of necessary engineering and inspection costs and a reasonable amount for contingencies.
- The required performance guarantee shall be payable to the jurisdiction in which the subject property is located and may be in the form of a cash deposit, certified check, irrevocable bank letter of credit, or surety guarantee acceptable to the applicable jurisdiction.
- Upon receipt of the required performance guarantees, the Zoning Administrator shall issue a zoning permit for the subject development or activity, provided it is in compliance with all other applicable provisions of this Ordinance and other applicable requirements of the municipality in which the property is located.
- The Zoning Administrator, upon the written request of the obligor, shall rebate portions of the performance guarantee upon determination that the improvements for which the rebate has been requested have been satisfactorily completed. A portion of the performance guarantee shall be rebated in the same proportion as stated in the itemized cost estimate for the applicable improvements.
- When all of the required improvements have been completed, the obligor shall send written notice to the Zoning Administrator of completion of the improvements. Thereupon, the Zoning Administrator shall inspect all of the improvements and approve, partially approve, or reject the improvements with a statement of the reasons for any rejections.
- If partial approval is granted, the cost of the improvement rejected shall be set forth. Where partial approval is granted, the obligor shall be released from liability pursuant to relevant portions of the performance guarantee, except for that portion sufficient to secure completion of the improvements not yet approved.
- The Zoning Administrator shall maintain a record of required performance guarantees.
Section 12.07: Certificate of Occupancy
A certificate of occupancy shall be obtained before any person occupies, uses or causes to be occupied or used, any land, building or part thereof where:
- A building permit is required.
- A site plan is required for the improvement of land.
- A new use of a different zoning classification is commenced, such as changing a nonconforming use to a conforming use.
Unless zoning compliance, building permit(s) and/or a certificate of occupancy is otherwise required by this Section, a change of occupancy or use of any land, building or part thereof may be made without obtaining a certificate of occupancy.