Article II – Definitions


Unless the context specifically indicates otherwise, this meaning of terms used in This Ordinance shall be as follows:


Agriculture: The art and science of cultivating the ground for the production of crops (including forestry) and livestock.

Antenna Array: One or more rods (omni-directional), panels (directional antenna), discs (parabolic antenna) or similar devices used for transmission or reception of radio frequency signals, not including the support structure.

Architecture Element: The pattern or configuration of elements in something, that is chiefly decorative or ornamental.

Barrier Setback: The distance between units in site condominiums.

Basement: The lowest story of a building or the one just below the main floor, usually wholly or partially lower than the surface of the ground.

Bed & Breakfast Establishments: An owner occupied and managed dwelling wherein a maximum of three (3) bedrooms are available for guest use for compensation and by pre-arrangement. (See also Home Occupation.) A Continental Breakfast may be served.

Boat House: Any structure, either temporary or permanent, having a roof and used for the shelter or enclosure of a boat or boats, and the equipment and supplies for such boat or boats. A Boat House, which is permitted only by virtue of the provisions of 5 4.13 of This Ordinance, may not have living quarters or be used for any purpose other than that stated in this definition, when it is located in any residential zoning district.

Boating Facilities: Structures which now exist or may be built, as part of a marina, at the waters edge or over the water but only if they are intended to house a boat or its components for service work, including the service facilities, or to secure and protect boats from weather. Such facilities may include piers and docks.

Building: Any structure either temporary or permanent, having a roof and used or built for the shelter or enclosure of persons, chattels, or property of any kind. This shall include vehicles, whether mounted on wheels or not and situated on private property and used for purposes of a building.

Business Use: The use of land and/or buildings and/or structures of any kind for the manufacture or sale of goods or services of any kind for sale to the public.

Campground: A parcel or tract of land under control of a person or business entity in which sites are offered for the use of the public or members of an organization, either free of charge or for a fee, for the establishment of temporary living quarters for recreation. Campground does not include a seasonal mobile home park licensed under the mobile home commission act, 1987 PA 96, MCL 125.2301 to 125.2349. All campgrounds must meet state regulations and requirements regardless of size.

Central Septic System: A health department approved septic system that services two or more residential units.

Church/Temple: A Building or place set apart for and devoted to the holding of religious services or exercises or public worship; a church or chapel, or a place similarly used.

Club: An organization catering exclusively to members and their guests, or premises and buildings for recreational, artistic, political or social purposes, which are not conducted primarily for gain and which do not provide merchandising, vending, or commercial activities except as required incidentally for the membership and purpose of such club.

Co-location/Site Sharing: The use of a wireless telecommunications facility by more than one wireless telecommunications provider.

Clustered Housing Zoning Option: A residential development option that allows for variations in development regulations (development standards) in order to permanently preserve open space, encourage continued agricultural activities and retain the Township’s rural character.

Cottage: Any building or structure which is maintained, offered or used for dwelling or sleeping quarters for transients, or for temporary residence, but shall not include what are commonly designated as hotels, lodgings, houses, touring homes or motels.

Clinic: An establishment where patients who are not lodged overnight are admitted for examination and treatment by a physician or a group of physicians practicing medicine, dentistry or osteopathy together.

Commercial Garage: A building or portion thereof, other than a private or storage garage, designed or used for equipping, servicing, repairing, hiring, selling or storing motor driven vehicles.

Dedicated Open Space: That part of a Clustered Housing site or parcel which is dedicated to permanent recreation, agricultural, wildlife management and open space uses pursuant to an irrevocable conveyance.

Development: Any improvement in the form of buildings or structures on any parcel of land.

Districts: Shall mean a section or sections of the Township of Glen Arbor for which the Zoning regulations governing the use of buildings and premises, the height and size of buildings, size of yards, and the intensity of use are uniform.

Driveway: A passage along which vehicles or animals may be driven.

Dwelling: Any building or part thereof, occupied as the home, residence or sleeping place of one or more persons either permanently or transiently, except automobile trailers or cabins.

Easement: A right or privilege that a person or persons may use another’s land.

Erected: Includes built, constructed, reconstructed, moved upon or any physical operations on the land required for the building. Excavations, fill, drainage and the like shall be considered a part of erection.

Family: Any number of individuals living together and cooking together on the premises as a single non-profit housekeeping unit, as distinguished from a group occupying a hotel, club or similar structure, together with all necessary employees of the family.

Farm: A tract of land devoted to agriculture for the production, use and/or sale of crops; for raising and/or sale of livestock and their products; for processing and/or sale of forestry products; for grazing and for other things and/or uses not named for which such lands are generally used.

Farm buildings: any and all buildings, structures, or land uses required for the operation of a farm, including dwelling units used exclusively for residential purposes, barns, poultry houses, silos, storage structures for hay, grains, vegetables, dairy products, fruit and other products produced, machinery, tools, and other accessory structures not specifically mentioned but needed for the proper and efficient operation of a farm.

Flea Market: A place where merchandise, consisting principally, if not completely, of used merchandise, is sold by two or more persons, each selling their own merchandise, whether owned by them or sold on commission or consignment to them.

Flood Plain: Means a land area adjoining a river, stream, watercourse, ocean, bay or lake which is likely to be flooded.

Food Service Establishment: – All businesses serving food of any kind for on premises consumption. Includes restaurants, taverns, bars, bakeries, snack bars, and food trucks.

Footprint: The extreme outer dimensions of roof line, walls, porches and shape of any structure.

Golf Course: An area of land laid out for the game of golf with a series of nine (9) or eighteen (18) holes, including practice areas, tees, fairways, greens and natural or artificial hazards with or without related facilities including a pro shop; a clubhouse with or without managerial offices, locker rooms, fitness areas, meeting rooms, storage space and food and beverage service facilities; a snack bar, a cart building; a maintenance building; and, buildings for accessory uses such as but not limited to shelters and rest areas.

Hardship: Unnecessary and illogical deprivation of an individual’s property rights as enjoyed by others in the same Zoning District.

Height: Vertical distance measured from the finished grade to the highest point of the roof. If the building is located on sloping terrain, the height shall be half the vertical distance measured from the finished grade of the wall furthest downhill to the highest point of the roof, plus half of the vertical distance measured from the finished grade of the wall furthest uphill to the highest point of the roof.

Highway: Any public thoroughfare, except alleys, in the Leelanau County, Glen Arbor Township road system, including Federal, State and County roads.

Home Occupation: A gainful occupation, including Bed & Breakfast establishments, conducted primarily by members of the family, within its place of residence, provided that space used is incidental or secondary to residential use, and that no article is sold or offered for sale except such as is produced by such occupation.

Hotel (or Inn): A building where lodging with or without meals is furnished to transient or resident guests for compensation, containing more than four (4) sleeping rooms and having no cooking facilities in any individual lodging, but wherein a restaurant may or may not be located.

Industrial: A building or structure housing a manufacturing process.

Institution: Schools, churches, mosques, libraries, community centers, other educational institutions or religious institutions of a nonprofit nature.

Irrevocable Conveyance: The conveyance of rights to the use and/or protection of open space and agricultural lands to the dwelling owners or the public by means of conservation easements, restrictive covenants, deed restrictions, or the transfer by a deed to the Township.

Junk: Any type of waste materials, refuse or equipment no longer useful to the degree for which it was originally intended, which yet may or may not have some salvage value.

Lodge: A structure for use as a meeting place for members of private clubs, lodges and other non-profit fraternal or religious organizations.

Lot: The parcel of land on which one (1) principal building and its accessories are placed, together with the open space required by This Ordinance.

Lot of Record: A parcel of land, the dimensions of which are shown on a document or map on file with the County Register of Deeds or in common use by County and Community Officials and which actually exists as shown, or any part of such parcel held in a record ownership separate from that of the remainder thereof.

Marina: A boat basin providing dockage, supplies, sales and services for watercraft.

Mixed Use: A balance of commercial and residential uses contributing to a development’s success, as well as supporting the local economy. Typically, this is a multi-story building with retail, service, or office space on the ground floor and residences above.

Monopole: A support structure constructed of a single, self-supported hollow metal tube securely anchored to a foundation.
Motel: Shall mean a building or group of buildings having units containing sleeping accommodations only which are available for temporary occupancy primarily for automobile transients.

Museum: A structure or part of a structure used for the acquisition, preservation, study and exhibition of works of artistic, historical or scientific value which may offer:
Programs of cultural, educational or recreational nature to interest and improve mind and body.
A shop selling museum related goods, occupying up to ten percent of floor space but no more than 600 square feet excluding storage.

Multiple Family Dwelling: A building or portion thereof containing two (2) or more dwelling units designed for, or occupied as, the home of two or more families living independently of each other. This definition includes apartment buildings, cooperatives, and condominiums having a minimum of 480 square feet of living area for each unit exclusive of porches, attached garages, patios, etc., with a minimum core dimension of 20 feet.

New Construction: Construction of any structure, or an addition to any existing structure.

Non-Conforming Building Lot: A building lot platted before the effective date (October 22, 1975) of This Ordinance or amendments thereafter, which does not conform to the ordinance requirements of the zoning district in which it is located.

Non-Conforming Addition: A new addition to a conforming or non-conforming building or structure, which addition is non-conforming due to dimensional, location or other applicable characteristics.

Non-Conforming Structure: A structure built before the effective date of This Ordinance (October 22, 1975), or amendments thereafter, or authorized by variance, which does not conform to the ordinance requirements of the zoning district in which it is located. A structure may be non-conforming with the respect to set back, height, ratio of floor area to lot size, or other applicable characteristics.
Non-Conforming Use/Activity: Any use/activity lawfully carried on prior to the effective date of This Ordinance (October 22, 1975) or amendments thereafter, or authorized by variance, which is not specifically allowed within the zoning district where it is located.

Non-riparian: Property that does not border a waterbody or watercourse. Non-riparian property typically cannot acquire riparian rights through acquisition of a riparian lot or an interest in a riparian lot.

Nursing Home: Home for the aged, convalescent, chronically ill or incurable persons in which three or more persons not of immediate family are received, kept or provided with food, or shelter and care for compensation, but not including hospitals, clinics or similar businesses devoted primarily to the diagnosis, treatment or care of the sick or injured.

Open Space Ratio: The portion of a Lot which is required by This Ordinance to remain as open space. The open space ration shall be expressed as a percentage which shall designate the portion of the Lot which is to remain as open space. Open space excludes areas covered by buildings, by paved or graveled road for parking surfaces, and by public road rights-of-way. Open Space includes natural areas of undisturbed vegetation, areas replanted with vegetation after construction, agricultural uses, garden plats, lawns, and recreation areas including golf courses, play lots, tennis courts, swimming pools, ball fields, bike paths, cart paths, foot paths, ski trails, bridle trails and similar uses.

Ordinary High Water Mark: The line between upland and bottomland which persists through successive changes in water levels below which the presence and action of the water is so common or recurrent that the character of the land is marked distinctly from the upland and is apparent in the soil itself, the configuration of the surface of the soil, and the vegetation. Pursuant to the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, Public Act 451 of 1994, Part 325, formerly the Great Lakes Submerged Lands Act, P.A. 247 of 1955, as amended, the ordinary high water mark for Lake Michigan is 580.5 feet above sea level, International Great Lakes Datum of 1985 and for Big and Little Glen Lake is 596.75 feet above sea level.

Organization: nonprofit organization

Park: Park is any publicly owned recreational area or facility.

Plot Plan: The drawings and documents depicting and explaining all salient features of a proposed development that requires a land use permit.

Private Garage: An enclosed building or semi-open carport designed for storing automobiles together with garden tools and equipment, etc.

Public Utility: Any person, firm, corporation, municipal department or board duly authorized to furnish, and furnishing, under government regulation, to the public, transportation, water, gas, electricity, telephone, steam, telegraph or sewage disposal and other services.

Riparian: Refers to property that borders a lake, river or stream.

Residence: A dwelling that is designed and built for human occupancy. The dwelling must have a minimum of 480 sq. ft. and a minimum core dimension of 20 feet by 20 feet (400 sq. ft.) The dwelling must have a bedroom, full bath, kitchen/dining area, and a living room. A residence may be occupied full or part time and is often referred to as a home, house, apartment, condominium, modular home, or mobile home.

Recreational Unit: A tent or vehicular-type structure, primarily designed as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, or travel use, which either has its own motive power or is mounted on or drawn by another vehicle which is self-powered. A tent means a collapsible shelter of canvas or other fabric stretched and sustained by poles and used for camping outdoors.
Residential Component: That part of a Clustered Housing site, exclusive of dedicated open space, which is dedicated to residential and customary accessory uses.

Restaurant: A business located in a building where, in consideration of the payment of money, meals are habitually prepared, sold and served to persons for consumption on or off the premises, having suitable kitchen facilities connected therewith containing conveniences for cooking an assortment of foods which may be required for ordinary meals, and deriving a portion of the receipts from the sale of food.

Retail Store: A store, market or shop in which commodities are sold, or offered for sale, in small or large quantities to the retail trade.

Ridge Line: A continuous long and narrow elevation of land which is the highest elevation in the immediate area observed from 1000 feet or less from either side of the ridge.

Roadside Stands: Shall mean any accessory structure or building, but expressly prohibits vehicles, located along the highway, (SECTION IX.6), used or intended to be used solely for the purpose of the sale of seasonal farm products, situated upon or adjacent to lands used for farming in conjunction with a single family residence.

Rooming House: Primarily a family dwelling where lodging with or without meals is furnished on a weekly, monthly or any paying basis to three or more persons who are not members of the family occupying and operating the premises, but not necessarily to anyone who may apply.

School: As determined via Blacks dictionary.

1) An institution of learning and education, esp. for children. “Although the word ‘school’ in its broad sense includes all schools or institutions, whether of high or low degree, the word ‘school’ frequently has been defined in constitutions and statutes as referring only to the public common schools generally established throughout the United States. When used in a statute or other contract, ‘school’ usually does not include universities, business colleges, or other institutions of higher education unless the intent to include such institutions is clearly indicated.” 68 Am. Jur. 2d Schools § 1, at 355 (1993)
2) The Collective Body of students under instruction in an institution of learning.

3) A group of people adhering to the same philosophy or system of beliefs.

Service business: A store, market or shop in which services are sold, or offered for sale, to the public such as gasoline stations, garages, repair shops, laundries, warehouses, printing houses, undertaking establishments, barber shops and beauty parlors, etc.

Set-back from edge of pavement: Shall mean the distance from a structure, measured from drip line or eave edge, to the right-of-way of a highway, road, or ingress/egress easement.

Set-back lines: Shall mean lines established parallel to a property line along highway or waters edge for the purpose of defining limits within which no structure or any part thereof, measured from drip line or eave edge, shall be erected or permanently maintained.

Single Family Dwelling: A building or portion thereof containing one dwelling unit and designed for, or occupied by, only one family and having not less than 480 square feet of ground floor living area, exclusive of porches, attached garages, patios, etc., with a minimum core dimension of 20 feet.

Site Plan: A plan showing all salient features of a proposed development, so that it may be evaluated in order to determine whether it meets the provisions of this Ordinance. A plot plan depicts a subset of the information required by this Ordinance for a site plan.

Street: A thoroughfare which affords a principal means of access to abutting property.

Structure: Any constructed or erected material or combination of materials built or placed in or upon the ground including: buildings, dwellings, garages, sheds, storage bins, decks, fences, signs, towers, or other like objects; but excluding, driveways, parking areas, sidewalks, boardwalks, at grade patios, steps, retaining walls, docks, flagpoles, mailboxes and other similar objects.

Tower Height: The average distance as calculated by the average ground level twelve feet around the proposed site to the highest point of the WCF, including antenna array.

Trailer Homes: Any house car, house trailer or camper trailer or similar unit used or so constructed as to permit it to be used as a seasonal or vacation type home for sleeping or housekeeping by one (1) or more persons.

Unit: 1) A building site or apartment in a condominium or, 2) a structure in a subdivision.

Use: The purpose for which land or a building thereon is designed, arranged or intended to be occupied or used or which is occupied or maintained.

Used: The word “used” includes “arranged”, “designed”, or “intended to be used”.

Variance: A modification of the literal provisions of This Ordinance granted when strict enforcement thereof would cause undue hardship owing to circumstances unique to the specific property on which the modification is granted by the Board of Appeals on Zoning.

Water’s Edge: Shall mean the ordinary high water mark along the shore of Lake Michigan, as reported by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, or the edge of the water along all other bodies of water. Man made bodies of water are exempt from the provisions of this ordinance.

Wildlife Habitat: – Habitat that consists of natural and indigenous plant materials which support animal feeding, breeding and nesting and may define wildlife corridors and paths.

Wireless Communication Equipment Shelter: The structure in which the electronic receiving, transmitting and relay equipment for wireless telecommunications facility is housed.

Wireless Communication Facility (WCF): Any unstaffed facility for the transmission and/or reception of wireless telecommunications services, usually consisting of an antenna array, connection cables, an equipment facility and a support structure to achieve the necessary elevation.

Wireless Communication Tower (WCT): Any structure designed specifically to support equipment used to transmit and/or receive telecommunication signals including monopoles, guyed and lattice construction steel structures.

Wireless Communications: Any personal wireless services as defined in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, including FCC licensed commercial wireless telecommunications services including cellular, personal communication services, specialized mobile radios, enhanced specialized mobile radios, paging and similar services that currently exists or that may be developed in the future

Yard: The area of any lot not supporting any building. Yard measurement shall be the minimum horizontal distances.

A. Front Yard: A yard extending the full width of the lot between the front lot line (highway frontage) and the nearest line of the main building.

B. Rear Yard: A yard extending a full width of the lot between the rear lot line (or water’s edge) and the nearest line of the main building.

C. Side Yard: A yard extending from front yard to the rear yard between the side lot line and the nearest line of the main building or accessory building.

Zoning Administrator: An employee of the Township charged with the enforcement of this Ordinance. For purposes of this ordinance, the Zoning Administrator may be one or several persons, employed on a full-time, part-time, temporary, or as-needed basis fulfilling one or more of the duties of the position as described in this Ordinance, especially ARTICLE XIII.



Any words requiring special interpretation and not listed above shall be used as defined in the Housing Law of Michigan, Act 167, of the Public Acts of 1917, as amended.


All references in this Zoning Ordinance to the Glen Arbor Township Planning and Zoning Commission shall be, and are hereby, amended to mean the Glen Arbor Township Planning Commission.


If any statute of the State of Michigan, or any section thereof, which is referenced in this Zoning Ordinance, is amended, such reference shall be deemed to refer to such statute, or section thereof, as amended.


The zoning authority is not prohibited from enforcing any provision of this ordinance due to its delay or failure to prosecute a violation of this ordinance on any prior occasion or as to any other property use.