Article IV – General Provisions


Except as otherwise provided in This Ordinance, no lot or parcel of land, no existing building, structure, or part thereof and no new building, structure or part thereof shall hereafter be located, erected, constructed, re-constructed, altered or used for purposes other than in conformity with the provisions of This Ordinance. Uses of lots or parcels of land or structures not specifically permitted in this Ordinance are prohibited. Uses of lots or parcels of land or structures not specifically permitted in this Ordinance are prohibited.


The erection, construction, alteration or maintenance by public utilities or municipal department or commissions, of overhead or underground gas, electrical, steam, or water, distribution or transmission systems, collection, communication, supply or disposal systems, including mains, drains, sewers, pipes, conduits, wires, cables, fire alarm boxes, police call boxes, traffic signals, hydrants, power poles, electrical substation, gas regulator stations and other similar equipment and accessories in connection therewith, reasonably necessary for the furnishing of adequate service by the public utility or municipal department or commission or for the public health or safety or general welfare, shall be permitted as authorized or regulated by law and other ordinances of the Township of Glen Arbor in any use district, it being the intention hereof to except such erection, construction, alteration, and maintenance from the applications of This Ordinance. *


The Telecommunications Act of 1996, as amended February 8, 1996 sets forth provisions concerning placement, location and construction of towers and related facilities for personal wireless services.

Future locations in Glen Arbor Township are complicated by the fact that over fifty percent of the township is part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, and a major portion of the balance lieu under water. Therefore, it is the intent of this ordinance to regulate the location, size and characteristics of any wireless communication towers WCT’s, antenna array and related facilities in a manner which will protect property values, avoid visual pollution and safety hazards, regulate for the location, expansion and use of existing WCT’s, as well as regulate the design of any addition to WCT’s.

To minimize the number of wireless communication towers Glen Arbor Township encourages co-location, and will therefore pursue all reasonable strategies to promote such. If such an existing WCT fails or refuses to accommodate a proposed and otherwise feasible co-location, such WCT shall be deemed to be nonconforming and no future expansion of antenna arrays will be allowed by the original WCF. Co-location feasibility factors shall include available space on existing towers, the tower’s structural capacity, radio frequency interference, geographic service area requirements, mechanical or electrical incompatibilities, the comparative costs of co-location and new construction, and any FCC limitations on tower sharing. If refusal by the original WCF to co-locate requires the construction and/or use of a new wireless communication support structure, the original WCF shall be in direct violation and contradiction of the policy, intent and purpose of the Township. The original WCF shall be prohibited from receiving approval for new wireless communication support structures within the Township for a period of five years from the date of the failure or refusal to permit the co-location.

Co-location shall require the same site plan review application and process as a new tower in all areas applicable. Review of applications for co-location shall be expedited by the Township.


Construction of Wireless Communication Towers and Wireless Communication Equipment Shelters is allowed in Glen Arbor Township subject to the following provisions:

A. Wireless Communication Towers and Wireless Communication Equipment Shelters shall:
1. Not impair scenic views.
2. Not be placed in any road right-of-way or in any easement for road purposes.
3. Be located in the business district.
4. Have a setback of 1000 feet from any shoreline.
5. Ensure that all connecting wires from towers to accessory buildings and all service wires to the WCF are underground.
6. The tower and all accessory buildings will be fenced with no less than an eight (8) foot safety fence with a locked gate.
7. Be designed to be harmonious with the surrounding areas.
8. All towers shall be of monopole construction. Guy wires and/or lattice are prohibited.
9. Have employees located on the site on a temporary basis only.
10. Located so there is room for vehicles doing maintenance to maneuver on the property owned and or leased by the applicant.
11. Not be artificially lighted unless required by the FAA.
12. Be considered abandoned if at any time the use of the WCF is discontinued for 180 days. The Zoning Administrator will send written notice to the WCF owner and the property owner to dismantle the facility.
13. Be removed by the property owner or lessee within three (3) months of abandonment and land restored to original form
14. Be built to accommodate future co-location.
15. Be built on a minimum lot size of three acres unless the tower and/or antenna are attached to an existing building.
16. Maintain a setback from all lot lines of a distance at least equal to the height of the tower, measured as an average from the surrounding ground surface, plus an additional twenty-five feet.
17. Justify the required tower height based on communication requirements and evaluate alternative designs which require lower towers.
18. Have a maximum height of 199.5 feet from grade level
19. Have a base that occupies no more than five hundred (500) square feet.
20. Have Wireless Communication Equipment Shelters less than 1000 cubic feet per service provider, the total foot print for all providers not to exceed six hundred square feet.
21. Be prohibited from displaying any advertising or identification of any kind except as required for safety and emergency purposes, including any ancillary building and towers.

B. All new tower plans, structural modification of existing towers or arrays, and any addition to existing antenna array shall require approval by the Glen Arbor Township Planning and Zoning Commission based on an application process which includes a specific site plan review to assure that the following criteria have been met:

1. The signature of the licensed operators
2. Name(s) and address (es) of the applicant(s).
3. Nature of applicant’s interest in the proposed site property.
4. Name (s) and address (es) and professional qualifications of the person (s) responsible for the preparation of the Site Plan.
5. Project description and purpose containing a descriptive explanation of the project, its nature, location and purpose, including six (6) copies and one (1) reproducible transparency of a schematic development plan of the proposed development showing the general site location of the proposed development and the existing physical and natural features such as water courses, rock outcropping, wetlands, wooded areas, etc.
6. Location of the existing utilities and drainage ways.
7. Location and names of public streets, parks, and railroad and utility rights-of-way within or adjacent to the proposed development.
8. General location and dimensions of proposed streets, driveways, sidewalks, pedestrian ways, trails, off-street parking and loading areas.
9. General location and approximate dimensions of proposed structures.
10. Major proposed change of land form such as new lakes, terracing and excavating.
11. Approximate existing and proposed contours and drainage patters, showing at least five (5) foot contour intervals.
12. Sketches showing the scale, character and relationship of buildings, streets and open space.
13. Approximate location and type of proposed drainage, water and sewage facilities if applicable.
14. Legal description of property.
15. The location, size, number and species, screening and design of all buildings and structures including any planned changes to existing site, grade and vegetation
16. An application fee as noted in the Township fee schedule
17. The signature of the owner or duly authorized representative of all ownership interests in the land on which the WCF is proposed
18. Commit to co-location and share use by:
1. Copies and receipts of certified mail announcements to all other tower users in the area, stating their siting needs and/or sharing capabilities in an effort to encourage tower sharing.
2. A letter of intent and commitment to lease space on a facility
3. Respond to any requests from future potential users within one week
4. Negotiate in good faith to allow for leased or shared use if technically feasible
5. State a reasonable charge for future shared use leases
6. Show the ability to lease space as well as comparative costs of co-location and new construction

19. To ensure the natural protection and aesthetics the plan shall include:
1. Maintenance plan for the proposed facility, ensuring long-term appearance and standards
2. A general narrative, physical description of the site, including its dominant characteristics, its vegetative character, its present use.
3. Shielding of two (2) alternating rows of evergreen trees with a minimum height of five (5) feet on ten (10) foot centers along the entire perimeter of the tower and related structures. In no case shall the evergreens be any closer than 10 feet to any structure.
4. The antenna array shall be placed in a manner so as to minimize/camouflage the equipment thereby blending into the architectural detail and coloring of the surroundings, as well as matching the exterior treatment of the tower. The color should be designed to minimize off-site visibility with such choices as grays, blues and greens.
5. The service buildings shall be constructed of compatible materials such as wood, brick, or stucco, and shall be designed to match the exterior of structures within three hundred feet (300′) of the property on which it is located.
6. In no case will metal exteriors be allowed for service buildings.
20. The applicant shall present verification, certification, and/or drawings (as applicable) by a registered Michigan Structural Engineer showing:
1. The antenna mount and structure are approved and in compliance with all applicable codes.
2. All antennae and metal towers shall be grounded against a direct strike by lightning as per applicable code
3. Towers and antennae are designed to withstand a uniform wind loading as per the applicable code
4. The WCF shall not interfere with radio and television reception
5. The future capacity for co-location of additional arrays and equipment. Factors to include but not limited to; the structural capacity, radio frequency interference, geographic service, any mechanical or electrical incompatibilities, and any FCC limitation on tower sharing.
6. Approval by the Cherry Capital Airport Commission and the FAA regarding the structure and lighting requirements
7. The maximum tower height required for this site with the technical capabilities of the antenna being mounted

21. Agreement to pay the cost, as determined by the Township Board, to acquire an independent technical and engineering evaluation of the need for any tower and the minimum required height. If the evaluation shows that a shorter tower can provide service, the height requirements shall be modified
22. Agreement to provide cash, surety bond, or letter of credit in an amount equal to the average of three quotations for the removal of the facility when it has been abandoned or no longer needed.
23. Satisfactory evidence in writing that the applicant has been denied co-location on all existing WCF’s
24. A map showing all existing and proposed wireless communication facilities within the Township and any surrounding relevant ones in terms of potential co-location
25. A copy of the lease agreement between landowner and WCF if applicable.
26. A hold harmless clause that protects the Township from any liability associated with the WCF.

C. The Planning and Zoning Commission shall be required to:
1. Notify by first class mail all property owners within 300 feet of the proposed tower property not less than seven (7) days prior to the public hearing; such notification shall include the proposal, time, date and location where the plans can be reviewed and the date that public hearing will be held.
2. Ensure that all site plan review conditions have been met prior to approving an application
3. Only approve towers and WCFs located in a manner which protects the Township’s interests in accordance with the provisions of this ordinance.


The placement of any sewage disposal system on any lot shall be such as not to endanger the domestic water supply of any neighboring property owners or otherwise by the cause of any contamination or pollution and therefore where a sewage disposal system is to be a part of the construction project, the Zoning Administrator may not issue a land use permit until a permit for the construction of the sewage disposal system and water system has been issued by the Health Department having jurisdiction.


Every building or buildings hereafter erected shall be located on a lot or parcel of land the description of, and the deed to which, shall be on record in the office of the Register of Deeds of this County or on lot or parcels of land the description of which shall be contained in a bona fide land contract or lease which is in full force and effect at the time of application of a permit under This Ordinance. In the event this proposed building is to be erected on a parcel of land which is a part of a larger parcel, the area to be devoted to the use and necessary for compliance with the requirements of This Ordinance shall be designated by a legal description which shall be attached to the application for a land use permit.


Any set-back restrictions from the right-of-way line of any legally described highway, that may appear elsewhere in This Ordinance, have been written with the assumption that the right-of-way is not wider than 66 feet, therefore any 40 foot set-back restriction may be reduced as follows:


No newly constructed dwelling or structure shall be built closer to the adjoining right-of-way than forty (40) feet, nor closer to the water’s edge than forty (40) feet, except in the case of a corner lot, which is bordered by 2 adjacent roads, the forty (40) foot setback shall apply to the road of residential address and a minimum of twenty (20) foot setback shall apply to the non-residential road.


No building or structure nor any part thereof may be erected less than ten (10) feet from the sideline or lines of a building lot, except in the Business district.


Subject to all other terms and conditions of This Ordinance, a Land Use Permit shall include legal description, length and width of lot, dimensional size and location of all structures to be erected, water supply and sewage system.


To reduce fire hazards, no building or structure nor any part thereof, may be erected or maintained closer than ten (10) feet to any neighboring property line, except in the business district.


In order to assure safe passage all driveways shall be kept clear of trees, brush and debris and shall have:
A. A minimum right-of-way of twelve feet (12′) in width.
B. A minimum height clearance of twelve feet (12′).


The following regulations shall govern off-street parking within all districts:
Designation of off-street parking spaces:
A. Each space shall not be less than 180 square feet nor less than 9 feet wide, exclusive of driveway.
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B. Each space shall be accessible and well defined as a designated parking area.
C. Designated off-street parking areas may be situated wherever it is deemed desirable in relationship to the building and natural landscape.
D. Designated off-street parking spaces shall be accessible from the street via ingress and egress routes not to exceed 24′ wide.
E. Off-street parking shall be outside of the road right-of-way unless there is a sidewalk, then parking shall be on the property side of the sidewalk.
F. Designated off-street parking shall be used for customer parking and not be used for signs, display of merchandise, or storage of materials, trailers, or boats.
G. a. Lawfully permitted uses in existence as of the effective date of the 2013 amendment which do not have the off-street parking required by said amendment, are not required to meet the off-street parking requirements of said amendment, but such requirements shall apply to any expansion of the use made after the effective date of said amendment. b. A non-conforming use may not be expanded, however, unless the total resulting use (both the existing non-conforming portion and the expanded portion) taken together, are in compliance with the off-street parking requirements of this ordinance. c. When a lawfully permitted use “expands” by acquiring the space occupied by another lawfully permitted use and does not expand the space occupied by that former use, such activity is not an expansion for purposes of subsection “a” above.



Purpose: The purpose of these requirements is to provide a framework within which the identification and informational needs of all land uses can be harmonized with the desires and aesthetic standards of the general public. It is intended through the provisions contained herein to give recognition to the legitimate needs of business, industry and other activities, in attaining their identification and informational objectives. It is a basic tenet of this Section that unrestricted signage does not benefit either private enterprise or the community-at-large.
Organization: This section is organized as follows:
A. Definitions of terms used in this section are found under SECTION IV.12.2.
B. General sign requirements relating to all signs are found in SECTION IV.12.3.
C. Section SECTION IV.12.4 is the Table of Sign Regulations, which lists all requirements for signs requiring a permit. The table is organized by zoning district.
D. All of the footnotes relating to the table are found in SECTION IV.12.5.
E. Signs that are exempt from permitting requirements are listed in SECTION IV.12.6. Although these signs do not require a permit, there are limitations on exempt signs including number, location and size.
F. Several types of temporary signs are regulated under SECTION IV.12.7.
G. Signs that are prohibited in the Township are listed under SECTION IV.12.8.
H. The regulations relating to existing signs that are made nonconforming by ordinance amendments are listed under SECTION IV.12.9.
I. The sign permitting and administrative regulations are found under Section SECTION IV.12.10.


In addition to the definitions set forth in ARTICLE II, the following words shall have the meanings hereinafter set forth.

Advertising Sign: Any sign which directs attention to a business or profession conducted or to a commodity, service or entertainment sold or offered. An advertising sign may be a free-standing, wall or other sign type defined below.

Awning or Canopy Sign: A non-rigid fabric or Plexiglas (or similar material) structure which is attached to a building by a supporting framework, which includes a business identification message, symbol and/or logo. For purposes of this ordinance, an awning or canopy sign is a wall sign.

Billboard (Outdoor Advertising Structure): An off-premises sign that is affixed to or erected upon a free-standing framework designed or intended to be used for posting information not pertaining directly to the use of the premises on which it is located.

Construction Sign: An on-premises sign identifying those involved in the construction of a development project, including the designer, builder, or lender.

Development Sign: An on-premises sign used to identify a residential or commercial development.

Free-Standing Sign: A sign supported by one (1) or more uprights, poles or braces placed in or upon the ground surface and not attached to any building. Such signs may also be commonly known as a ground sign or pole sign.

Identification Sign: A sign that identifies the activity, home occupation, owner or resident and/or the street address and which sets forth no other advertisement.

Illuminated Sign: A sign that provides artificial light directly (or through any transparent or translucent material) from a source of light connected with such sign, or a sign illuminated by a light.

Inflatable Sign: Any balloon or similar air or gas-filled membrane calling attention to a business, product or event. Inflatable signs are of any size.

Informational Sign: An outdoor sign of a size and scale intended to be viewed by pedestrians within close proximity to the building to which the sign pertains. Such signs usually have a changeable message area. Informational signs include, but are not limited to, sandwich board signs (a free-standing, self-supporting, movable sign typically composed of two boards hinged only at the top), building-mounted menus, and any flag, banner, wind sock, etc. advertising a business, indicating that a business is open, or attracting attention for the purpose of advertising.

Institutional Bulletin Board: A sign containing a surface area upon which is displayed the name of a religious institution, school, library, community center or similar institution and the announcement of its institutional services or activities.

Marquee Sign: An advertising wall sign attached to or hung from a roof-like structure projecting over an entrance, from and supported by a building. A marquee usually has three sign faces. A canopy, awning or projecting sign is not a marquee sign.

Moving or Revolving Sign: Any sign which revolves or has any visible moving parts, visible revolving parts or visible mechanical movement of any type, or other apparent visible movement achieved by electrical, electronic or mechanical means.

Off-Premises Sign: An advertising sign whose message relates to a business, service, commodity, or profession lawfully being conducted, sold or offered on premises other than that upon which the sign is located. An Off-Premises sign also includes a sign on a motor vehicle or other portable structure which is parked on a public street or on other public property under the following conditions:
A. The vehicle or portable structure is parked on the public street or on other public property on a recurring basis; and
B. The vehicle or portable structure is parked outside of the boundary lines, as extended into the public street or other public property, of the business being advertised; and
C. The sign directs the viewer to the property on which the business advertised is located; and
D. The property on which the business being advertised is located has sufficient space on site, whether such space is used or unused, for the parking of the vehicles, or other portable structure, on which the sign is placed.

An Off-Premises Sign does not include a sign on a motor vehicle which is parked on a public street or on other public property under the following conditions:
A. The motor vehicle is parked while the operator is frequenting another business or servicing a customer; or
B. The motor vehicle is parked in front of the owner or operator’s place of residence.

Pole Sign: A free-standing sign.

Political Signs: A sign advertising candidates or soliciting votes in support of or against any proposition or issue at any general, primary, special, school or any other election.

Projecting Sign: A sign which projects from and is supported by a wall of a building.

Portable Sign: A free-standing sign not permanently anchored or secured to either a building or the ground, but usually anchored or secured to a trailer or frame capable of being moved from place to place, not including informational signs.

Real Estate Sign: A sign located on premises containing land or buildings for sale, rent or lease, or buildings under construction and intended for sale, rent or lease.

Roof Line: For purposes of the sign regulations, the roofline shall mean the mean height of a roof (a “true” roof unless there exists a mansard-style roof) exclusive of any peaks.

Sign Height: For ground signs, sign height is defined as the measurement from the established grade at the adjacent street to the highest point on the sign.

Sign: Any device including words, numerals, figures, designs, pictures, or trademarks painted upon or otherwise affixed to a building, wall, board, berm, or any structure, so, as to inform or attract attention for commercial intent. A sign also includes words, numerals, figures, designs, pictures, or trademarks painted upon or otherwise affixed to a motor vehicle or other portable structure which constitutes an off-premises sign as defined in this ordinance.

Surface Display Area: The surface display area of any sign is the entire area within a single continuous perimeter enclosing the extreme limits of lettering, representations, emblems, or other figures, together with any material or color forming an integral part of the display or used to differentiate the sign from the background against which it is placed. Structural members bearing no sign copy shall not be included. For all two-sided signs, the sign area shall be measured on one side of the sign.

Temporary Sign: A display or information sign with or without a structural frame and intended for a period not to exceed thirty (30) days of display.

Wall Sign (Fascia Sign): A sign which is attached directly to or painted upon a building wall with the exposed face of the sign in a plane parallel to the building wall. Wall signs include, for purposes of this ordinance, marquees, awnings, and canopy signs.

Wind Sign: Devices such as pennants, spinners, and streamers fastened in such a manner as to move upon being subjected to pressure by wind or breezes.

Window Sign: Signs affixed to, in contact with, or within twelve (12) inches of a window; installed for purposes of viewing from outside the premises. This does not include merchandise located in a window, or any informational signs as defined herein or small informational signs referred to in Section 4.12.05.H.


The following are general requirements pertaining to all signs in any district, including both exempt signs not requiring a permit (see SECTION IV.12.5 ) and nonexempt signs requiring a permit (see standards by district in SECTION IV.12.3 and temporary signs in SECTION IV.12.7).

A. Wall Signs:

1. Wall signs shall be placed flat against the main building or parallel to the building on a canopy and may only face public streets or parking areas which are part of the development.
2. Wall signs shall not project above the roof line or cornice.
3. A marquee, canopy or awning is a type of wall sign (see Definitions under SECTION IV.12.2)

B. Marquee Signs:

1. No portion of a marquee sign shall be higher than the roofline or cornice.

C. Projecting Signs: Shall comply with the following:

1. Projecting signs shall not extend beyond the minimum required setback line or into and over street right-of-way.
2. Projecting signs shall be attached directly to a building by means of building mounts or hung from a mast arm. These support members may also include decorative appurtenances, but external bracing such as guy wires and metal framework shall be prohibited.
3. Signs must project at a 90o angle to the building surface to which attached.
4. The minimum clearance of a projecting sign over a sidewalk or ground level shall be nine (9) feet.

D. Illumination:

1. Signs may be illuminated unless specifically prohibited within this Section but no flashing or moving illumination shall be permitted.
2. The source of illumination shall not be visible beyond the property line of the parcel on which the sign is located.
3. Neon illuminated (electrical discharge) signs shall be permitted.
4. Signs may be illuminated by a direct, indirect or internal source of light.

E. Free-Standing Signs:

1. No free-standing sign shall block the vision of motorists or pedestrians in such as way as to reduce vehicle or pedestrian safety.
2. Under no circumstances shall a free-standing sign be located within a right-of-way.

F. The total square footage of signage per business will be limited to 15% of the primary exterior facing wall of the building and 7% of any secondary exterior walls. A business’s primary wall will be defined by the most publicly viewed facing or as selected by the business owner. The Area calculation will include all signs, notices or other directional and instructional logos or emblems, interior posted window signs, signage not affixed to the building such as sandwich boards, free standing on-site signs, message boards and vending machine signage. Assignment of signs to each facing will be determined by the sign’s closest proximity to a given wall (facing.)


The following regulations apply to nonexempt signs requiring a permit. Standards by district are in the table below. The footnotes (1-7) to this table are in SECTION IV.12.5. See also SECTION IV.12.3 for additional general standards for all sign types.





The following footnotes relate to the table above in SECTION IV.12.4
A. For those uses in the Resort district that are permitted in the Residential Districts, sign restrictions of the Residential Districts shall apply.
B. A second wall or free-standing sign, or a combination of one (1) wall and one (1) free-standing sign may be permitted in the Resort, Recreational or Business district by exclusive approval of the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission shall permit a second sign only when all of the following conditions are found to exist:

3. The parcel in question is a corner lot or otherwise has frontage on more than one road;
4. One sign is not visible from one of the road frontages;
5. Clear identification of the use from two road frontages is important to lessen confusion and improve safe circulation;

6. The second sign is 50% or less of the sign area of the area permitted in the district for the sign type proposed.
C. For those uses in the Recreational Districts that are permitted in the Residential districts or in the Resort district, the sign restrictions of the corresponding district shall apply.
D. Additional projecting signs may be permitted in the Recreational Open Space district for multiple building facilities (i.e., pro shop, clubhouse, snack bar, etc.) at the discretion of the Planning Commission.
E. For shopping centers or industrial or office parks in the Business District, a development sign is permitted in addition to the other permitted signs. Such development sign shall not include a changeable message sign area. The sign shall not exceed four (4) feet in height or twenty-four (24) square feet in sign area.
F. For gasoline service stations, a two-sided sign indicating only price and grade of gasoline as shown on the pumps, either side not to exceed twelve (12) square feet in sign area, may be permanently attached to the support pole of the free-standing sign or light standard or support. Price signs shall be attached with the bottom of sign no lower than 6 feet from ground level. There shall be no signs located in fuel pump islands or canopies except those constituting an integral part of the fuel pump itself or those required by State law or regulation.


The following exempt signs shall be permitted in all districts subject to the requirements stated herein and without the requirement of a sign permit.

A. Identification Signs: Including house numbers legible from the street, and nameplates identifying the occupant or address of a parcel of land, not exceeding two (2) square feet in surface display area. For identification signs used with a home occupation, see G. below and definition in SECTION IV.12.2

1. Identification signs also include signs at the entrance to a residential area with family names listed on the sign.
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2. Such signs are limited to sign area equal to 0.75 square feet per family name listed on the sign.
3. Lettering on these signs to be no greater than three (3) inches in height.
4. Overall sign height shall not exceed eight (8) feet.

B. Memorial Signs or Tablets: Especially those containing the names of buildings and dates of construction.
C. Flags: Shall be permitted without a permit providing such flag bears the official design of a nation, state, municipality, institution, or organization. Banners and other such flags designed to advertise a commercial site are not included as an exempt sign under this section.
D. Traffic, Municipal and Private Traffic Control Signs: Such traffic control signs shall be permitted without need of a permit, provided that such signs conform to the requirements of the Michigan Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
E. Political Signs: Shall be permitted subject to the following:

1. Signs related to an election shall not be erected more than forty-five (45) days prior to the election to which the sign pertains and shall be removed within seven (7) days following the election.
2. Political signs shall not be placed closer than one hundred (100) feet from any polling place entrance.
3. No political sign shall exceed six (6) square feet in area.
4. No political sign shall be tacked or nailed to utility poles.
5. Political signs shall be located outside of the public right-of-way and shall in no way create a traffic hazard due to reduced vision of motorists or pedestrians.

F. Real Estate Signs: One (1) temporary, non-illuminated real estate sign per lot, located on subject property, advertising the sale or lease of property or building shall be permitted, subject to the following:

1. Any real estate sign shall not exceed six (6) square feet in surface display area;
2. Such signs shall be removed within seven (7) days after the property has been sold, rented, or leased.

G. Home Occupation Signs: For any home occupation otherwise complying with the requirements of this ordinance,

1. One (1) non-illuminated name sign announcing a home occupation or professional service is permitted.
2. Such sign shall not exceed four (4) square feet in surface display area

H. Informational & Directional Signs: Informational signs shall be permitted subject to the following restrictions:

1. Free-standing informational signs are limited to four (4) square feet in area per side and three (3) feet in height.
2. Wall mounted information signs are limited to four (4) square feet in area.
3. A maximum of two (2) informational signs is permitted on the premises of any single business. No more than one (1) informational sign of the two (2) permitted signs shall be free-standing.
4. A free-standing informational sign shall not be placed in the public walkway such as to hinder the safe circulation of pedestrians or to block the clear vision of the driver of any vehicle.

I. Construction Signs: A permit is not required for a construction sign. However, such signs shall be limited as follows:

1. Surface display area shall not exceed six (6) square feet.
2. Sign height shall not exceed eight (8) feet.
3. Placement shall be wholly within the property boundaries to which the sign pertains.
4. The sign shall not be erected prior to issuance of a building permit for a proposed construction, and shall be removed upon issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy.


A. Sign Permit Required: A sign permit is required to erect any temporary sign, including temporary signs attached to or suspended from a building, except for those signs specifically exempted under SECTION

IV.12.6 above. Said permit shall specify the size, and length of duration of the temporary sign. Although a permit is required for signs regulated under this section, the fee may be waived for any nonprofit or community group at the Township Board’s discretion.

B. Portable or Moveable Signs: Portable or Moveable Signs (which do not, by definition, include informational signs which are regulated under SECTION IV.12.4 – SECTION IV.12.6) may be allowed only with a permit in accordance with the following provisions:

1. Portable signs are permitted for grand openings, advertising charitable or community-related events and the like. Portable signs are NOT permitted for general business identification or for specific merchandise or service advertising.
2. Such portable signs must be removed within thirty (30) days of issuance of the temporary sign permit and must be removed within three (3) day following the event.
3. A permit for a portable or moveable sign shall be granted on any premises only twice in any calendar year. The Zoning Administrator shall keep a record of placement of permitted portable signs to assure that this requirement is complied with.
4. All illuminated portable signs shall comply with the requirements of Section 4.12.02D.
5. All portable signs shall be located no closer than one-half the setback distance for a permanent structure, to the street right-of-way line; and under no circumstances shall be located in any road right-of-way or easement or interfere with safe pedestrian or vehicular circulation.
6. Any portable sign shall not exceed twenty-four (24) square feet total surface display area.
7. Portable signs shall not have streamers, balloons, ribbons or other such materials attached designed to attract attention.
8. A portable sign may be an off-premise sign only if it advertises an event of an institutional, nonprofit or governmental organization. Such portable signs shall not be located within any road right-of-way. The property owner of the premises upon which an off-premises sign is located must give permission for placement of the sign in writing to be attached to the permit.

C. Other Temporary Signs: Any other temporary signs not included in this Section or under SECTION IV.12.4 – SECTION IV.12.6 above, including banners, shall be allowed only with a permit and subject to the following:

1. Such temporary signs shall be removed within 30 days of the issuance of a permit and within three (3) days following a special event.
2. Such signs shall be of a design and materials to withstand moisture, wind, etc. and shall be maintained in neat appearance. Signs not in compliance with this requirement may be removed by Township personnel without notice or the property owner ticketed under the provisions of this Ordinance.


The following signs are prohibited in any district in the Township.
A. Wind Signs. See SECTION IV.12.2
B. Inflatable Signs.
C. Moving or Revolving Signs. Except those actions associated with time-temperature signs.
D. Any sign not expressly permitted is prohibited.
E. Signs Constituting a Traffic Hazard:

1. No sign shall be erected at the intersection of any street in such a manner as to obstruct free and clear vision.
2. No sign shall be erected at any location where by reason of the position, shape or color, it may interfere with, obstruct the view of or be confused with any authorized traffic sign, signal or device.
3. No sign shall be erected which makes use of the words “stop”, “look”, “danger” or any word, phrase, symbol or character in such manner as to interfere with, mislead or confuse traffic.

F. Billboards.
G. Off Premise signs.


A. Intent. It is the intent of this Section to permit the continuance and use of any sign or outdoor advertising structure not in conformance with this Zoning Ordinance, but which was lawfully existing at the time of adoption of this Zoning Ordinance or any amendment thereto. It is the intent that signs and outdoor advertising structures made nonconforming by this Ordinance or any amendment hereto shall not be enlarged upon, expanded or extended. Further, it is the intent of this Zoning Ordinance that nonconforming signs and outdoor advertising structures shall be gradually eliminated and terminated upon their natural deterioration or accidental destruction. The continuance of all nonconforming signs and outdoor advertising structures within Glen Arbor Township shall be subject to the conditions and requirements set forth herein.

B. Structural Changes: The faces, supports, or other parts of any non-conforming sign or outdoor advertising structure shall not be structurally changed, altered, substituted, or enlarged unless the resultant changed, altered, substituted, or enlarged sign or outdoor advertising structure conforms to the provision of this Section for the use it is intended except as otherwise provided for.

C. Repairs, Alterations and Improvements: Nothing shall prohibit the repair, reinforcement, alteration, improvement, or modernizing of a lawful non-conforming sign or outdoor advertising structure, provided such repair does not exceed an aggregate cost of thirty (30) percent of the appraised replacement cost as determined by the Zoning Administrator, unless the subject sign or outdoor advertising structure is changed by such repair, reinforcement, alteration, improvement or modernizing to a conforming structure. Nothing in this Section shall prohibit the periodic change of message on any outdoor advertising structure.

D. Restoration of Damage: Any lawful non-conforming sign or outdoor advertising structure damaged by fire, explosion, or an act of God, or by other accidental causes, may be restored, rebuilt or repaired, provided that the estimated expense of reconstruction does not exceed fifty (50) percent of the appraised replacement cost as determined by the Zoning Administrator.

E. Discontinuance or Abandonment: Whenever the activity, business or usage of a premises to which a sign is attached or related has been discontinued for a period of ninety (90) days or longer, such discontinuance shall be considered conclusive evidence of an intention to abandon legally the non-conforming sign attached or related thereto. (A business which closes for the winter is not considered to have discontinued.) At the end of the period of abandonment, the non-conforming sign shall either be removed or altered to conform to the provisions of this Section.

F. Elimination of Non-Conforming Signs: The Township Board may acquire any non-conforming sign or outdoor advertising structure, with or without acquiring the property on which such sign or structure is located, by condemnation or other means, and may remove such sign or structure.


A. Permits

1. For all signs requiring sign permits under this Section, an application including all information on the approved form shall be submitted to the Zoning Administrator, along with any fees established by the Township Board.
2. Sign permits shall be reviewed in a timely manner and approved, denied, or approved with conditions as specified in this Section.
3. For signs requiring a permit under this Section, no installation of a sign, or alteration of an existing sign, shall commence until a sign permit has been duly issued by the Zoning Administrator.

B. Inspections:

1. The Zoning Administrator shall, at his discretion or at the applicant’s request, inspect proposed sign locations prior to final installation for compliance with ordinance regulations and conditions of sign permit approval.

C. Appeals and Variances:

1. The procedure for variances and appeals to the Zoning Board of Appeals under the Zoning Ordinance shall apply equally to signs regulated under this Article.
2. Any party aggrieved by any order, determination, or decision made under this Section IV.12.9 as to a nonconforming sign by the Zoning Administrator, the Planning Commission, the Township Board or the Zoning Board of Appeals may obtain review of that decision as provided in Section 607 [MCL 125.3607] of the MZEA.

D. Enforcement and Violations:

1. Any violation of the regulations contained in this Section or the conditions of a sign permit shall be considered a violation of the Zoning Ordinance and ticketed accordingly.
2. All signs are subject to enforcement under this Section, whether exempt, non-exempt, temporary, or non-conforming.
3. Authorized Township officials shall enforce this ordinance based on complaints received by the public, or by periodic, regular inspections.


Unless otherwise specifically provided in this Ordinance, Boat Houses constructed on lakes or water courses in the Township do not have to comply with setback restrictions from such shoreline of lakes or water courses as would be applicable to other types of structures. Boat Houses in residentially zoned districts shall be limited to a maximum one-story building not to exceed 20 feet in height. Boat Houses may not be rented or used for any commercial activities.



Findings: The Township finds that the use and enjoyment of the Township’s water resources, including the inland lakes, rivers and other watercourses, as well as the lands abutting those water resources is of the highest importance to the quality of living and the economic well-being of all residents in and visitors to the Township. The Township also finds that it is desirable to retain and maintain the physical, cultural and aesthetic characteristics of those water resources in the Township and the lands abutting them. The Township further finds that, as lands abutting those water resources become further developed and subjected to human and mechanical influence, it is necessary to regulate the usage of those water resources and the lands abutting them in order to preserve and protect the health, safety and welfare of the residents of and visitors to the Township.

Intent: Based on the aforesaid findings, it is the intent of this section:

1. To provide a mechanism for protecting the lakeshore and shorelines of the township from physical and visual degradation from overuse and inappropriate use.
2. To protect the rights of riparian owners, the township, and non-riparians as a whole.
3. To prevent the development of nuisance conditions which threaten the land and water resources, which cause the diminution of property values, and which threaten the public health, safety, and welfare of all persons making use of lakes, rivers and other navigable watercourses within the township.

Applicability and Submittal Requirements: The provisions of this section apply to all riparian property on Lake Michigan, Big and Little Glen Lakes, Brooks Lake, Fisher Lake, the Crystal River and any other navigable watercourse in the Township and which properties are in districts which permit keyholing. Such districts include the Residential V – Multiple Family, Resort, and Business districts.

When two (2) or more families/legal entities/parties share access on navigable water without residing on said frontage, such common usage and/or ownership of the waterfront shall be governed by this Section. The provisions herein shall apply regardless of whether access to the waterfront is gained by easement, common or joint ownership, single fee ownership, lease, license, site condominium unit, stock or membership in a corporation, or any other means. The common use of all such waterfront by more than one family is permitted only following approval of a site plan by the Planning Commission pursuant to SECTION XIV.8 Site Plan Review and Approval Standards. The site plan shall include all the elements of SECTION XIV.7 and the following additional information:

1. Elevations of existing water courses and water bodies, including county drains and man-made surface drainage ways, floodplains, wetlands, and shorelines;
2. Proposed location of docks and other shoreline structures;
3. Location and dimensions of existing and/or proposed parking areas (including indication of all spaces and method of surfacing);
4. Exterior lighting locations with area of illumination illustrated as well as the type of fixtures and shielding to be used;
5. North arrow, scale and date of original submittal and last revision;
6. The location and type of any/all picnic, sports facilities, and/or playground equipment to be installed on the site;
7. The specific uses permitted on the common waterfront, the locations of same, and all conditions that must be met to entitle one to such uses;
8. A statement that the site plan (including all terms and conditions) cannot be modified without approval of the Planning Commission.
len Arbor Zoning Ordinance – Version 4.7 – April 29, 2016 Page 28 of 57
9. The bearings, distances, and calculations showing compliance with the standards listed in subsection D. below; Boat launch facilities shall not be permitted.

Standards: Common use of a waterfront parcel shall be permitted in the Residential V – Multiple Family, Resort, and Business districts but only when conformance with the following standards is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Planning Commission, or in the event the Planning Commission chooses to refer the decision to the Township Board, by the Township Board:

1. The common waterfront parcel providing access to nonriparian lot owners or to those residing in dwellings on nonriparian lots, shall meet the minimum requirements for a lot in the district in which it is located. A waterfront lot that includes a residence cannot be a common waterfront parcel for the purpose of this ordinance. All lots and dwelling units served by the common waterfront parcel shall be contiguous to one another and contiguous to the common waterfront parcel.
2. The shoreline shall have a minimum frontage on the water of not less than one hundred (100) feet (measured at the ordinary high water mark) and the lot shall have an area of no less than the minimum lot size required of the district in which the lot is located. For each family in excess to four (4), having waterfront privileges, the minimum frontage required shall be increased by twenty-five (25) feet, and the minimum area required shall be increased by at least thirty-five hundred (3,500) square feet.
3. The site plan shall reflect provisions for one (1) off-street space for parking of vehicles for every dwelling having waterfront usage. Such parking shall be located and screened by existing and/or proposed landscaping from adjoining residential parcels to the satisfaction of the Planning Commission. Depending upon the proximity of the residences having usage on the waterfront, parking requirements may be modified or waived by the Planning Commission.
4. The site plan shall reflect provisions for all watercraft slips, moorings, boat hoists, and any other means of anchorage to be developed on the parcel. No more than four such slips, moorings, boat hoists, and other means of anchorage per one-hundred feet (100′) shall be allowed.
5. The site plan shall reflect the location of all docks to be developed on the parcel. Docks shall not exceed one per one-hundred (100′) of shore line and shall otherwise comply with all state and federal statutes and regulations pertaining thereto. Docks shall not extend beyond a water depth of four (4) feet or one hundred-fifty feet (150’) in length. Docks need not comply with setbacks applicable to other structures.
6. Boat launch facilities shall not be permitted.
7. If the site serves twelve (12) or more residences, sanitary facilities meeting requirements of the District Health Department must be included. Utilizing natural vegetation, all sanitary facilities shall be screened from surrounding land uses. Sanitary facilities shall be subject to all setback requirements.
8. No housing unit, whether temporary, permanent or for occasional use, shall be located on the parcel unless otherwise permitted in the district in which the lot is located. No camping or other overnight accommodations shall be permitted on the access parcel.
9. The storage or display of items for sale or rent such as, but not limited to, boats, boat hoists, personal watercraft, and trailers is prohibited, unless otherwise permitted in the district in which the lot is located.
10. No slippage or mooring rights shall be sold or leased unless otherwise permitted in the district in which the lot is located.
11. At the discretion of the Planning Commission, or the Township Board if it approves the site plan, whenever the shoreline parcel accommodating common waterfront use abuts a residentially used parcel, a vegetative buffer strip of at least ten (10) feet in width, within the required setbacks, shall be provided along the perimeter(s) of the site adjacent to the residential parcel(s). The vegetative buffer strip shall consist of plant materials, which shall be a natural compact planting of evergreens or shrubbery which maintain their density and screening effect throughout the calendar year, and shall be at least four (4) feet in height at the time of planting and capable of attaining a minimum mature height of at least five (5) feet and shall be maintained in a neat and attractive manner. If buffering consists of earthen berms, the total height of berm or grass or shrubbery shall not be less than five (5) feet at the time of planting.
12. The Planning Commission shall have the authority to approve, disapprove or approve with conditions the site plan based on the following criteria:

1. The extent of contemplated injury or nuisance (including noise) to owners of riparian, adjacent and nearby parcels.
2. The effects on the navigable waters and overall shoreline land use which are compounded by the impact of common waterfront uses by approval of subsequent development of similar nature.
3. The impact upon the public’s enjoyment of the waterbody or watercourse.


In order to preserve the pastoral character of the area, no building or structure or any part thereof shall be constructed having a height greater than forty (40) feet. This excludes antenna systems that might require a greater height for adequate signal receptions and single family dwelling chimneys.

The following building height restrictions apply only to residential side yard lot lines that touch another side yard lot line in any Residential Zoning District.

To maintain compatibility of scale and character in a residential district, to reduce the visual impact of houses between side yard neighbors, and to reduce fire hazard between residential lots, the height of a building or structure at its minimum side yard setback shall be reduced by its specific side yard set back. No building or structure at its highest point , excluding antennas and chimneys, shall be higher than a line drawn forty -five (45) degrees upward from horizontal plane through a point eighteen (18) feet high at either side yard lot line. On a level lot, side yard to side yard, the maximum building height at the minimum side yard setback of ten (10) feet, (see SECTION IV.7) shall be twenty-eight (28) feet. On a level lot the maximum building height of forty (40) feet shall require a twenty-two (22) foot side yard setback. On sloped lots, side to side, the maximum building height shall be controlled by both the forty-five (45) degree upward sightline as described above and by the maximum building height of forty (40) feet. At the request of the Zoning Administrator, the property owner shall provide lot topographic data to document the building or structure compliance with this requirement. This height restriction applies to all buildings and structures on a residential lot.


A. Any individual, corporation, association, department, board or bureau of the State, County or Township affected by This Ordinance may submit a petition in writing to the Secretary of the Planning and Zoning Commission, requesting that consideration be given to amendment of This Ordinance in the particulars set out in the petition. Upon receipt of such petition, the Township Planning and Zoning Commission shall within forty-five (45) days hold a public hearing to consider such petition. The person submitting such petition shall be notified of the time and place of such meeting not later than ten (10) days prior thereto.
B. The person submitting such petition, if it is a request for re-zoning, shall furnish the Secretary of the Planning and Zoning Commission with the legal description of the property involved and an original and three (3) copies of a good and sufficient plot of the property showing all boundary dimensions and the relationship of all adjoining properties (including those across roads and streets).
C. A fee, as set by the Township Board, shall be submitted with such petition to help defray costs.


Any structure requiring a Land-Use Permit must be completed on the exterior surface with a suitable finishing material, including painting or staining in the case of wood, within one (1) year from date of issuance of the Land-Use Permit, except that in such cases where the Permit is issued for the building only of a “basement home” such a home shall be considered a partial home and the superstructure shall be built and completed on the exterior as described above within three (3) years from date of issuance of the original Land-Use Permit. If hardship can be shown only on approval of the Zoning Board of Appeals a Land-Use Permit may be renewed for one (1) additional year by payment of an additional fee, refer to Fee Schedule.


Any party or parties requesting a Land-Use Permit on Lake Michigan lakeshore property eligible for National Flood Insurance under the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, as amended in 42 USC 4001-4127, must comply with all the requirements as defined in said Act, if said party or parties desires to obtain said insurance.


Occasional yard or garage sales of not more than three (3) days duration, conducted by the owner on the owner’s premises and held only occasionally and not as a regular business, shall be permitted. A yard or garage sale conducted by the same person or held on the same premises more than three (3) times in any calendar year shall be considered in violation of the above requirement that sales be held only occasionally and not as a regular business, unless prior approval for such a sale is obtained from the Zoning Board of Appeals in cases where denial of the privilege would create undue hardship on the applicant.


The regulations of this section are applicable to outdoor lighting fixtures in all zones. The purpose of regulating outdoor lighting fixtures includes:

A. Eliminating glare and light trespass is intended to reduce nuisances to neighboring uses and the Township population as a whole.
B. Restricting luminance, lamp types and requiring full shielding of lighting is intended to reduce light pollution, allowing residents nighttime enjoyment of the dark sky.


Terms used in this section are defined below.

Outdoor Lighting Fixture. Outdoor electrically powered illuminating devices, outdoor lighting or reflective surfaces, lamps and similar devices, permanently installed or portable, used for illumination, decoration or advertisement. Such devices shall include, but are not limited to search, spot, and flood lights at or on buildings and structures, recreation areas, parking lot lighting, landscape lighting, billboard and other signs, street lighting, product display area lighting, building overhangs and open canopies.

Light Trespass. Any artificial light falling outside of the boundaries of the property upon which it is installed.

Fully Shielded. No light rays from the fixture are emitted above the horizon, and at least 90 percent of the light is blocked in the near-sideways range from 0 to 20 degrees below the horizontal plane.

Glare. Direct light emitted by a light that causes reduced visibility of objects or momentary blindness.

Light Pollution. General sky glow caused by the scattering of artificial light in the atmosphere.

Up lighting. Any light source that distributes illumination above a 90-degree horizontal plane.

Items specifically included in the Ordinance but not limited to:

A. Residential yard lights whether building or pole mounted.
B. Commercial and industrial parking lot lighting and site lighting.
C. Privately owned roadway lighting.
D. Building façade lighting


All residential, commercial, institutional, industrial and public uses in
the Township shall provide site lighting meeting the following
A. General Lighting Requirements.

1. Light Trespass. Lighting must be restricted to
within the property line.
2. Shielding All lighting must be fully shielded as
defined in this section. For residential lighting
existing prior to adoption of these regulations, nonshielded
lighting may be retained only if placed on
an infrared sensor or otherwise triggered only by
nearby movement .
3. Floodlighting. Floodlighting is discouraged, and if
used, must be shielded to prevent:

1. Disability glare for drivers or pedestrians;
2. Light trespass beyond the property line;
3. Uplighting.

4. Auto Service/Filling Stations. Island canopy ceiling fixtures shall be recessed.
5. Outdoor Sign Lighting. Sign lighting shall be top mounted and lighted from above and shielded
downward and shall be designed to eliminate all nuisance glare. Signs may also be internally
6. Items specifically included in the Ordinance but not limited to:

1. Residential yard lights whether building or pole mounted.
2. Commercial and industrial parking lot lighting and site lighting.
3. Privately owned roadway lighting.
4. Building façade lighting.

7. Areas and types of outdoor lighting not covered by the Ordinance;

1. Residential decorative lighting (i.e. porch lights, low level lawn lights, and special seasonal
light such as for Christmas decorating.)
2. Public street lighting and sign lighting as regulated by ARTICLE IV.
3. Electrical discharge lighting.

B. Up lighting.

1. All building lighting for security or aesthetics will be full cut off or a shielded type, not allowing
any upward distribution of light.
2. All pole-mounted lighting of parking or display areas shall be shielded and in no case shall the
light be permitted to extend above the horizontal plane (90 degrees).

C. Lighting Time Restrictions.

1. Late Night Lighting of Off-Premises Signs. Electrical illumination of outdoor advertising offpremises
signs between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and sunrise is prohibited.


Buildings or structures of less than 100 square feet area do not require the issuance of a land use permit, but must abide by and conform with the restrictions set forth in this ordinance.



This Ordinance shall be applicable to all accesses – whether they be easements, ways, private drives, common areas, or otherwise – by which more than four (4) lots or residential units are bounded by common motor vehicle access, or through which common motor vehicle access passes to the nearest public road. Reference to the word “subdivision” refers not only to projects falling within that definition under P.A. No. 288, 1967 but also includes any other group of residential units, including, without limitation, condominiums and other developments that, but for the lot size requirements of subparagraph (d) of P.A. No. 288, 1967, Section 102, would be construed as “subdivisions” within the definition of that Act.


In as much as absolute convenience and safety are unobtainable at any cost and as the Township’s primary legal interests in Private Roads are:

A. To determine that road frontage requirements for lots meet zoning requirements and for assigning fiscal responsibility for maintenance and other purposes; and
B. To make as certain as possible that properties can be serviced at least from the road by fire and other emergency equipment.

The standards, which follow, are minimums only and the Township assumes no responsibility for final Private Road designs or their implementation.


A. Plan and profile drawings of the proposed private access road shall be prepared by the Applicant’s Engineer or Surveyor in detail complete enough to be used as construction plans. The drawings shall show the proposed gradients of such roads and the location of drainage facilities and structures, along with any other pertinent information. The maximum grade permitted shall be 8%, although, dependent on length, and horizontal curves, grades up to 12% may be approved. A 12% grade shall not exceed 300 feet and a 10% grade shall not exceed 500 feet in length.

B. Sight distance and horizontal and vertical alignment shall be based on a minimum design speed of twenty-five (25) miles per hour and shall be in accordance with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ (AASHTO) “Policy of Geometric Design and Highways and Streets,” under the designation of “Recreational Roads”. The maximum grade at the stopping side of an intersection shall be two percent (2%) and turn-a-round areas shall have a maximum grade of 4%. The minimum radius for turn-a-round areas shall be thirty (30) feet. Vertical and horizontal curves shall be used at all changes in grade or direction.


All trees, stumps, brush and roots thereof shall be entirely removed from within the grading limits. All graded areas shall have topsoil replaced, be seeded, fertilized and mulched in accordance with Leelanau Conservation District recommendations.


A. The presence of other than granular material in sub-grade soil shall require undercutting and full width placement of a minimum of twelve (12) inches of granular sub-base. All peat and muck shall be removed from the sub-grade.

B. The level of the finished sub-grade shall be at least two and one-half (2 ½) feet above the water table. Drainage ditches shall be constructed on each side of the roadway in cut sections and in fill sections when required. Ditches shall be of sufficient depth to permit placing of future connecting driveway entrance culvert, unless some form of storm sewer or raised bituminous curbing is approved by the Township. Side slopes shall be no steeper than 1:2 (one-foot vertical to two feet horizontal). Where the depth of fill exceeds ten (10) feet, adequate guardrail protection shall be provided.

C. Bridges for roadways shall be designed to not less than HS-20 AASHTO loading.

D. M.D.O.T. type B-2 concrete curb and gutter will be required at an intersection with a county road if the development has a total of 15 or more dwelling units.


Unless waived by the township, a drainage plan submitted on a topographic map with no larger than two (2) foot contour intervals shall be submitted, indicating the manner in which surface drainage is to be disposed of. In no case shall runoff from a subdivision be diverted due to construction beyond the limits of that subdivision onto adjacent property unless appropriate easements are provided. A crown of sufficient slope to insure drainage shall be provided across the width of the traveled-way for either gravel- or bituminous-surfaced roads. The plan shall meet the requirements of the Leelanau Conservation District and the Leelanau County Drain Commissioner’s Office.


The Right-of Way (ROW), (preserved by recorded easements), the Traveled Way, shoulders, utility areas and cleared zones are to be minimally dimensioned as shown below, depending on the number of lots served.

*All Measurements in feet
Note: There may be more than one classification of private road within a development.

Figure 1 – Private Access Road Dimensions

Maximum distance of a private access road shall be four thousand (4000) feet as measured from a public road to the end of the furthest turn-a-round. If the distance is greater than 4000 ft. or for subdivision creating a total of fifty (50) or more lots, one or more additional connections to a public road or to an adjacent private road of similar specification are required. Overhead clearances under bridges or tree branches shall be maintained at fourteen (14) feet over a twelve (12) foot width in order to allow free passage of large emergency vehicles.

*Note: Minimum traveled way and/or minimum cleared zones may be reduced if required in writing by another governmental agency for environmental reasons.


A. A six (6) inch aggregate finish course of 23A processed road gravel (Michigan DOT Standard
B. Specifications) shall be placed and compacted for gravel roads. For bituminous-surfaced roads, a six (6) inch aggregate base course of 22A processed road gravel shall be placed and compacted.
C. To prevent erosion roads with grades greater than 7% shall be surfaced with bituminous.
D. The sub-base shall be compacted to 95% density prior to placement of base. The aggregate base under bituminous shall be compacted to 98% density.


Shoulder material shall be of a type that when compacted will not rut or displace under traffic, and shoulder design and ditch construction shall adequately drain water away from the roadway, while preventing erosion.


At a minimum a stop sign must be placed at the intersecting county roads. The Applicant shall furnish and erect private road name signs at all intersections within the subdivision and entrances thereto. Road name signs must be in conformance with the Leelanau County Address Ordinance.


Guardrail shall be required at fill sections where the embankment is greater than ten (10) feet in height and the fill slope is steeper than 1 on 3. The construction of 1 on 3 slopes is preferred over the use of guardrails and is required where practicable. Where guardrail or posts are used, shoulders shall be constructed two (2) feet wider than the standard engineering recommendations shown in Item #7 above without the guardrail.


If a bituminous surface is used on a private access road, it shall be placed on at least six (6) inches of compacted 22A aggregate (MDOT Standard Specifications). The bituminous aggregate pavement course shall be laid by an MDOT – pre-qualified contractor at a rate of at least two hundred pounds per square yard (200#/SYD) of C.A.L.C. (MDOT Standard Specifications) or other approved mix, and may be applied in one course.


A. Private Access Roads should intersect with each other or with public roads at ninety (90 ) degrees or closely thereto and in no case less than seventy (70 ) degrees.
B. Where the proposed continuation of an access road at an intersection is not in good alignment with the opposing road, it must not intersect the crossroad closer than one hundred seventy-five (175) feet from such opposite existing road, as measured from the centerline of said roads.
C. For the end of any private access road, the design must provide a turn-a-round for large vehicles, such as a fire truck.

(Other types of turn-a-rounds may be used if approved by the Township)


The regulations set forth in this Ordinance are applicable to all private access roads between the subdivision and the public road, regardless of whether the fee or equitable owner of all or part of the private access road is the same person developing the subdivision.


All materials incorporated in the work shall meet the specifications called for, or be approved by the Engineer.


Prior to the sale of any units within the project, the developer shall record with the Leelanau County Register of Deeds Office the following notices against all lands served by the access:

A. “Access to the lots or residential units within the following described property will not be maintained by the Leelanau County Road Commission.” [Set forth a legal description of the entire subdivision property perimeter.] B. The township is not responsible nor shall the township be obligated in any manner to perform regular inspections of this private road or to provide necessary repairs or maintenance.

A copy of the recorded notice shall be given to the administrator before approval of the final plat (if applicable) or, in any event, before the conveyance of any lot (or unit) within the subdivision.


Roads existing and used as private access roads at the time this Ordinance becomes effective, and which do not meet all the design requirements specified herein, may continue to be used, provided that the safety features necessary for passage of emergency vehicles, such as minimum traveled way width of 12 feet and overhead clearance of 14 feet, are met prior to the issuance of land use permits to those lots or parcels to be served by the private access road. Verification of safety adequacy by the Township Fire Chief, or designee, is required in such cases before land use permits are issued.


Violations of the Private Road Access Ordinance are considered as municipal civil infractions and enforcement actions will be taken accordingly.


The Township Board shall designate, on an as needed basis, an Administrator to review all private access road construction plans to determine conformity with this Ordinance. Any applications for approval to this Ordinance shall be submitted to the Administrator, along with the applicable fee or deposit. The applicant shall be reimbursed for any portion of the deposit not used, and conversely, will be billed for the amount of engineering review costs that exceed the deposit. Upon the application of a person affected by this Section, the Glen Arbor Township Board may vary the terms and conditions imposed hereby, provided:

A. The proposed variance does not result in reduced safety, durability, drainage, erosion control, or the all-weather access aspects of the project; and;

B. If deemed necessary by the Glen Arbor Township Board, the applicant deposits with the request for variance, sufficient funds estimated to cover the cost to the Township of retaining a civil engineer to review the variance request, submit opinions thereon to the Township Board and draft conditions for approval. The minimum fee shall be as established by the Township Board and the administrator shall determine the amount of deposit, based on the estimated review of cost, if greater than the minimum.