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Land Division


Adopted: October 13, 1997 Effective: November 17, 1997

An ordinance to regulate partitioning or division of parcels or tracts of land, enacted pursuant but not limited to Michigan Public Act 288 of 1967, as amended, and Act 246 of 1945, as amended, being the Township General Ordinance statute; to provide a procedure therefore; to repeal any ordinance or provision thereof in conflict herewith; and to prescribe and enforcement remedies for the violation of this ordinance.



This ordinance shall be known and cited as the Escanaba Township Land Division Ordinance.


The purpose of this ordinance is to carry out the provisions of the State Land Division Act (1967 PA 288 as amended, formerly known as the Subdivision Act) to prevent the creation of any parcels of property which do not comply with applicable ordinances and said Act, to minimize potential boundary disputes, to maintain orderly development of the community, and otherwise provide for the health, safety, and welfare of the residents and property owners of the municipality by establishing reasonable standards for prior reviews and approval of the land divisions within the Township.


For the purposes of this ordinance certain terms and words used herein shall have the following meaning:

A. “Applicant” – A natural person, firm, association, partnership, corporation, or combination of any of them that holds an ownership interest in land whether recorded or not.

B. “Divide or Division” – the partitioning or splitting of a parcel or tract of land by the proprietor thereof or by his heirs, executors, administrators, legal representatives, successors or assigns, for the purpose of sale or lease of more than one year, or of building development that results in one or more parcels of less than 40 acres or the equivalent, and that satisfies the requirements of Sections 108 and 109 of the State Land Division Act. “Divide and Division” does not include a property transfer between two or more adjacent parcels, if the property taken from one parcel is added to an adjacent parcel; and any resulting parcel shall not be considered a building site unless the parcel conforms to the requirements of the State Land Division Act, this ordinance, and other applicable ordinances.

C. “Exempt Split or Exempt Division” – the partitioning or splitting of a parcel or tract of land by the proprietor thereof, or by his or hers heirs, executors, administrators, legal representatives, successors, or assigns, that does not result in one or more parcels of less than 40 acres or the equivalent; provided all resulting parcels are accessible for vehicular travel and utilities from existing public roads through existing adequate roads or easements, or through areas owned by the owner of the parcel that can provide such access.

D. “Forty Acres or the Equivalent” – either 40 acres, a quarter-quarter section containing not less than 30 acres, or a government lot containing not less than 30 acres.

E. “Governing Body” – the Escanaba Township Board.


Land in the Township shall not be divided without the prior review and approval of the Township assessor, or other official designated by the governing body, in accordance with this ordinance and the State Land Division Act; provided that the following shall be exempted from this requirement:

A. A parcel proposed for subdivision through a recorded plat to the State Land Division Act.

B. A lot in a recorded plat proposed to be divided in accordance with the State Land
Division Act.

C. An exempt split as defined in this ordinance.


An applicant shall file all of the following with the Township assessor or other designated official by the governing body for review and approval of a proposed land division before making any division either by deed, land contract lease for more than one years, or for building development:

A. The Township Board may approve a completed application form on such form.

B. Proof of fee ownership of the land proposed to be divided.

C. A tentative parcel map drawn to scale including an accurate legal description of each proposed division, and showing the boundary lines, approximate dimensions, and the accessibility of each division from existing or proposed public roads for automobiles, traffic and public utilities.

D. Proof that all standards of the State Land Division Act and this Ordinance have been met.

E. The history and specifications of the land proposed to be divided sufficient to establish that the proposed division complies with section 108 of the State Land Division Act.

F. If a transfer of division rights is proposed in the land transfer, detailed information about the terms and availability of the proposed division rights transfer.

G. Unless a division create a parcel which is acknowledged and declared to be “ not a development site”, all divisions shall result in “buildable” parcels with sufficient area to comply with all required set back provisions, minimum floor areas, off-street parking spaces, approved on-site sewage disposal and water well locations (where public water and sewage is not available), access to existing public utilities and public roads and maximum allowed area coverage of buildings and structures on the site. Declared agriculture land and land for forestry use shall not be subject to the forgoing as “development sites” as provided in the State Land Division Act at Section 102.

H. The fee as may from time to time be established by resolution of the governing body of the Township for land division reviews pursuant to this ordinance to cover the costs of review of the application and administration of this Ordinance and the State Land Division Act.


a. The assessor or other designee shall approve, approve with reasonable conditions to assure compliance with applicable ordinances and the protection of public health, safety, and general welfare, or disapprove the land division applied for within 45 days after receipt of the application package conforming to this Ordinance’s requirements, and shall promptly notify the decision and the reasons for any denial. If the application package does not conform to this Ordinance’s requirements and the State Land Division Act, the assessor or other designee shall return the same to the applicant for completion and refilling in accordance with this Ordinance and the State Land Division Act.

b. Any or entity agreed by the decision of the assessor or designee may, within 30 days of said decision appeal the decision to the governing body of the Township or such other body or person designated by the governing body which shall consider and resolve such appeal by a majority vote of said Board or by the designee at its next regular meeting or session affording sufficient time for a 20 days written notice to the applicant (and appellant where other than the applicant) of the time and date of said meeting and appellate hearing.

c. The assessor or designee shall maintain an official record of all approved and accomplished land divisions or transfers.


A proposed land division shall be approved if the following criteria are met.

A. All the parcels to be created by the proposed land division(s) fully comply with the applicable lot (parcel), yard and area requirements of pertinent Ordinances, including, but not limited to, minimum lot (parcel) frontage/width, minimum road frontage, minimum lot (parcel) area, and minimum lot (parcel) coverage and minimum set-backs for existing buildings/structures or have received a variance from such requirement(s) from the appropriate Zoning Board of Appeals.

B. The proposed land division(s) complies with all requirements of the State Land Division Act and this Ordinance.

C. All parcels created and remaining have existing adequate accessibility, or an area available thereof, to a public road for utilities and emergency and other vehicles. All access roads, public or private must be a minimum of 66 feet wide when two or more homes are located on them.

D. The ratio of depth to width of any parcels created by the division does not exceed a four to one ratio exclusive of access road, easements, or non-development sites. The depth of a parcel created by a land division shall be measured within the boundaries of each parcel from the abutting road right a way to the most remote boundary line point of the parcel from the point of commencement of the measurement. The width of a parcel shall be measured at the abutting road or right of way line, or as otherwise provided in any applicable ordinances.


Any parcel created in noncompliance with this ordinance shall not be eligible for any building permits, or zoning approvals, such as conditional land use approval or site plan approval, and shall not be recognized as a separate parcel on the assessment roll. In addition, violation of this ordinance shall subject the violator to the penalties and enforcement actions set forth in Section 9 of this ordinance, and as may otherwise be provided by law.


Any person who violates any of the provisions of this ordinance shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500.00 or by imprisonment in the county jail for not to exceed 90 days or by both such fine and imprisonment.
Any person who violates any of the provisions of this ordinance shall also be subject to a civil action seeking invalidation of the land division and appropriate injunctive or other relief.


The provisions of this ordinance are hereby declared to be severable and if any clause, sentence, word, section or provision is declared void or unenforceable for any reason by court of competent jurisdiction, it shall not effect any portion of this ordinance other than said part or portion thereof.


All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict with this ordinance are hereby repealed, except that this Ordinance shall not be construed to repeal any provision in the applicable Zoning Ordinance or Building Codes.


This ordinance shall take effect 30 days following its publication after adoption.

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