Subdivision Ordinance


Effective ______







The Township Board of the Township of Holton, Muskegon County, Michigan hereby






            Section 1.01  Legal Basis; Purpose.  This Ordinance is enacted pursuant to Public Act 288 of 1967, as amended, the Land Division Act of 1967. (“Act 288”)  This Ordinance is intended to provide for the proper and orderly subdivision of land in the Township, to provide for adequate and essential public improvements and utilities, and to promote the public health, safety and welfare.


Section 1.02  Fee Schedule.  Any person filing a plat pursuant hereto shall pay fees established from time to time by resolution of the Township Board, and until the fee is paid the plat shall not be considered or reviewed.


Section 1.03  Definitions.  All terms herein shall have the meanings and definitions given by Act 288.


Section 1.04  Scope and Conflict.  The provisions of this Ordinance apply to all platted subdivisions of land within the Township.  Where this Ordinance provides a standard stricter than that required by Act 288, this Ordinance shall control.


Section 1.05  Certification of Plats and Drawings.  All plats and drawings submitted hereunder shall be prepared and sealed by a registered surveyor and/or engineer, as applicable.




Preliminary Plat Application and Review Procedures

Section 2.01  Submission of Plats.  The Proprietor of any land proposed to be subdivided shall submit 8 copies of a preliminary plat, together with supplementary documents, containing the information required by Act 288 and this Ordinance, to the Township Zoning Administrator or such person as may be designated by the Township Board who shall forward the plans to the Planning Commission for its next meeting.


Section 2.02  Preliminary Plat; Required Information.


The following information shall be submitted for tentative approval of the preliminary plat.  Maps shall be at a scale of not more than 100 feet to one inch.


1)            The name or title of the proposed subdivision.


2)            Legal description of the proposed project.


3)            The name, address and telephone number of the Proprietor, developer, record owner and subdivider.

4)            The  dimensions of each lot including required setback lines.

5)            Location and size of all existing and proposed public water, sanitary sewer, fire hydrants and other facilities.

6)            A storm drainage and storm water management plan, including all lines, drains,             basins, and other facilities.  Illustrate the direction of storm water drainage as well             as a statement describing where storm water will be ultimately discharged such as             a creek, stream, lake or wetland or retained on site.


7)            Location of utility and drainage easements.


8)            A small scale vicinity map showing location of project within the Township, and the name and location of abutting subdivisions.


9)            The location, dimensions and approximate grade and radius of proposed and existing streets, alleys and highways included in the plat.


10)            The location of all existing features affecting the subdivision, such as railroads, expressways, buildings, trees, ditches, watercourses and other physical features.


11)            If the proposed project is contiguous to other lands owned by the applicant, a map showing the street layout and access for subsequent development.


12)            If the proposed subdivision is not to be served by public sewer and water systems, a written statement from the Muskegon County Health Department regarding the suitability of the soils for on-site septic systems.


13)            The location of the 100 year floodplain, as established by the State Department of Natural Resources, shall be shown within a contour line.


14)       Any proposed covenants and deed restrictions to be imposed upon the use of property in the subdivision or a statement in writing that none are proposed.  If common areas are to be reserved for use by the residents of the subdivision, copies of an agreement indicating how the area will be maintained shall be submitted.


15)            Property lines, dimensions, and building setback distances and all structures, lot lines and wetlands within 100 feet of the site.


16)            Existing and proposed topographic elevations at two foot intervals on the site and to a distance of 50 feet outside the boundary lines of the site.


17)            Location of abutting streets, rights-of-way, service drives, curb cuts, and access easements serving the site, as well as driveways opposite the site and driveways within 100 feet on either side of the site. Also driveway width, curb radii and design of proposed deceleration lanes.


18)            Street lighting, if any, including the type of fixture as well as method of shielding illumination from adjacent properties and roadways.


19)            Location and type of significant existing vegetation, water courses, and water bodies including county drains and manmade surface drainage ways, floodplains, and wetlands.


20)            Location of existing and proposed slopes which are 20 percent or greater, which may be altered by the development or the construction of buildings within the development.


22)            Zoning and use of the proposed subdivision and on adjacent properties.


Section 2.03            Tentative Preliminary Plat; Tentative Approval Procedure.


(1) preliminary plat shall be referred to the Planning Commission, which shall consider it and make a recommendation to the Township Board.  Such consideration and recommendation shall take place following a public hearing by the Planning Commission on the preliminary plat.  For such hearing, notice shall be given in accordance with Section 16.01C of the Holton Township Zoning Ordinance.


(2)            The Planning Commission shall recommend approval, approval with conditions,                                or disapproval of a plat within 63 days after the plat is submitted to the Planning

Commission. If applicable standards under the State of Michigan Land Division                                    Act, 1967 PA 288, MCL 560.101 to 560.293, and the requirements of the Holton                               Township Subdivision Ordinance an are met, the Planning Commission shall                              recommend approval of the plat.


If the Planning Commission fails to act within the required period, the plat shall                              be considered to have been recommended for approval, and a certificate to that                           effect shall be issued by the Planning Commission upon request of the proprietor.

However, the proprietor may waive this requirement and consent to an extension                              of the 63-day period. The grounds for any recommendation of disapproval of a                                 plat shall be stated upon the records of the Planning Commission.


The preliminary plat, together with minutes showing the action of the Planning Commission thereon, shall be referred to the Township Board.


(2) The Township Board shall grant tentative approval of or shall disapprove the preliminary plat not later than 90 days after the preliminary plat was first submitted by the proprietor provided all information as required for submission of the preliminary plat has been submitted by the applicant. Such time period may be extended with the consent of the applicant.


If the preliminary plat is not approved, the Township Board shall set forth in writing its reasons for rejection.  The Township Board shall record its approval or disapproval on the plat and return one copy to the Proprietor.

(3) Tentative approval under this section shall confer upon the Proprietor, for a period of one year, approval of lot sizes, lot orientation and street layout.  The duration of such tentative approval may be extended by the Township Board.


Section 2.04 Preliminary Plat; Final Approval Procedure.


(1) Following tentative approval of the preliminary plat by the Township Board, the Proprietor shall:


a. Submit the preliminary plat to all other reviewing authorities as required by Act 288.


b. Submit a list of all such authorities to the Township Clerk, certifying that the list shows all approving authorities as required by Act 288.


c. Submit all approvals to the Township Clerk after they have been secured.


(2) Following a determination that all required approvals have been secured, the Clerk shall forward the approved copies of the preliminary plat, together with all communications from the reviewing agencies, to the Township Board as soon as possible prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting.


(3) The Township Board shall, at its next regularly scheduled meeting or within 20 days following submission of the required materials shall:


a. Consider and review the preliminary plat and approve it if the Proprietor has met all conditions specified for approval of the preliminary plat.


b. Instruct the Township Clerk to notify the Proprietor of approval or rejection in writing.


(4) Final approval of the preliminary plat under this section shall confer upon the Proprietor for a period of two years from the date of approval, the rights granted under Act 288.  This period may be extended by the Township Board.




Final Plat Application and Review Procedure


Section 3.01  Requirements.


(1) Final plats shall be prepared and submitted as provided in Act 288.


(2) A written application for approval and all recording and other Township and State fees shall accompany all final plats.


(3) The Proprietor shall submit proof of ownership of the land included in the final plat in a form satisfactory to the Township.


(4) The Township may require such other information as it deems necessary to establish whether the proper parties have signed the plat.


Section 3.02  Procedure; Final Plat.


(1) The final plat shall be submitted not less than 20 days prior to the next regular meeting of the Township Board.  For any plat submitted thereafter, the applicant shall pay an additional fee established by resolution, for the cost of calling a special meeting to comply with Section 167 of Act 288, unless the Proprietor waives compliance with Section 167.


(2) The Township Board shall examine the final plat at the next regularly scheduled meeting or within 20 days after submission of the plat, and the Board shall either approve or disapprove the plat.


Section 3.03 Improvements and Facilities.


(1) Before final approval of a plat, all required improvements shall be completed, or security shall be given as provided in Section 3.04.


(2) Monuments shall be set in accordance with Act 288 and the rules of the State Department of Treasury.


(3) Upon completion of all required improvements, one complete copy of as-built engineering plans as well as an electronic copy of such plans for all required public improvements and utilities shall be filed with the Township Clerk coincident with the submission of the final plat.


Section 3.04  Security for Completion.


(1) In lieu of completion of some or all required improvements, the Township Board may give final plat approval conditioned upon the proprietor providing a financial guaranty for performance as provided in this section.


(2) Security shall be in an amount equal to the total estimated cost for completion of the improvement, including reasonable contingencies.  Security shall not be required for an improvement for which security has been furnished to another governmental agency.


(3) Security shall remain in force for a time to be specified by the Township Board.


(4) Security shall be in the form of an irrevocable bank letter of credit issued by a bank, in a form satisfactory to the Township, or in the form of cash escrow or certified check.  A performance bond in form satisfactory to the Township, from a surety company authorized to do business in the State of Michigan and acceptable to the Township, may be substituted in lieu of such security only if the applicant can satisfy the Township that an irrevocable letter of credit, cash escrow or certified check cannot reasonably be made available.


(5) The proprietor may request periodic reductions in the amount of security as public improvements are completed.  Township staff may approve such reductions, to an amount estimated to be equal to the remaining cost of improvements, plus a reasonable contingency.


Section 3.05  Certificates on Final Plat.  The final plat shall include proper certificates for the Township Clerk to certify the approval of the plat by the Township Board, and the acceptance on behalf of the public of all dedi­cations shown thereon by the governmental body having jurisdiction over such dedication.




Improvements and Regulations


Section 4.01  General.  The following standards shall apply to all subdivisions within the             Township.


Section 4.02  Lots.


(1) All lots shall face upon, and have direct access to, a public or private street.


(2) The side lines of lots shall be approximately at right angles or radial to the street upon which the lots face.


(3) All lots shall conform to the requirements of the zoning ordinance for the zone in which the plat is located.  This Ordinance shall not be construed as providing for lots smaller than as specified in the Zoning Ordinance.  If public water and sewer are available, the provisions of the Township Zoning Ordinance shall override Section 186 of Act 288.


(4) Corner lots for residential use shall have the minimum required frontage on both streets adjacent to the lot.


(5) The depth to width ratio shall be as required for the zoning district in which the subdivision is proposed.   If no depth to width ratio is required then the depth of the lot shall not exceed four times the width.  The depth of a lot shall be measured along a horizontal line located midway between the side lot lines and connected to the front and rear lines, or the two front lines of a through lot.  The width of the lot shall be measured between the side lot lines parallel to the front lot line at the minimum required front setback line.


(6) Corner lots shall have sufficient extra width so as to permit appropriate building setback from both streets or orientation to both streets.  Lots abutting pedestrian mid-block crosswalks shall be treated as corner lots.


(7) Lots in subdivisions bounded by existing streets shall only have access from internal streets constructed to serve the subdivision and not directly to such existing streets.  The Township Board following a recommendation from the Planning Commission may waive this requirement if it is determined that there is no practical way to provide an internal access street due to insufficient lot depth, topography or other natural features of the land to be subdivided or if the proposed subdivision is located on a local street which has a low volume of traffic.


(8) Greenbelts or landscaped screen plantings shall be located between a residential subdivision and adjacent major arterial streets, highways or railroad rights-of-way.  The proposed subdivision plat shall show the location of said greenbelts.  The greenbelt shall contain plantings of sufficient size and number to provide a visual screen for subdivision residents.  The greenbelt may contain an earthen berm in conjunction with plantings.


Section 4.03  Usable Land.  All land shall be platted such that it is usable for building lots or required improvements.  Land may be platted for common or public areas if adequate provision is made for continued maintenance of such areas, unless such provision for continued maintenance is waived or deemed unnecessary by the Township.  For private streets and other areas under the control of a subdivision property owners association or similar organization, the Township may require a recorded agreement whereby the Township may maintain the area and charge the cost thereof as a lien against all properties in the subdivision if the association fails to adequately maintain the areas.


Section 4.04  Dedication.  Streets and other land areas may be dedicated to the public.  Any street not dedicated to the public shall comply with the design standards for private roads as required by the Township Zoning Ordinance, and shall include easements for public utilities within the street and at least fifteen feet on either side thereof.


Section 4.05  Street Names.  Street names shall be approved by the Township Board with final approval by the Muskegon County Road Commission before printing on the final plat.  All streets which are extensions of existing streets must carry the names of such existing streets.


Section 4.06  Street Alignment and Layout.


(1) The subdivision layout shall conform to the Master Plan of the Township.


(2) All proposed public and private streets shall be continuous and in alignment with existing, planned or platted streets insofar as practicable.  Where streets in new subdivisions are extensions of existing streets, the platted streets shall be at least as wide as the existing streets that are being extended.


(3) If streets are to be dedicated to the public, a sufficient number of streets shall extend to the boundary of the subdivision so as to provide sufficient access to adjoining property and to future development on contiguous land.


(4)            A public or private road system or interconnected public and private road system                          shall not serve more than 50 lots, or dwellings units, unless a secondary means of                                  ingress and egress is provided for all of the lots or dwellings served.  This                                         secondary access shall meet the minimum standards for public and/or private                          roads, as the case may be, as required by applicable Holton Township Ordinances.


(5) Intersections of subdivision streets shall be at least 300 feet from the intersection of a public or private street on either side of the road as measured from centerline to centerline.


Section 4.07  Street Design Standards.  Public streets, intersections, and cul-de-sacs in plats shall conform to the design, drainage, grade, layout, right-of-way width and construction requirements of the Muskegon County Road Commission.


Section 4.08  Sidewalks.


(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, sidewalks at least five feet wide, on both sides of the street, shall be provided for and installed in all plats.  A plat shall include right-of-way of sufficient width so as to accommodate such sidewalks.


(2) Such sidewalks shall be laid out and constructed when streets and other public improvements are made, unless the Township Board, following a recommendation of the Planning Commission, approves an arrangement for subsequent sidewalk construction, as lots are improved.  With any such approval for subsequent sidewalk construction, conditions and time deadlines may be imposed.


(3) The following are exceptions from Section 4.08(1):


a. Sidewalks are required on only one side of the street if the other side clearly cannot be developed and if there are no existing or anticipated uses that would generate pedestrian trips on that side.


b. In residential subdivisions, sidewalks are required on one side only of a street intended primarily to provide access to abutting properties if the average lot width on the street is greater than or equal to 100 feet.


c. In residential subdivisions, no sidewalks are required adjacent to streets intended primarily to provide for access to abutting properties if the average lot width on the street is greater than or equal to 150 feet. Provided, however, that a sidewalk shall be required on one side of the street for such portions of any street located within 1,500 feet of a school site which would be on a walking route to the school.


(4) Also in their discretion, the Planning Commission may recommend and the Township Board may approve the waiving, in whole or in part, of the sidewalk requirements of this section.  In considering whether to recommend and approve such waiver, the Planning Commission and Township Board shall consider and make findings upon the following factors:


a. Whether the installation of sidewalks would be a reasonably appropriate plat improvement, giving consideration to the convenience of pedestrians, the amount of available land and other applicable circumstances.


b. The likelihood that pedestrians will make reasonable use of sidewalks in the plat, currently and in the future.


c. Whether there are other sidewalks already installed on adjacent or nearby lands.


d. The effect of topography, landscaping, location of streets and other improvements and the effect, if any, of other physical aspects of the platted lands.


Section 4.09  Street Lighting.  Adequate street lights may be required to be provided             and such lighting shall comply with the applicable requirements for lighting as             contained in the Township Zoning Ordinance.

Section 4.10  Public Utilities.


(1) Public electricity and telephone shall be furnished to each lot in the subdivision.


(2) All utilities shall be installed and maintained underground and in appropriate easements.


(3) Utility easements shall be provided along rear lot lines, and also along side lot lines when necessary.  The total width of such easements shall be not less than ten feet.


(4) When a proposed subdivision is to be served by a publicly-owned or privately-owned public water system, fire hydrants and other required water system appurtenances shall be provided by the subdivider.


(5) If there is no existing or available publicly-owned water supply system, the subdivider may be required to install a privately-owned public water supply system for drinking and fire protection purposes for the common use of the lots within the subdivision in accordance with the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act, Act 399 of the Public Acts of Michigan of 1977, as amended, or successor statute of like import, and with the requirements of Township Ordinance.


Section 4.11  Natural Features.  The landscape shall be preserved in its natural state, insofar as practical, by removing only those areas of vegetation or making those alterations to the topography which are reasonably necessary to develop the site in accordance with the requirements of this Ordinance.

Section 4.12  Drainage.  An adequate storm drainage system, including the necessary storm sewers, drain inlets, manholes, culverts, bridges, and other appurtenances, shall be provided in accordance with the requirements of the Township and the County Drain Commissioner.  Such facilities shall be designed and constructed so as to have no adverse affect on adjoining lands, or upon lots within the subdivision.








Section 5.01   A variance from the provi­sions of this Ordinance may be granted as follows:


(1) If the Proprietor demonstrates that literal enforcement of this Ordinance would result in a practical difficulty, or would impose an unnecessary hardship in the use of the land, Township Board, upon recommendation of the Planning Commission, may permit a variance or vari­ances which are reasonable and within the general policy and purpose of this Ordinance.  The Township may attach conditions to the variance.


(a)        For purposes of this section, practical difficulty shall mean a difficulty or impossibility involving the topography or other physical features of the land.  Unnecessary hardship shall mean a condition of impracticability or unreasonableness that would result from the application of a provision of  this Ordinance.

(b)        In determining whether to grant a variance under the terms of this subsection, the Township Board may depart from the recommendation thereon made by the Planning Commission.

(c)        In considering whether a variance shall be recommended, in the case of the Planning Commission, and in considering whether a variance shall be granted, in the case of the Township Board, each body shall consider and make findings upon the following:

(1)             That there are special circumstances or conditions affecting the property, that would make the strict application of a provision of this Ordinance  impracticable or unreasonable.

(2)             That the granting of the requested variance would not be detrimental to the subdivision development or to adjacent or nearby lands.

(3)             That the granting of the requested variance, when implemented, would not violate or be contrary to a provision of any other chapter of this ordinance.

(4)             That the granting of the requested variance would not violate any provision of the Michigan Land Division Act.

(2) A petition for a variance shall be submitted together with the submission of the preliminary plat for consideration of a recommendation on tentative approval by the Planning Commission.  Notice that request for a variance has been received shall be included in the notice of public hearing on the preliminary plat provided in Section 2.03, and the variance shall be considered during the process of considering the preliminary plat.  If a request for a variance arises because of unforeseen circumstances after preliminary plat review, a request for a variance may be submitted, and a recommendation made by the Planning Commission to the Township Board after public hearing following notice given in accordance with Section 2.03.






Section 6.01  No plat shall be transmitted to any county or state approving authority for official action until each plat shall have been, in the first instance, approved by the Township Board in accordance with the requirements of this Ordinance.


Section 6.02  No person shall sell or convey any lot in any plat by reference thereto until such plat has been duly recorded in the office of the Muskegon County Register of Deeds.


Section 6.03  No building permit shall be issued, and no public sewer or water service shall be provided for any dwelling or other structure located on a lot or plot subdivided or sold in violation of these regulations.  The fact that final plat approval has not been received from the State of Michigan shall not prevent a building permit from being granted for not more than three buildings, or for the maximum number of land divisions which would be permitted under Act 288 without plat approval, whichever is less.  No building may be occupied or used, however, until all required improvements have been completed, and necessary utilities installed.


Section 6.04  Any act or failure to act done in violation of the provisions of this Ordinance is hereby declared to be a nuisance per se.


Section 6.05 


             (1)       A violation of this ordinance is a municipal civil infraction, for which the fine shall be not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 for the first offense and not less than $1,000 nor more than $1,500 for a subsequent offense, in the discretion of the Court, and in addition to all other costs, damages, and expenses provided by law.  For purposes of this section, “subsequent offense” means a violation of this ordinance committed with respect to a separate incident by the same person within 12 months of a previous violation of the ordinance for which said person admitted responsibility or was adjudicated to be responsible.  Each day such violation continues shall be considered a separate offense.


(2)       The landowner, tenant, subdivider, builder, public official or any other person who commits, participates in, assists in, or maintains such violation may each be found responsible for a municipal civil infraction and be liable for the penalties herein provided.  Nothing herein contained shall prevent the Township Board or any other public official or private citizen from taking such lawful action as is necessary to restrain or prevent any violation of this ordinance or of the Land Division Act.


Section 6.06  In addition to any other available remedy, the Township may in its discretion bring an action in its own name to restrain or prevent any violation of this ordinance or any continuance of such violation. In such case the person found violating this ordinance shall pay the Township’s costs and expenses in enforcing this Ordinance, includ­ing its attorneys’ fees.




Division of Platted Lots


            Section 7.01  Prohibition.  No lot or other parcel of land located within a recorded plat shall be further partitioned or divided, or a building permit issued for a partitioned or divided lot, unless such partition or division is first approved by the Township Board as provided in this article.  No partition or division of a lot may result in the creation of a lot that does not satisfy the applicable minimum lot area and dimension requirements of the Township zoning ordinance, this ordinance or Act 288.


Section 7.02  Approval of Platted Division of Lots.


(1) Any proprietor or lot owner who desires to divide, partition or split a lot, outlot, or other parcel of land located in a recorded plat shall complete an application on a form provided by the Township and shall file the same with the Township Clerk, together with payment of any application fee that may be required.  The application shall include a drawing, drawn to scale, showing the proposed division or partition and all adjoining lots, streets and other adjoining parcels.  If the applicant proposes to construct a dwelling or other building on the resulting or remaining lot, or both of them, and if sanitary sewer service and/or water supply are proposed to be provided by an individual septic tank and/or water supply well, the application shall also include a written approval or other statement from the County Health Department indicating approval of the proposed septic tank and drain field system and/or water supply well.


(2) Once the application and other materials are complete, the Clerk shall forward the same to the Planning Commission.  The Commission shall review the application and other materials at a public meeting and shall make a recommendation thereon to the Township Board.


(3) In reviewing the application, the Planning Commission and Township Board shall consider whether the request is consistent with all applicable Township Ordinances, Act 288, and other applicable State laws, and whether the proposed division or partition is consistent with the general public health, safety and welfare.


(4) On receiving the recommendation of the Planning Commission, the Township Board shall either approve or deny the application.  In approving the application, the Board may include such reasonable terms and conditions as it deems appropriate.



Other Matters


            Section 8.01  Severability.  The various parts, sections and clauses of this Ordinance are hereby declared to be severable.  If any part, sentence, paragraph, section or clause is adjudged unconstitutional or invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of this Ordinance will not be affected thereby.


            Section 8.02  Effective Date.  This Ordinance shall take effect thirty days after its publication in the manner provided by law.


YEAS:             Members:  ______________________________________________


NAYS:            Members:  ______________________________________________





                                                                        Holton Township Clerk



I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and complete copy of an ordinance duly adopted by the Holton Township Board at a regular meeting held on ________________2008 and ordered published by the Holton Township Board.





Holton Township Clerk


Introduced:            ______________________


Adopted:            ______________________


Published:            ______________________


Effective:            ______________________