Planning & Zoning FAQ

Where do I go to get a zoning permit?
Do I need a zoning permit?
What do I need when I apply for my zoning permit?
What are the fees for a zoning permit?
What is the procedure if I am building something other than a residential building?
What are the zoning standards regarding a fence?
Do I need a zoning permit for a shed?
What are my setbacks?
What is my property zoned?
How do I report a potential zoning violation?
Planning and Zoning Resource Links

Where do I go to get a zoning permit?

If the property is located in any of the following Townships, then Emmet County Planning and Zoning issues the zoning permit: Bear Creek, Bliss, Carp Lake, Center, Cross Village, Friendship, Littlefield, Little Traverse, Maple River, McKinley, Readmond, Springvale, Wawatam, or West Traverse.

The Planning and Zoning Resources Office is located in the John R. Watson Community Resource Center, 3434 Harbor-Petoskey Road, (M-119), Suite E (Lower level), Harbor Springs, MI 49740.

If the property is located in:

Pleasantview Township: contact Jack Sommerville at 231-526-2739.

Resort Township: contact Larry Houghton at Resort Township Hall, 231-347-7915.

Village of Alanson: contact Lamar Eby at 231-548-5269.

Village of Mackinaw City: Mackinaw City Village Hall, 231-436-5351.

Village of Pellston: contact Randy Bricker at 231-838-4499.

City of Harbor Springs: contact Jeff Grimm in the Harbor Springs City Hall at 231-526-2104.

City of Petoskey: contact Amy Tweeten at the Petoskey City Hall at 231-347-2500.

Do I need a zoning permit?

Zoning permits are needed for: a) new use of land; b) new use of buildings; c) expansion of a structure or useable exterior part, including erection, moving, expansion or diminished floor area. (No Zoning Permit fee shall be applied to farm use buildings if not for human occupancy.)

What do I need when I apply for my Zoning Permit?

All Zoning Permit applications must be accompanied by plans and specifications including a plot plan drawn to scale, which shows the shape, location and dimensions of the lot; The shape, size and location of all buildings or other structures to be erected, altered or moved and of any building or other structures already on the lot drawn to scale, the existing and intended use of the lot and of all such structures upon it including, in residential areas, the number of dwelling units the building is intended to accommodate; and such other information concerning the lot or adjoining lots as may be essential for determining whether the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance are being observed.

What are the fees for a Zoning Permit?

For specific charges, please refer to the Planning & Zoning Fee Schedule.

What is the procedure if I am building something other than a residential building?

The procedure varies depending on each circumstance. Contact the Emmet County Office of Planning and Zoning.  [email protected]

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What are the Zoning Standards regarding a fence?

The Zoning Ordinance states:

22.04.1 Fences (General)

Fences designed to enclose property in any district shall be subject to the following conditions:

  1. Fences in any platted subdivision, residential development or residential zoning district shall not contain barbed wire or be electrified.
  2. Fence and wall materials may include treated wood, painted/stained wood, treated split rail, ornamental wrought iron, brick, stone, masonry block, molded vinyl, or chain link.
  3. No fence shall obscure the vision of drivers of vehicles at any driveway entrance or exit, street intersection or other pedestrian or vehicle property access point.
  4. Fences may be installed without a permit provided the following standards are met:
    1. A fence may locate at or along the property line. Adequate space should be allotted to permit access for maintenance without trespass.
    2. Fences in front setback areas or areas in front of the main building wall may be four (4) feet in height.
    3. Fences in side and rear yards may be up to six (6) feet in height.
  5. Fences exceeding the height of #2 and #3 above shall meet the setback standard of the district in which it is located.

Do I need a Zoning Permit for a shed?

Zoning Permits are not required for residential accessory buildings under 200 square feet. The Zoning Office cautions, however, that such structures must meet the setbacks of the Zoning District.

What are my setbacks?

Setbacks are the distance a structure is required to be from the property lines. Setbacks vary from Zoning District to Zoning District. Residential structures on properties located on a lake, river or stream must be setback from the 1986 high water mark a minimum of 60′. Contact the Planning and Zoning Office for individual property’s front, rear and side yard setbacks or review the Schedule of Regulations.

Schedule of Regulations

What is my property zoned?

The zoning on your property depends on the property’s location. A PDF zoning maps is available by clicking here . Or an interactive map is available by clicking here.  If you are unable to determine your zoning district by the map, contact the Emmet County Office of Planning and Zoning Resources by:

Phone: 231-348-1735
Fax: 231-439-8933
Visit the office:
3434 Harbor-Petoskey Road, Suite E (Lower level)
Harbor Springs, MI 49740

It is easiest for staff to determine the zoning district if you provide the property tax identification number.

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How do I report a potential Zoning Violation?

To report a violation, you may call the Planning and Zoning Resources Office at (231) 348-1735, fax (231) 439-8933, or email [email protected]. Be sure to include the location of the property and a description of the alleged violation. Anonymous complaints can be made by phone.

When a complaint is received, it is turned over to the Zoning Enforcement Officer. In some cases, while the activity on the property may be annoying or unattractive, it may not always violate the Zoning Ordinance. In that case, the property owners must work out the issues privately or some other ordinance may apply (Blight Ordinance for example).

Planning & Zoning Resource Links

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Emmet County, Michigan
200 Division Street, Petoskey MI 49770
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