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Central Michigan University may get own district under zoning law

Central Michigan University was under consideration for its own zoning district by the city commission of Mount Pleasant. The officials were to weigh zoning variances and other relevant issues at a special public hearing. At a recent meeting, the city commission requested that the planning commission consider amending the existing zoning ordinance to create a separate zoning district the University.

The city manager added that the planning commission reviewed a draft of the possible amended zoning ordinance, received a report from the city attorney and held a public hearing to settle details for such a zoning district. The hearing by the city commission allows for review of both the language of the ordinance and the zoning map. The city's interim city planner noted that the university already had control of its land. Rezoning, however, would eliminate any ambiguity under the law.

Without the proposed zoning change, different parts of the campus are zoned in different ways. Some areas are zoned as single-family residential housing while others are zoned for commercial and research park areas. The new zoning district would bring CMU into line with other Michigan communities with sizable public universities and ensures that university property would be treated in the same way as federal buildings and public schools.

Understanding zoning variances or other allowances for land use under Michigan property and zoning laws can be tricky for large universities and small businesses alike. An attorney familiar with title and land use disputes as well as real estate litigation may be able to help property owners better understand and protect their rights.

Source: Morning Sun, "Mount Pleasant to hold public hearing regarding creation of separate Central Michigan University zoning", Randi Shaffer, September 12, 2013

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