810-227-5225

Utilities: 800-881-4109

Hours: M–F 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Planning Department

Staff

  • Kelly VanMarter, AICP - Assistant Township Manager/Community Development Director - kelly@genoa.org
  • Amy Ruthig, Zoning Official - amy@genoa.org

Frequently Asked Questions

What is zoning?

Zoning is the public regulation of the use of land. It involves the adoption of an ordinance that divides a community into various districts, or zones, and describes regulations on use, buildings, structures, and land within the various zones. Each district lists the permitted uses of land within that zone (such as residential, commercial or industrial), and area, height, and placement requirements. The zoning ordinance also includes an official zoning map, which depicts graphically the physical location of the various zoning designations. Zoning is considered a "police power" regulation, one of a number of laws (such as building and health codes) which are adopted to protect the public health, safety and general welfare.

Michigan law requires that zoning be based upon a plan designed to promote the public health, safety and general welfare of all citizens. Thus, zoning is based upon a Master Plan that is prepared and periodically updated by the Planning Commission. It is also one of the primary tools used to implement the plan.

The Township Zoning Ordinance can be found on our ordinances page.

The Township Zoning Map can be found on our map page.

What is the master plan?

A master plan is an official document authorized by Michigan Law, that serves as the basis for zoning and guides decisions on development and public capital improvements. The master plan can be viewed as a blueprint for the community's future. The typical master plan:

  • Identifies and evaluates existing conditions and trends
  • Establishes goals with public input
  • Considers alternatives and provides recommendations for the physical development or redevelopment of the community

The overall purpose of the comprehensive plan is to formulate public policy to promote public health, safety and general welfare. This is done by establishing a land use plan that is appropriate given the market demands, community character, environmental conditions, availability or capacity of public infrastructure and services, and relationship to other existing or planned land uses. The plan must protect property rights by allowing individuals to invest in their property with a certain degree of expectation about the future surroundings.

Please review our Township Master Plan for complete details.