Building Dept. Policies & Procedures


For requirements on fence construction, please contact the Building Dept. Be advised that fence posts must be buried to a depth of at least 3 feet.


Variance Requests
A Variance may be requested when a proposed project does not meet the specific requirements of the city ordinances.  Building setbacks, required parking spaces, and building height are all examples of elements that may require a variance.  Please be advised that variances are not easily obtained. The State of Michigan requires an applicant to prove a practical difficulty or undue hardship in order to receive a variance. If there is a question regarding the need for a variance, contact the Building Department at (248) 546-4075. It is our goal to make the development process as smooth as possible.

Variance Requirements
The following must be submitted in order for an application to be deemed complete:
All fees
Title search
Site plan or mortgage survey
Notarized letters of support

Variance Procedure
The Zoning Board of Appeals meets the first Wednesday of every month. Please call the Building Department for Zoning Board of Appeals application details (248) 546-4075 and visit this link to the variance application

Step One:
Once you have applied to the City with the required information, the Building Department will schedule a public hearing. The City prepares and distributes notices to everyone within 300 feet of your proposed development of what you plan to do and when the matter will be considered. You will also be notified when this happens.

Step Two:
Your variance request will be discussed at the Zoning Board of Appeals meeting. You must convince the Zoning Board of Appeals that the City's requirements as applied to your project will cause a practical difficulty or an undue hardship. You will have the opportunity to present your case to the Zoning Board of Appeals. This is a public hearing so anyone may have the opportunity to speak about the proposed development.

Step Three:
Based upon the evidence presented, the Zoning Board of Appeals will determine whether or not a variance should be granted. The Zoning Board of Appeals will approve, approve with conditions, or deny the request.

Step Four:
If the Zoning Board of Appeals grants the variance, you may then proceed to the site plan approval phase of your project. If the Zoning Board of Appeals denies the request, the proposed development must be amended to meet the City's ordinance requirements.