Zoning and Construction Codes Department (ZCCD)
5095 4th Street
Eagle River, Michigan 49950
Keweenaw County Zoning Ordinance
Ann Gasperich, Permit
Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing,
5095 4th Street
Eagle River, MI 49950
906 337-3471 [Phone]
Monday - Friday 9:00 A.M.- 4:00 P.M.
Closed Legal Holidays
Building Inspector & Soil Erosion
6415 Five Mile Point Road
Allouez, MI 49805
906 337-2650 [Phone]
906 370-1648 [Cell]
906 337-2650 [FAX]
Joseph (Mike) Shaltz,
703 East Smith
Iron Mountain, MI 49801
906 281-1711 [Cell]
51498 S. Big Traverse Bay Road
Lake Linden, MI 49945
906 370-1070 [Phone]
Other permits may be required:
Wetland & Critical Dunes
High Risk Erosion
Lakes & Streams
Michigan Department of
Environmental Quality Land & Water Management
PO Box 30204
Lansing, MI 48909-7704
517 373-9244 [Phone]
517 241-9003 [FAX]
On-Site Sewage and/or Water
Western U.P. District Health
540 Depot Street
Hancock, MI 49930
906 482-7382 [Phone]
Driveway/Culvert for Keweenaw
Keweenaw County Road Commission
120 Shop Street
Mohawk, MI 49950
906 337-1610 [Phone]
Federal/State Roads (US-41 and M-26)
Michigan Department of
100 S. Westwood Drive
Ishpeming, MI 49849
906 485-6322, ext. 117 [Phone]
888 920-6368 [Toll free]
906 485-4878 [FAX]
Contractor's Affidavit - if
The zoning ordinance is administered by
the Zoning Administrator who is appointed by the County
Board of Commissioners and serves at its discretion.
The Zoning and Construction Codes
Department (ZCCD) is responsible for the daily
interpretation of the zoning laws. (See
Ordinance Section 18.5
for more detail.) It is our intention to
provide consistent interpretations and non-prejudicial
decisions. While the zoning ordinance attempts to be
crystal clear on every conceivable application, the
reality is that we continue to encounter new uses and
questions not addressed in the ordinance.
The ZCCD recognizes that many citizens
may be basing large monetary decisions on our response
to their inquiries. We owe it to our customers to
provide accurate information. While the ZCCD tries to be
quickly responsive to questions asked by the public and
businesses, please bear in mind that an immediate
response may not be possible in all circumstances.
Some questions require extensive property and zoning
ordinance research. In zoning,
even the simplest of questions sometimes require a
lengthy response if it is to be concise.
Many of the most frequently asked
questions the public has about zoning are addressed on
this web site; however, we encourage your questions by
telephone or e-mail to
The first key document is the
For current zoning Issues or pending ordinance amendments, check the
Planning Commission Minutes.
The second key document is the
Determine zoning district by finding your property on
the Keweenaw County Zoning Map. Use the color coded legend to determine the Zoning
District for the property in which construction is to
take place. You can also call the ZCCD for
information.The up-to-date certified map is maintained
in the ZCCD, Keweenaw County Courthouse, 5095 4th
Street, Eagle River, Michigan 49950.
Eagle Harbor Township has its own
separate zoning districts. Please refer to
Eagle Harbor's ordinance and maps.
Find your Parcel Identification (PID) #
For the staff to be of help to you, or
for you to find some of your own answers pertaining to
zoning on a piece of property. This
number is listed on your annual property tax bill and
starts with "42."
General township, section, range
information is on the WUPPDR website at
Keweenaw County Map
Determine Zoning District Setbacks
To determine setbacks (the minimum
distance new construction or principal structure is to
be from lot lines), minimum lot width, maximum lot
coverage, maximum height of structures, see Zoning
Table 5-1, 5-2 or 5-3.
For Accessory Structure Requirements, see
The Permit Process
Permits are required for many improvement
and construction projects for commercial and residential
properties. You are required by law to get permits for
construction in Keweenaw County whether you’re making
repairs yourself or hiring a contractor. You’re
responsible for finding out if you need permits -- and
getting them before you start work.
If you fail to obtain the proper permit
begins, you can get fined.
Although no Building Permit is
required for accessory structures of 200 sq.ft. or
less, a Zoning Permit is still required.
All commercial structures and
residential structures over 3,500 sq.ft. shall have
a set of plans stamped by an engineer or architect
licensed in the State of Michigan. All other plans
may be self prepared.
Barrier Free (handicap) design
requirements must be met for all new commercial
structures and additions/renovations.
Obtain your permit applications online
Use our new, easy-to-use on-line
Print and fill in all your information, any
time, day or night.
Bring it, along with your site plan
and any other required information, and your permit fee
payment to the ZCCD, 5095 4th Street, Eagle River,
You can also obtain forms from the ZCCD,
complete them, and mail or bring them to the ZCCD.
Please refer to the
Application Process Flowchart for a quick overview
of the permit process.
Step 1 - Zoning Permit Application
(No fee required)
A Zoning Permit is required for:
All new construction, alteration of building,
additions and decks.
Any change of building use. Example:
changing a house to an office or gift shop.
An approved Zoning Permit must be issued
prior to applying for a Building Permit. An approved
Zoning Permit is required for all work and before any
Before you submit your zoning/building permit application:
Find out if you need issuance of a
911 new address.
If you do,
submit a completed request
to the 911 MSAG Coordinator, 5095 4th Street,
River, MI 49950. Only new structures
on a vacant parcel require a new 911 address.
Zoning Permit applications must
(Size and location of structures,
existing and proposed; septic system and water well
on property; distance of all structures to property
lines and street right-of-ways. Lot lines must be
clearly marked on the site for inspection. Please
note that to expedite the application process, a
good site plan and clearly marked site is needed. To
complete a plat drawing, follow the instructions,
12 Steps to Showing Improvements on a
Drawings showing the front and side
of the proposed structure are also
All structures are required to be 75
feet from high water mark on any lake front or river
front, except for zoning districts RR, A, RS-1 and
R-1B where a 50-foot setback from high water mark is
required. High water mark is defined as where the
vegetation starts or ends, or where the waves on the
body of water reach on land at their highest point.
A minimum lot size for Agricultural Zoning District
is ten (10) acres.
All new construction requires a valid well and
septic permit or existing well and septic prior to
granting a zoning permit.
If you are submitting a large-scale
such as construction of a new
residential or office building, Schedule a
Preliminary Design Review Meeting. The meeting
provides applicants with a preliminary review of
their building plans prior to filing.
When you have completed your Zoning Permit
application and plans, go to
the ZCCD. We will review your
application for all necessary signatures and
completeness. The review time for a permit depends
on the complexity, scope of work and number of
disciplines that must be involved.
To Avoid Delays in processing your
Zoning and Building Permits:
1. Make sure permit is complete and signed.
2. Please make sure that your survey or scale
drawing shows the location of the dwelling on the
lot or parcel, including the parcel dimensions,
location of roads, location and dimensions of both
existing and proposed structures and the distance
between lot lines and all structures (setbacks).
Step 2 - Building Permit Application
Complete your Building Permit
application, as described above.
After you complete and file your application, it must be
reviewed by all of the relevant disciplines, who will
approve- or put a hold on the application so you can
make corrections in response to written comments. Final
Building Permit approval will not be given to any
project until all disciplines and external agencies have
approved and stamped the plans.
In addition to the typical review cycle,
certain projects such as restaurants, excavation, work
in historic districts, or work in public space, may
include a review process by:
Office of Planning (Historic
District Department of Transportation
Department of Health (Community
Department of the Environment (Soil
Water and Sewer Authority
Building Permit Applications must include:
(all room sizes, door and window sizes,
foundation type, and typical cross-section details from
foundation to roof with dimensions. Include a data sheet
from the manufacturer for roof trusses, or the design
and designing load for rafters).
(size, type, quality and grade of
materials to be used. Applicants for mobile/modular
homes shall be accompanied with a cop of the
manufacturer's recommendation for
installation/anchorage, "data sheet" for the home, and
an elevation cross-section of typical wall and roof
The Building Permit will be issued after
the Final Application Review has been completed. Allow
five (5) business days if the application is accompanied
with proper documentation, including a Contractor's
Certificate, if required.
Applications for Electrical, Mechanical
and Plumbing permits may be delayed until just prior to
that phase of work. Contact 906
337-3471, ZCCD, Keweenaw County Courthouse.
Expiration of Permits
Building permits expire after one (1) year if work is
Electrical, Mechanical and Plumbing permits expire after
six (6) months if work has not commenced.
Step 3 - Inspections
Requests for building inspections require at least 72
There are two categories inspections
related to permits:
which include plumbing, electrical, fire and
construction inspections, assure the building has been
constructed in accordance with the building code and
Certificate of Occupancy inspections,
related to the use of the building, is required for
occupancy of all buildings except single-family
homes, individual units in an apartment building and
individual suites in an office building do not require
Certificates of Occupancy.
A Certificate of Occupancy is a document
that certifies that the use of a building complies with
zoning regulations and building codes. A new Certificate
of Occupancy is required when new construction or
alteration has occurred—or there have been changes in:
You must get a Certificate of Occupancy
before occupation and use of the building. The
certificate must be posted onsite. This certificate will
be issued when building is completed and all final
inspection reports have been forwarded to Philippe Arend,
6415 Five Mile Point Road, Allouez, MI 49805.
Permits: Laws and Regulations
2007 Keweenaw County Zoning Ordinance
2003 Michigan Building
Code/Incorporating the National Building Code
Act 347 Soil Erosion & Sedimentation
Act 245 of 1970 Great Lakes
Shorelands Management Act
Act 222 of 1976 Sand Dune Protection
& Management Act
National Electrical Code
State of Michigan Plumbing Code
State of Michigan Mechanical Code
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I get a contractor to do my
work? Who's responsible then?
What types of work do not require a
What does a building permit allow?
What are the uses allowed on my
I don't see the use I want on my
property listed. It is impossible to list every
imaginable land use in the County zoning ordinance?
What are the zoning categories in
Does Keweenaw County regulate the
zoning in the Townships?
What are "setbacks"?
How do I apply for a zoning variance
for my property?
What is a "utility easement"
I want to operate a business from my
home. What permits do I need?
I intend to start a new business.
Where do I find information on where I can locate
it? What permits do I need?
What are the regulations on fences
What are the County sign regulations?
What is the ZCCD
process for handling violations?
How can I get my property re-zoned?
I want to subdivide my property.
Where do I start?
Does zoning address issues like flood
plains and streams?
How many dogs, cats, lamas, etc. can
I keep on my property?
What if my neighbor's grass is too
Where are Mobile Homes Permitted?
What are the penalties for zoning
1. What if I get a contractor to do my
work? Who's responsible then?
It is ultimately the property owner's
responsibility to get the permit. The responsibility for
applying for the permit is a decision made between the
homeowner and the contractor. It is not uncommon for an
individual homeowner to come in to get a permit for work
by a contractor.
2. What types of work do not require a
Caulking, patching, and plaster repair
Installation of cabinets and architectural millwork
Installation of window screens and storm windows
Repair of existing fences with like materials
Retaining walls, 18 inches (0.46m) or less in height
Construction of garden storage sheds 200 square feet or
Replacement of the following materials:
Non-rated windows and doors
Roofing and coping
Gutters and downspouts
Private sidewalks and driveways
Non-rated suspended ceiling tile
Sanitary venting piping
Sanitary drainage system piping
Sanitary venting piping
Hydraulic system piping
Duct work, in non-hazardous and commercial kitchen
3. What does a building permit allow?
A building permit is an authorization to
build according to a specific scope of work, including
approved plans. Any modification of permit scope or
approved plans must be specifically approved.
A building permit issued by the Building
Inspector does NOT give you the authority to:
4. What are the uses allowed on my
Uses allowed in each zoning district are outlined in
of the County Zoning Ordinance. While the
many uses are too numerous to list here, you may either
stop by our office to review the lists of uses or view
5. I don't see the use I want on my
property listed in the County zoning ordinance. What do
I need to do?
It is the job of the Zoning Administrator
to interpret the zoning ordinance. You should contact
the ZCCD to discuss your proposed use. In many
instances, if a use is not listed within a zoning
district it is inferred that that use is not allowed
within that district, particularly if that use is
listed in another category. In some rare cases, the
Board of Zoning Appeals determines if a use is
appropriate within a zoning district.
6. What are the zoning categories in
The following zoning districts are
of the Keweenaw County Zoning Ordinance.
Conservation Environmental Protection
Single Family Residential
Two-Family & Multi-Family Residential
7. Does Keweenaw County regulate the
zoning in the Townships?
The Keweenaw County Zoning Ordinance
regulates zoning in Grant, Sherman, Houghton, Allouez
Townships and Ahmeek Village. Eagle Harbor Township has
its own zoning regulations. You should contact the
township office for information about properties that
are in their municipal boundaries.
8. What are "setbacks"?
Setbacks are the distances required
between structures or uses and property lines. These
distances vary within each zoning district. Variances
can be made to some setbacks by appeal to the Zoning
Administrator or the Board of Zoning Board of Appeals.
9. How do I apply for a zoning variance
for my property?
Contact our office by telephone or e-mail
for the appropriate forms. You can
download the forms online.
Also, these forms can be mailed or faxed
to you. The forms must be completed in detail so that
all of the legal requirements are met to schedule
10. What is a "utility easement"?
Utility easements are encountered on many
properties in the County which have been created by the
subdivision process. Generally these easements are there
to accommodate the placement of water, sewer, gas or
communication lines or to allow for the free flow of
storm water across properties so it is properly managed.
No permanent structure is allowed in any utility
easement because of the potential that storm water could
be misdirected to affect another person's property or
disturb the overall stormwater plan for the area. The
County also maintains the legal right to enter a utility
easement area in case any underground utility requires
11. I want to operate a business from my
home. What permits do I need?
First, you should consult with the
Department and/or other agencies, depending on the type
and size operation you intend. Home Occupations are
permitted as a Conditional Use (RC) in AG, CE, R-1, R-2,
RR, RS-1, RS-2, and B1 Zoning Districts. Please refer to
the Zoning Ordinance,
Article X, Section 10.12.18
regarding specific requirements and
restrictions. The ZCCD will require more detail on other
types of business operations to determine if they are
permitted in specific zoning categories so it is best to
contact them for assistance. Bear in mind that there are
distinctly different residential and business zoning
categories so there is legislative intent to keep the
two uses separate.
12. I intend to start a new business.
Where do I find information on where I can locate it?
What permits do I need?
You can research the zoning ordinance and
map to find what uses are permitted in each district. If
you have additional questions, the ZCCD can tell you which zoning
districts are appropriate for the type of business you
are starting or re-locating and can give you information
regarding where each of these zoning districts are in
the County. You can also contact the offices of the
five townships within Keweenaw County to determine the
opportunities within each of those townships. You can
also request information on building permits for new
structures or "Change of Use" permits if you are moving
into an existing storefront or office space.
13. What are the regulations on fences
Fences and walls do not need to meet the
setback and/or minimum building line requirements;
however, you should remember that if you place a fence
or wall in a utility easement and it has to be removed,
it must be done so at the owner's expense. Additionally,
fences, walls, and plantings on corner lots cannot
interfere with traffic visibility. See Zoning Ordinance,
Article XV, Section 15.6.
We urge you to contact your service
utility companies before setting any footers or posts to
assure that you do not strike an underground utility
line. Non-living fences over six (6) feet require a
zoning and building permit.
14. What are the County sign regulations?
The numerous requirements for business
signs are contained in
of the Zoning Ordinance; they vary for
on-premises and off-premises businesses. Very few signs
do not require zoning certificates so it is best to
check with ZCCD for your specific needs.
15. What is the ZCCD process for handling
Complaints are taken in
person at the ZCCD, or by filling out the appropriate
If the complaint proves to be a violation of the zoning
ordinance, the Zoning Administrator or Building
Inspector may discuss it on-site with the property
owner. If the complaint is not resolved at that initial
point of contact then the procedures in Article XXI of
the Zoning Ordinance are followed.
16. How can I get my property re-zoned?
There are two methods available to a
property owner seeking a rezoning. The first is called a
"piecemeal" or "spot" rezoning where only a single
property is considered. The Board of County
Commissioners makes the determination on piecemeal
rezonings; however applicants must be able to
satisfactorily prove that there has been a substantial
change to the neighborhood in which the property is
located in or that a mistake was made in the initial
zoning of the property.
The rezoning technique most frequently
used for rezonings is through the County Comprehensive
Plan Review process which occurs every five years.
Property owners seeking a rezoning through the
Comprehensive Plan process should contact the
17. I want to subdivide my property.
Where do I start?
You must first determine the potential
for subdividing your property. Your township supervisor
or assessor has final approval on any land split. Lot yield, if any, is
determined by the property's zoning classification. In
many instances, parcels which were created by a previous
subdivision plan may not be further subdivided
regardless of the lot size. The ZCCD can help you
determine your zoning category and give you the basics
on lot yield in each category.
18. Does zoning address issues like flood
plains and streams?
No, zoning is strictly a matter of land
use. However, there are several county regulations
governing the use of environmentally sensitive areas.
For these regulations you should research the
Michigan Department of Environmental
19. How many dogs, cats, lamas, etc. can
I keep on my property?
Parts of Keweenaw County are zoned
"Agricultural" and the maintenance of herds of farm
animals in these areas is a priority. See
Table 4-1, "
"Agricultural Service Establishments",
and "Commercial Agriculture or Horticulture" for uses
specific to each zoning district. The keeping of pets is
considered to be an accessory use to a dwelling.
20. What if my neighbor's grass is too
Grass and weed complaints are not a
zoning issue. To report tall grass or weeds, call the
appropriate Township office and inquire as to whether or
not they have an ordinance covering noxious weed
21. Where are Mobile Homes Permitted?
While there are individual mobile homes
in Keweenaw County, most of these
parks or individual units are non-conforming, meaning
they pre-date the establishment of zoning in the County.
"Mobile Home Park and Manufactured Housing Community"
addresses proposed mobile home parks and
manufactured housing communities. Also,
IV "Single Family
addresses mobile or manufactured homes on
an individual lot.
22. What are the penalties for zoning
2007-3, Municipal Civil Infraction Ordinance,
and other applicable laws apply, as indicated in
of the Zoning Ordinance. If the ZCCD
issues a Civil Infraction for a zoning violation,
Section 21.7, Schedule of Fines, applies.
It is important to note that a fine may
be imposed for each day a violation exists and that each
day a violation exists is a separate offense. The
failure to correct a violation after expiration of the
time period for correction stated is a separate offense.