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Lake Districts and Overlay Districts


AKA: Lakeshore Residential Districts, Green Belts District, Waterfront-Shoreland Overlay District, Waterfront Residential District

Special zoning provisions to protect inland lakes and especially shoreline areas are implemented in two ways:

Conventional lake/shoreline districts – Zoning ordinances include zoning districts, such as agriculture, commercial, residential and industrial districts, that have distinct lists of permitted uses, setbacks and other standards. Some communities establish one or more additional lake or shoreline districts that include special protection standards unique to those areas.

Shoreline overlay districts – An overlay district is a special kind of zoning district placed over existing base zones (such as residential or commercial) that adds additional standards in those areas. This technique works well for shoreline protection. Overlay districts can be defined as being a certain distance – 500 to 1,000 feet, for example – from the lakeshore, or follow the parcel lot lines in the areas targeted. Areas commonly targeted by overlay zones include floodplains, watersheds, environmental areas, lakeshore/shoreline, river corridors, and high risk erosion areas.

Additional References

MunicipalityCountyResource DescriptionResource Link
Macomb CountyMacomb CountyResource Protection OverlayClick here

Additional Ordinance Examples

MunicipalityCountyResource DescriptionResource Link
Evangeline TwpCharlevoix CountySection 5.05: Walloon Lake District (W) Click here
Rollin TwpLenawee CountyArticle Xa: Lake Residential DistrictClick here
Portage TwpMackinaw CountySection 6.2: Riparian Protection OverlayClick here
Winfield TwpMontcalm CountySection 3.23: Lake Access/Frontage; Keyhole Dev.Click here
Albert TwpMontmorency CtySection 4.12: Greenbelt DistrictClick here
Almena TwpVanBuren CountySection 7: Waterfront Residential DistrictClick here