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Ordinance #28 - Land Division

(Ord. No. 28)
An Ordinance to regulate partitioning or division of parcels or tracts of land, enacted pursuant but not limited to Michigan Public Act 288 of 1967, as amended, and Act 246 of 1945, as amended, being the Township General Ordinance statute; to provide a procedure therefore; to repeal any ordinance or provision thereof in conflict herewith; and to prescribe penalties and enforcement remedies for the violation of this Ordinance.
252.001           Title.
Sec. 1. This ordinance shall be known and cited as the Berrien Township Land Division Ordinance.
(Ord. No. 28, Adopt. Nov. 11, 1997)
252.002           Purpose.
Sec. II. The purpose of this ordinance is to carry out the provisions of the State Land Division Act (1967 PA 288, as amended, formerly known as the Subdivision Control Act), to prevent the creation of parcels of property which do not comply with applicable ordinances and said Act, to minimize potential boundary disputes, to maintain orderly development of the community, and otherwise provide for the health, safety and welfare of the residents and property owners of the Township by establishing reasonable standards for prior review and approval of land divisions within the Township.
( Ord. No. 28, Adopt. Nov. 11, 1997)
252.003           Definitions.
Sec. III. For the purpose of this ordinance certain terms and words used herein shall have the following meaning:
A.     Applicant-A natural person, firm, association, partnership, corporation, or combination of any of them that holds an ownership interest in land whether recorded or not.
B.     Divide or Division-The partitioning or splitting of a parcel or tract of land by the proprietor thereof or by his or her heirs, executors, administrators, legal representatives, successors or assigns, for the purpose of sale or lease of more than one (1) year, or of building development that results in one (1) or more parcels of less than forty (40) acres or the equivalent, and that satisfies the requirements of Sections 108 and 109 of the State Land Division Act. "Divide" and "Division" does not include a property transfer between two (2) or more adjacent parcels, if the property taken from one parcel is added to an adjacent parcel; and any resulting parcel shall not be considered a building site unless the parcels conforms to the requirements of the State Land Division Act, or the requirements of other applicable local ordinances.
C.     Exempt split or exempt division-The partitioning or splitting of a parcel or tract of land by the proprietor thereof, or by his or her heirs, executors, administrators, legal representatives, successors or assigns, that does not result in one (1) or more parcels of less than forty (40) acres or the equivalent.
D.     Forty (40) acres or the equivalent-Either forty (40) acres, a quarter-quarter section containing not less than thirty (30) acres, or a government . lot containing not less than thirty (30) acres.
E.      Governing body-The Berrien Township Board.
(Ord. No. 28, Adopt. Nov. 11, 1997)
252.004           Prior approval requirement for land divisions.
Sec. IV. Land in the Township shall not be divided without the prior review and approval of the Township assessor, or other official designated by the governing body, in accordance with this ordinance and the State Land Division Act; provided that the following shall be exempted from this requirement:
A.         A parcel proposed for subdivision through a recorded plat pursuant to the State Land Division Act.
B.         A lot in a recorded plat proposed to be divided in accordance with the State Land Division Act.
C.         An exempt split is defined in this ordinance, or other partitioning or splitting that results in parcels of twenty (20) acres or more if each is not accessible and the parcel was in existence on March 31, 1997 or resulted from exempt splitting under the State Act.
(Ord. No. 28, Adopt. Nov. 11, 1997)
252.005           Application for land division approval.
Sec. V. An applicant shall file all of the following with the Township assessor or other official designated by the governing body for review and approval of a proposed land division before making any division either by deed, land contract, lease for more than one (1) year for building development:
A.     A completed application form on such form as may be approved by the Township Board.
B.     Proof of fee ownership of the land proposed to be divided.
C.     A tentative parcel map drawn to scale including an accurate legal descrip­tion of each proposed division, and showing the boundary lines, approximate dimensions, and the accessibility of each division for automobile traffic and public utilities.
D.     Proof that all standards of the State Land Division Act and this ordinance have been met.
E.      If a transfer of division rights is proposed in the land transfer, detailed information about the terms and availability of the proposed division rights transfer.
F.      A fee may be established by resolution of the Township Board to cover the [cost] of review of the application and administration of this ordinance and the State Land Division Act.
(Ord. No. 28, Adopt. Nov. 11, 1997)
252.006           Procedure for review of applications for land division approval.
Sec. VI.
A.         The Township shall approve or disapprove the land division applied for within forty-five (45) days after receipt of a complete application conforming to this ordinance's requirements and the State Land Division Act, and shall promptly notify the applicant of the decision, and if denied, the reasons for denial.
B.         Any person or entity aggrieved by the decision of the assessor or designee may, within thirty (30) days of said decision appeal the decision to the governing body of the Township or such other body or person designated by the governing body which shall consider and resolve such appeal by a majority vote of said Board or by the appellate designee at its next regular meeting or session affording sufficient time for a twenty-day written notice to the applicant (and appellant where other than the applicant) of the time and date of said meeting and appellate hearing.
C.         The assessor or designee shall maintain an official record of all approved and accomplished land divisions or transfers.
D.         Approval of a division is not a determination that the resulting parcels comply with other ordinances or regulations.
E.          The Township and its officers and employees shall not be liable for approving a land division if building permits for construction on the parcels are subsequently denied because of inadequate water supply, sewage disposal facilities or otherwise, and any notice of approval shall include a statement to this effect.
(Ord. No. 28, Adopt. Nov. 11, 1997)
252.007           Standards for approval of land divisions.
Sec. VII. A proposed land division reviewable by the Township shall be approved if the following criteria are met:
A.         All such parcels must have a minimum width of one hundred five (105) continuous feet frontage with direct access to and fronting same public highway.
B.         All such parcels shall contain a minimum area of one (1) acre unless otherwise provided for in an applicable zoning ordinance.
C.         The ratio of depth to width of any parcel created by the division does not exceed a four (4) to one (1) ratio exclusive of access roads, easements, or non-development sites. The depth of a parcel created by a land division shall be measured within the boundaries of each parcel from the abutting road right-of-way to the most remote boundary line point of the parcel from the point of commencement of the measurement.
D.         The proposed land division(s) comply with all requirements of this ordi­nance and the State Land Division Act.
E.          All parcels created and remaining have existing adequate accessibility, or an area available therefore, for public utilities and emergency and other vehi­cles.
(Ord. No. 28, Adopt. Nov. 11, 1997)
252.008           Consequences of noncompliance with land division approval require­ment.
Sec. VIII. Any division of land in violation of any provision of this ordinance shall not be recognized as a land division on the Township tax roll and no construction thereon which requires the prior issuance of a construction or building permit shall be allowed. The Township shall further have the authority to initiate injunctive or other relief to prevent any violation or continuance of any violation of this ordinance.
An unlawful division or split shall also be voidable at the option of the purchaser and shall subject the seller to the forfeiture of all consideration received or pledged therefore, together with any damages sustained by the purchaser, recoverable in an action at law.
( Ord. No. 28, Adopt. Nov. 11, 1997)
252.009           Severability.
Sec. IX. The provisions of this ordinance are hereby declared to be severable and if any clause, sentence, word, section or provision is declared void or unenforceable for any reason by any court of competent jurisdiction, it shall not affect any portion of this ordinance other than said part or portion thereof.
(Ord. No. 28, Adopt. Nov. 11, 1997)
252.010           Repeal.
Sec. X. All previous Land Division Ordinances affecting unplatted land divisions in conflict with this ordinance are hereby repealed; however, this ordinance shall not be construed to repeal any provision in any applicable Zoning Ordinances, Building Codes or other ordinances of the Township which shall remain in full force and effect notwithstanding any land division approval hereunder.
(Ord. No. 28, Adopt. Nov. 11, 1997)
252.011           Effective date.
Sec. XI. This ordinance shall take effect upon publication following its adop­tion.
(Ord. No. 28, Adopt. Nov. 11, 1997)

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