Airport Zoning Ordinances

The State of Michigan has taken a proactive approach to providing safe and reasonable methods for assuring proper zoning for the areas surrounding airports. Incompatible land uses adjacent to airport lands may significantly impede the airport. The State has legislated authority to Counties, Townships, Cities, and Villages to regulate land use through zoning ordinances on land within their jurisdiction.

Zoning Act of 1953

Additionally, the Airport Zoning Act of 1953 (PDF) enables public airport sponsors to establish Airport Zoning Boards (in MKG’s case a Joint Airport Zoning Board with Ottawa County) to regulate through zoning height and land uses within the airport hazard area as established by the Michigan Aeronautics Commission (MAC) and the County. Michigan’s Tall Structure Act (PDF) provides for additional airspace protection by establishing standards of height which must be met prior to permitting proposed structures.

Zoning Act of 1950

The Airport Zoning Act (Act 23 of 1950) empowers and directs the MAC to adopt airport approach plans for publicly owned airports; to empower the MAC, municipalities, and other political subdivisions to promulgate, adopt, establish, administer, and enforce airport zoning regulations limiting the height of structures and objects of natural growth, and otherwise regulating the use of property in the vicinity of publicly owned airports, and to acquire, by purchase, grant, condemnation, or otherwise, air rights and other interests in land; to provide for the establishment of zoning commissions, administrative agencies, and boards of appeals to administer the provisions of this act, and to provide for their organization and procedure and appeals therefrom; and to provide penalties and remedies for violations of this act or ordinances or regulations made under the authority herein conferred; to provide for reciprocity with adjoining states maintaining and operating airports; and to repeal any inconsistent act or parts of acts.

Zoning Regulations

An Ordinance Establishing Airport Zoning Regulations for MKG (PDF) was adopted in 1955, subsequently amended in 1975, restricting the height of structures and otherwise regulating the use of property in the vicinity of the Airport; providing for the allowance of variances from such regulations; designating the administrative agency charged with the administration and enforcement of such regulations; establishing a joint airport zoning board of appeals; and providing for enforcement and imposing penalties for violation of this ordinance.

The authority conferred by the provisions of the Airport Zoning Act promote the health, safety and general welfare of the inhabitants of the Counties of Muskegon and Ottawa by preventing the establishment of airport hazards thereby protecting the general public, airport users and occupants of land in its vicinity, and preventing the impairment of the utility of the airport and the public investment therein.

More Information

Additional information available at MDOT Aeronautics Airspace and Zoning.