What is a non conforming use?
When the legislature gave municipalities the power to adopt zoning ordinances, it placed some limitations and restrictions on this power intended to protect property owners from excessive hardship. The state provides that existing uses and structures might continue to be maintained despite any provision in the zoning ordinance to which they did not conform. These are called lawful non-conforming uses or structures. Most communities have quite a number of these non-conforming uses, because it is practically impossible to avoid creating some when preparing a zoning ordinance and map in a rational fashion.

Most zoning ordinances prohibit the expansion of a non-conforming use and the Michigan courts have generally approved such prohibitions against expansion of non-conforming uses, but the courts have protected property owners by allowing the original non-conforming use to continue in its operation.

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1. What is the Planning Services Division responsible for?
2. What is Land Use Regulation?
3. What is the role of the Planning Commission?
4. What is a comprehensive or Future Land Use Plan (FLUP)?
5. Why does a community need such a plan?
6. How is the comprehensive or Future Land Use Plan developed?
7. What is zoning?
8. Why does a community use zoning?
9. What is the process for establishing zoning?
10. How is the zoning map changed?
11. What are zoning districts?
12. How much of each zoning district does a community need?
13. How is the Zoning Ordinance used?
14. What is the Subdivision Control Ordinance?
15. What is the subdivision plotting process?
16. What are site condominiums?
17. What are Planned Unit Developments and Planned Development Districts?
18. What are the advantages of a Planned Development District (PDD)?
19. What is cluster development?
20. What are the limitations on Building Permits?
21. What is a building moratorium?
22. What are Land Use Exclusions?
23. What is a non conforming use?
24. Can you please describe the Planning Process?