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Can a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals or the Planning Commission also work for the Township as a grounds keeper or employee working at a transfer station?

No. The answer is based on prohibitions in the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act and the Michigan Planning Enabling Act regarding this situation. In other instances, elected or appointed positions must be reviewed to determine whether they are incompatible offices under MCL 15.181 et seq, and thus, the holding of both offices would be prohibited, subject to certain exceptions.

In this instance, the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act, MCL 125.3601(6) specifically states that “[a]n employee or contractor of the legislative body may not serve as a member of the zoning board of appeals.” As a result, no township employee may serve on that township’s zoning board of appeals.

Similarly, the Michigan Planning Enabling Act, MCL 125.3815(5) states that “ [e]xcept as provided in this subsection, an elected official or employee of the local unit of government is not eligible to be a member of the planning commission.” No exception within this section is applicable to the circumstances described. As a result, an employee of a transfer station or a groundskeeper may not serve on the township’s planning commission.

In light of the express prohibitions in the  Michigan Zoning Enabling Act and the Michigan Planning Enabling Act , it is unnecessary to evaluate whether there are any incompatible offices.

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