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Are all special use permits approved by a Township’s Planning Commission?

No. Whether a special use permit is approved by the Township Planning Commission or recommended by the Planning Commission with approval by the Township Board depends on a Township’s own zoning ordinance. The Michigan Zoning Enabling Act, Section 504, only requires that the approval standards be set forth in the Township zoning ordinance. Section 502 further indicates that the approvals can be by the planning commission, zoning administrator or Township Board. Thus, a Township needs to resort to its own zoning ordinance to determine how special use permits are approved within their jurisdiction.

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