The Department of Community Planning and Development is comprised of four divisions: Building, Code Enforcement, Planning and Zoning, and Rental Housing.
The Building Division performs residential and commercial building inspections and interprets, administers and enforces the provisions of the adopted Michigan Building Code and Michigan Residential Code. The Building Division also oversees the issuance of electrical, mechanical, and plumbing permits.
The Code Enforcement Division enforces the code of ordinances.
The Planning and Zoning Division is responsible for overseeing the Master Plan.
The Rental Housing Division performs inspections of rental housing units and maintains related records to ensure compliance with the Township’s ordinances and adopted codes. Inspections are done in compliance with the International Property Maintenance Code, Meridian Township Code of Ordinances, and the Michigan Building and Residential Codes.
How can I avoid some of the most common code violations?
Code Enforcement Division of the Planning Department lists these codes as some of the most commonly violated. The following excerpts are from the Code of Ordinances for some of the common code violations. For the entire language of the ordinance please refer to the related section.
Buildings and Building Regulations
Section 14-58 International Property Maintenance Code (2006 Edition)
Section 302.1 Exterior. All exterior property and premises shall be maintained in a clean, safe and sanitary condition.
Section 302.8 Motor Vehicles. Except as provided for in other regulations, no inoperative or unlicensed motor vehicle shall be parked, kept or stored outside on any premises, and no vehicle shall be stored outside in a state of major dis-assembly, disrepair, or in the process of being stripped or dismantled. Spray painting of vehicles is prohibited unless conducted inside an approved spray booth.
Section 304.1 Exterior Structure. The exterior of a structure shall be maintained in good repair, structurally sound and sanitary so as not to pose a threat to the public, health, safety or welfare.
Section 305.1 Interior Structure. The interior of a structure and equipment therein shall be maintained in good repair, structurally sound and in a sanitary condition.
Section 14-84 Rental Registration
This division shall apply to all persons owning or exercising control over any building or premises used for dwelling purposes, or which subsequently may be constructed or so designated, which is in total or in part, rented or leased, and which is located within the bounds of the township. An owner of any dwelling unit located within the jurisdiction of the township shall not rent to another any dwelling, or dwelling unit, unless such dwelling, or dwelling unit, is registered with the township and is in compliance with all applicable federal, state and local laws, rules, ordinances and regulations. Occupancy of any dwelling by any person other than the owner of record shall be presumed to require a rental registration.
Exceptions. Family occupancy, house-sitting, one and two family sales, exchange student, visiting clergy, medical caregiver, child care and estate representative.
Section 14-149 Display of Street Numbers
The owner or occupant of all structures assigned a street number shall display such number in a prominent place on the structure, facing the road upon which the number is assigned at least four feet from the ground. If the structure is not easily visible from the street, an additional street number shall be provided on a permanent sign or plate located on the lot near the street at least four feet from the ground for visibility. All such number shall be displayed using Arabic numerals (e.g., 1234). The use of words or Roman numerals to express a number shall not satisfy the requirements of this section. Street numbers placed on mail boxes or written on curbs shall not satisfy the requirements of this section.
Section 46-2 Nuisances Per Se
No person shall maintain or permit to remain on premises owned or occupied by him; or throw, place, or leave; or permit the throwing, placing, or leaving on the premises of another any of the following substances: organic refuse, food wastes, ashes, dead animals, fish, animal bones, hides, rotten soap, grease, tallow, offal, shell, food containers or wrappings, cans, bottles, jars, crockery, garbage, discarded furniture, cartons, boxes, crates, rags, discarded clothing, bedding, floor covering, wallpaper, sweepings, waste paper, newspapers or magazines, discarded appliances, rubbish, excrement, rot, construction debris including, but not limited to, lumber, bricks, block, plumbing or heating materials, roofing materials, concrete, cement, electrical materials or siding, yard debris or rubbish including, but not limited to, grass clippings, clippings from hedges or shrubs, or detached tree branches, industrial waste, unclean or nauseous fluids or gases, in any of the following locations:
Any public street, highway, lane, road, alley, public place, square, sidewalk or any lands within the boundaries of the township owned by the township or other municipal corporation.
Any river, lake, stream, or other body of water.
Any private place or premises where in the opinion of the township superintendent or his agent the specific substances constitute a dangerous condition or are detrimental to the public health, safety, or welfare or offend aesthetic sensibilities or may cause sickness or attract flies, insects, rodents, or vermin.
Offenses and Miscellaneous Provisions
Section 50-84 Unlawful Noise Prohibited
It shall be unlawful, and it shall be deemed a public nuisance, for any person to unreasonably make, continue, or cause to be made or continued any noise that annoys or disturbs the quiet, comfort, or repose of a reasonable person of normal sensitivities or that injures or endangers the health, peace, or safety of the public within the township. The following acts, among others, are declared to be unlawful noises in violation of this section and are deemed to be public nuisances per se, but this enumeration shall not be deemed to be exclusive, namely:
Radios, Phonographs and Musical Instruments
Shouting and Whistling
Animals and Birds
Streets, Sidewalks and Other Public Places
Article II Sidewalks
Section 58-31 Obstructions and Vehicles
It shall be the duty of the occupant of occupied property or the owner of unoccupied property to keep the adjacent sidewalk clear from any obstructions including, but not limited to, structures, vehicles, materials, debris, vegetation, or other similar items.
It shall be a violation of this article for a public sidewalk to be obstructed by vehicles, equipment, or other material unless a permit has been obtained from the Director of public works and engineering. It is also a violation of this article for sidewalk to be blocked by persons or animals.
Section 58-32 Construction and Maintenance
It is the duty of the adjacent property owner to maintain the sidewalk in a good and usable condition.
Section 58-33 Snow Removal
It shall be the duty of the occupant and the owner of occupied property or the owner of unoccupied property to keep the adjacent sidewalk clear of snow and ice within 24 hours of the cessation of a snowfall.
Snow shall not be piled in a manner that results in obstruction of vision between a car and users of the sidewalks or another car. No person shall place snow or ice upon a street right of way so as to impair vehicular or pedestrian non-motorized traffic.
Section 82-26 Prohibited Vegetation (Tall Grass)
It shall be the duty of the owner, agent or occupant of any property located within 75 feet of a structures, excepting public utility installations, to prevent weeds, grasses, brush or other vegetation from growing to a height of greater than 12 inches, nor shall such owner, agent, or occupant permit and accumulation of dead weeds, grasses, brush or other vegetation of a height greater than 12 inches or any such properties. Nothing in this section shall apply to trees, flower gardens, vegetation planted for ornamental purposes, vegetation in vegetable gardens or vegetation in fields devoted to growing any small grain crop such as wheat, oats, barley or rye.
Section 86-583 Outdoor Storage of Vehicles and Trailers
No inoperative or unlicensed or unregistered, as applicable, recreational vehicle, watercraft and/or trailer shall be parked, kept or stored outdoors, in any residential district, and no recreational vehicle, watercraft and/or trailer shall, at any time, be outdoors in any residential district if in a state of major dis-assembly, disrepair, or in the process of being stripped or dismantled or leaking oil, fuel or antifreeze.
The outdoor storage or overnight parking of commercial vehicles over one-ton capacity and semi-truck trailers or other commercial trailers shall not be permitted in any residential district. Commercial vehicles or trailers specifically used as part of a farm operation, as defined by the Michigan Right to Farm Act (Public Act 93 of 1981), shall be exempt from this section.
Section 86-368 Single Family Occupancy
A dwelling shall be occupied by a family, a family and one roomer, a functional family, a functional family and one roomer, or by a group of not more than two unrelated persons, except that a person owning a single-family dwelling shall be permitted to keep two roomers while continuing to own and reside in the dwelling. The maximum occupancy shall not exceed three unrelated persons, including the owner, for an owner-occupied dwelling.
Section 86-754 Parking Restrictions
Parking on non-paved open space is prohibited. Parking in driveways is prohibited, except in one-family residential districts. In one-family residential districts, no motor vehicle parking space shall be provided in the front yard, except on a paved or gravel driveway that occupies no more than 35 percent of the total area of the yard.
How can I learn about Residential and Commercial Building Inspections
The Building Division of the Planning Department performs residential and commercial building inspections and interprets, administers and enforces the provisions of the adopted Michigan Building Code and Michigan Residential Code. The Building Division also oversees the issuance of electrical, mechanical, and plumbing permits.
The following are a listing of the applicable code versions:
- Building Code: 2015 Michigan Building Code
- Mechanical Code: 2015 Michigan Mechanical Code
- Plumbing Code: 2015 Michigan Plumbing Code
- Electrical Code: 2014 NEC, 2015 MRC
- Energy Code: 2015 Michigan Energy Code - 2015 MI Res Code Ch. 11
- Accessibility: 2009 ICC/ANSI A117.1 - 2012 MI Bldg Code Ch. 11
- Rehabilitation Code: 2015 Michigan Rehabilitation Code
- Residential Code: 2015 Michigan Residential Code
- Property Maintenance Code: 2006 International Property Maintenance Code
Building inspections are mandated by Michigan Building and Residential Codes. They include, but are not limited to:
- Framing and masonry
- Fire-resistant penetrations
- Final inspections for occupancy
- To schedule an inspection, please call the Building Division at 517.853.4500.Inspections should be requested at least 24 hours in advance.
- Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing are separate permits. Inspections must be completed before a rough or final inspection is scheduled with the Building Division.
- For Electrical, Mechanical and Plumbing inspections, please call the Building Division 517.853.4500 at least 24 hours in advance.
Submittal Documents for New Home Construction
- (2) sets of house plans.
- A site survey completed by a licensed surveyor or engineer, with elevations.
- A water/sewer permit issued by Meridian Township's Engineering Department 517.853.4440 or a well/septic permit issued by the Ingham County Health Department 517.887.4312, whichever applies.
- A soil erosion permit issued by Meridian Township.
- A driveway permit issued by the Ingham County Road Department 517.676.9722. Applications available online at the Ingham County Road Department.
- Proof of Michigan Uniform Energy Code Compliance.
- Roof Loading Data Sheet Submittal Documents for Decks, Additions & Accessory Structures.
- (2) sets of building plans including footing, wall, roof, stair and railing details.
- A site plan drawn to and engineer's scale showing the structure and setbacks. A survey completed by a licensed surveyor may be required. Please contact the Building Division to verify if a survey is needed.
- Copies of permits issued by other agencies, if applicable.
Residential Building Permit Requirements
- A building permit application must be submitted and the permit approved before any work begins on the project.
- The permit fee must accompany all applications at the time of submittal.
- Copies of all permits issued by other agencies must be submitted with the building permit application.
- No work is authorized until the application has been approved and a permit has been issued by a building inspector.
Submittal Documents for Residential Basement Finish
- (2) sets of plans showing the layout of the entire basement.
- All egress windows must be shown on the plan including the size, location and height above the basement floor.
- A detailed plan of the egress window well, unless the basement is a walkout.
- All finished rooms must be clearly labeled with exits shown.
- Ceiling heights must be indicated on the submitted plans.
Items That May Not Require a Building Permit
- One story detached accessory structures with 200 square feet or less of floor area, with the exception of decks and porches (both enclosed and unenclosed) which do require a permit.
- Fences 6 feet or less in height.
- Retaining walls 4 feet or less in height (measured from the bottom of the footing).
- Swings and other playground equipment accessory to a one or two family dwelling.
- While a building permit may not be required, other setbacks or restrictions may apply.
What is a Charter Township?
Meridian Township is a Charter Township.
Article VII, § 18 of the Michigan Constitution of 1963 provides, “In each organized township there shall be elected for terms of not less than two nor more than four years as prescribed by law a supervisor, a clerk, a treasurer, and not to exceed four trustees, whose legislative and administrative powers and duties shall be provided by law.”
Michigan townships are statutory units of government, having only those powers expressly provided or fairly implied by state law.
State laws authorize townships to perform a wide variety of functions. Townships are required to perform assessment administration, tax collection and elections administration. Townships may choose to perform numerous governmental functions, including enacting and enforcing ordinances, planning and zoning, fire and police protection, cemeteries, parks and recreation facilities and programs, and many more.
There are two types of townships in Michigan: general law and charter townships.
All townships are general law townships, unless they have incorporated as a charter township.
Charter township status is a special township classification created by the Michigan Legislature in 1947 to provide additional powers and streamlined administration for governing a growing community. A primary motivation for townships to adopt the charter form is to provide greater protection against annexation by a city. As of 2011, 138 Michigan townships were charter townships.
- Michigan Township Association Website