TITLE XV:  LAND USAGE


Chapter
150.  BUILDING REGULATIONS
151.  SUBDIVISION CONTROL REGULATIONS
152.  ZONING CODE
153.  BLIGHT AND NUISANCE ORDINANCE



CHAPTER 150:  BUILDING REGULATIONS

Section
Maintenance of Property
150.01  Adoption of property maintenance code
150.02  Additions, insertions and changes
150.03  Savings clause

Maintenance of Buildings
150.10  Adoption of Building Code
150.11  Additions, insertions and changes
150.12  Savings clause

Dangerous and Unsafe Buildings
150.25  Definition
150.26  Condition declared a public nuisance
150.27  Maintaining or permitting existence of dangerous or unsafe building or structures
150.28  Right of entry for purpose of inspection
150.29  Notice of unsafe and dangerous condition
150.30  Hearing officer to serve notice
150.31  Hearings
150.32  Hearing before City Council
150.33  City may remedy condition, lien
150.34  Judicial review
150.35  Administrative liability
150.99  Penalty


MAINTENANCE OF PROPERTY
§ 150.01  ADOPTION OF PROPERTY MAINTENANCE CODE.
That a certain document, one copy of which is on file in the Office of the City Clerk of the City of West Branch, being marked and designated as "The International Property Maintenance Code, Conference of Building Officials, and the Southern Building code Congress International, Inc.," be and is hereby adopted as the Property Maintenance Code of the City of West Branch, in the State of Michigan; for the control of buildings and structures as herein provided; and each and all of the regulations, provisions, penalties, conditions and terms of said Property Maintenance Code are hereby  referred to, adopted and made a part hereof, as if fully set out in this section; with the additions, insertions, deletions and changes, if any, prescribed in §150.02.
(Ord. 226, passed 10-4-93; Ord. 255, passed 11-2-98)

§ 150.02  ADDITIONS, INSERTIONS AND CHANGES.
That the International Property Maintenance Code, First  Edition, 1998, is amended and revised in the following respects:

(A)  Section 101.1 - Title.  These regulations shall be known as the Property Maintenance Code of the City of West Branch, hereinafter referred to as  "this code".

(B)  Section 103.6 - Fees.  Fees shall be billed based upon time, materials and administration expended to enforce this code.

(C)  Section 303.15 - Insect Screens.  During the period from March 1 to November 30 every door, window and other outside opening utilized or required for ventilation purposes serving any structure containing habitable rooms, food preparation areas, food service areas, or any such areas where products to be included or utilized in food for human consumption are processed, manufactured, packaged or stored, shall be supplied with approved tightly fitting screens of not less than 16 mesh per inch (16 mesh per 25 mm) and every swinging door shall have a self-closing devise in good working condition.

(D)  Section 602.3 - Heat Supply.  Every owner and operator of any building who rents, leases or lets one or more swelling unit, rooming unit, dormitory or guest room on terms, either expressed or implied, to furnish heat to the occupants thereof shall supply heat during the period from September 1 to June 1 to maintain a temperature of not less than 65°F (18°C) in all habitable rooms, bathrooms, and toilet rooms.

(E)  Section 602.4 - Occupiable work spaces.  Indoor occupiable work spaces shall be supplied with heat during the period from September 1 to June 1 to maintain a temperature of not less than 65°F (180°C) during the period the spaces are occupied.
(Ord. 226, passed 10-4-93; Ord. 255, passed 11-2-98)

§ 150.03  SAVING CLAUSE.
That nothing in this section or in the property maintenance code hereby adopted shall be construed to affect any suit or proceeding impending in any court, or in any rights acquired, or liability incurred, or any cause or causes of action acquired or existing, under any act or ordinance hereby repealed; nor shall any just or legal right or remedy of any character be lost, impaired or affected by this section.
(Ord. 226, passed 10-4-93)


MAINTENANCE OF BUILDING CODE
§ 150.10  ADOPTION OF BUILDING CODE.
That a certain document, one copy of which is on file in the Office of the City Clerk of the City, being marked and designated as "The BOCA National Building Code, Twelfth Edition, 1993" as published by the Building Officials and code Administrators International, Inc., be and is hereby adopted as the Building Code of the City in the State of Michigan; for the control of buildings and structures as herein provided; and each and all of the regulations, provisions, penalties, conditions and terms of the BOCA National Building code, are hereby referred to, adopted and made a part hereof as if fully set out in this section, with the additions, insertions, deletions and changes, if any, prescribed in §150.11.
(Ord. 225, passed 10-4-93)

§ 150.11  ADDITIONS, INSERTIONS, AND CHANGES.
That the following sections are hereby revised as follows:

(A)  Section 101.0 - Title.  These regulations shall be known as the Building Code of the City hereinafter referred to as "this code".

(B)  Section 112.3.1 - Fee Schedule.  A fee for each plan examination, building permit and inspection shall be paid in accordance with the present County of Ogemaw fee schedule.

(C)  Section 116.4 -  Violation Penalties.  Any person who shall violate a provision of this code or shall fail to comply with any of the requirements thereof or who shall erect, construct, alter or repair a building or structure in violation of an approved plan or directive of the code official, or of a permit or certificate issued under the provisions of this code, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by  a fine of not more than $500, or by imprisonment not exceeding 90 days, or both such fine and imprisonment.  Each day that a violation continues after due notice has been served shall be deemed a separate offense.

(D)  Section 117.2 - Unlawful Continuance.  Any person who shall continue any work in or about the structure after having been served with a stop work order, except such work as that person is directed to perform to remove a violation of unsafe condition, shall be liable to a fine of not less than $50 or more than $500.

(E)  Section 3408.2 - Applicability.  Structures existing prior to July 15, 1946, in which there is work involving additions, alterations or changes of occupancy, shall be made to conform to the requirements of this section or the provisions of Section 3403.0 through 3407.0.
(Ord. 225, passed 10-4-93)

§ 150.12  SAVINGS CLAUSE.
That nothing in this chapter or in the Building Code hereby adopted shall be construed to affect any suit or proceeding impending in any court, or any rights acquired, or liability incurred, or any cause or causes of action acquired or existing, under any act or ordinance hereby repealed as cited in §150.11; nor shall any just or legal right or remedy of any character be lost, impaired or affected by this section.
(Ord. 225, passed 10-4-93)


DANGEROUS AND UNSAFE BUILDINGS
§ 150.25  DEFINITION.
For the purpose of this subchapter the following definition shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.

DANGEROUS AND UNSAFE STRUCTURES:  Any  building or structure which has any of the following defects or is in any of the following conditions:

(1)  Whenever any door, aisle, passageway, stairway or other means of exit does not conform to the approved fire code of the City, it shall be considered that the dwelling does not meet the requirements of this subchapter.

(2)  Whenever any portion has been damaged by fire, wind, flood or by any other cause in such manner that the structural strength or stability is appreciably less than it was before the catastrophe and is less than the minimum requirements of this subchapter and the building code of the City for a new building or similar structure, purpose or location.

(3)  Whenever any portion or member or appurtenance is likely to fall or to become detached or dislodged, or to collapse and thereby injure persons or damage property.

(4)  Whenever any portion has settled to such an extent that walls or other structural portions have materially less resistance to winds than is required in the case of new construction by this subchapter or the building code of the City.

(5)  Whenever the building or structure or any part, because of dilapidation, deterioration, decay, faulty construction or because of the removal or movement of some portion of the ground necessary for the purpose of supporting such building or portion thereof, or for other reasons, is likely to partially or completely collapse, or some portion of the foundation or underpinning is likely to fall or give way.

(6)  Whenever for any reason whatsoever the building or structure or any portion is manifestly unsafe for the purpose for which it is used.

(7)  Whenever the building or structure has been so damaged by fire, wind or flood, or has become so dilapidated or deteriorated as to become an attractive nuisance to children who might play therein to their danger, or as to afford a harbor for vagrants, criminals or immoral persons, or as to enable persons to resort thereto for the purpose of committing a nuisance or unlawful or immoral act.

(8)  Whenever a building or structure used or intended to be used for dwelling purpose, because of dilapidation, decay, damage or faulty construction or arrangement or otherwise, is unsanitary or unfit for human habitation or is in a condition that is likely to cause sickness or disease when so determined by the Health Officer, or is likely to work injury to the health, safety or general welfare of those living therein.

(9)  Whenever any building becomes vacant, dilapidated and open at door or window, leaving the interior of the building exposed to the elements or accessible to entrance by trespassers.
(Ord. 189, passed 9-16-87)

§ 150.26  CONDITION DECLARED A PUBLIC NUISANCE.
All dangerous and unsafe structures within the  terms of §150.25 are hereby declared to be public nuisances and shall be repaired, altered, vacated or demolished as provided in this subchapter.
(Ord. 189, passed 9-16-87)

§ 150.27  MAINTAINING OR PERMITTING EXISTENCE OF DANGEROUS OR UNSAFE BUILDING OR STRUCTURES.
It shall be unlawful to maintain or permit the existence of any dangerous and unsafe building or structure in the City; and it shall be unlawful for the owner, occupant or agent thereof, or any person in custody and/or possession of any dangerous and unsafe building or structure to permit the same to remain in a dangerous condition, or to occupy such building or permit it to be occupied while it remains in a dangerous condition.
(Ord. 189, passed 9-16-87) Penalty, see  §150.99

§ 150.28  RIGHT OF ENTRY FOR PURPOSE OF INSPECTION.
The Building Inspector, the Fire Chief and/or the Health Officer of the City, or anyone specifically deputized therefore by one of the officers, shall enter upon any land or into any building or structure for the purpose of and to inspect, and shall inspect the same, whenever he shall have cause to believe or fear that said building, structure, shed, fence or other man-made structure is a dangerous and unsafe building or structure as defined in §150.25.
(Ord. 189, passed 9-16-87)

§ 150.29  NOTICE OF UNSAFE AND DANGEROUS CONDITION.
When the whole or any part of any building or structure is found to be in a dangerous or unsafe condition as set forth in this subchapter, the City, through its Building Inspector, Fire Chief and/or Health Officer, shall issue a notice of unsafe and dangerous condition.

(A)  Notice of unsafe and dangerous condition shall be directed to the owner or agent registered with the City.  If no owner or agent has been registered, then the notice of unsafe and dangerous condition shall be directed to each owner of or party in interest in the building or structure in whose name the property appears on the last local tax assessment records.

(B)  Notice of unsafe and dangerous condition shall specify the time and place of a hearing on the condition of the building or structure at which time and place the person to whom the notice of unsafe and dangerous condition is directed shall have the opportunity to show cause why the building or structure should not be ordered to be demolished or otherwise made safe.

(C)  It shall be imperative that the time and place of a hearing shall be contained within the notice of unsafe and dangerous condition.  The person to whom such notice of unsafe and dangerous condition is directed need not make any demand for the hearing provided in this subchapter.
(Ord. 189, passed 9-16-87)

§ 150.30  HEARING OFFICER TO SERVE NOTICE.
A hearing officer shall be appointed by the City Council, on the recommendation of the City Manger, to serve at the pleasure of the City Council.

(A)  When a notice of unsafe and dangerous condition is issued, the officer so issuing that notice, whether he be the Building Inspector, Fire  Chief and/or Health Officer of the City, shall file a copy of the said notice of unsafe and dangerous condition with the Hearing Officer.

(B)  Service of the notice of unsafe and dangerous condition, or of any other notice made by the City officer pursuant to this subchapter may  be made in the following manner:

(1)  By personally delivering a copy of the notice to the person or persons to whom it is directed within the City.

(2)  By delivering a copy of the notice by registered mail, address to the last known post office address of the addressee, and deliverable to the addressee only, with return receipt demanded, which service by registered mail shall be considered personal and not substituted service.

(3)  If a person to whom the notice is directed cannot be found or does not have a known post office address or is not a resident of this City, then service of the notice may be made by publication in a newspaper published or circulating in the  County in which the property or premises described in the notice is situated, once in each week for three successive weeks, the last publication to be made at least ten days before the date of performance specified in the notice.
(Ord. 189, passed 9-16-87)

§ 150.31  HEARINGS.
At the hearing, the hearing officer shall take testimony of the officer who caused the notice of unsafe and dangerous condition to be issued, and/or his representatives, and the owner of the property and any interested party.

(A)  The hearing officer shall render his decision by either closing the proceedings or ordering the building or structure to be demolished or otherwise made safe.

(B)  If the hearing officer determines that the building or structure should be demolished, or otherwise made safe, he shall so order the same, fixing a time in the order for the owner or agent to comply therewith.

(C)  Should the owner or agent fail to appear or neglect or refuse to comply with the order of the hearing officer, the hearing officer shall file a report of his findings and a copy of his order with the City Council, and request that the necessary action be taken to demolish or otherwise make safe the building or structure.

(D)  A copy of the report and order of the hearing officer shall be served on the owner or agent of the building or structure in question, in the manner as heretofore set forth.
(Ord. 189, passed 9-16-87)

§ 150.32  HEARING BEFORE CITY COUNCIL.
If a report is filed pursuant to §150.29, the City Council shall conduct a hearing, reviewing the findings, report and order of the hearing officer.

(A)  A date, time and place shall be fixed for the City Council hearing, reviewing the findings, report and order of the hearing officer.

(B)  Notice of the time and place of the City Council hearing shall be given to the owner or agent in the manner as heretofore set forth, at least ten days prior to such City Council hearing.

(C)  At the City Council hearing, the owner or agent shall be given the opportunity to show cause why the building or structure in question shall not be demolished or otherwise made safe.

(D)  The City Council, by an absolute majority vote of all its members shall either approve, disapprove or modify the order of the Hearing Officer for the demolition or making safe of the building or structure in question.

(E)  The officer of the City, upon the issuance of the final decision or order of the City Council, may make and file for record in the office of the County Register of Deeds in which the land, building or premises described in the order is situated a notice of pendency of proceedings under the order, which filing shall be constructive notice to subsequent grantees, mortgagees, tenants or other occupants of the lands of the pendency of abatement proceedings as well as of court proceedings which shall later be instituted as provided in this act, and the order and court proceedings shall  not be affected by a subsequent transfer of ownership, possession, or encumbrance of the lands, building or premises.

(F)  In case the title to any lands upon which a building constituting an unsafe and dangerous condition is situated should become vested in the  State or any political subdivision of this State, or any department, board or other agency thereof, either before or after the issuance of the final decision or order of the City Council, such building or fire hazard shall be subject in all cases to the provisions of this subchapter.
(Ord. 189, passed 9-16-87)

§ 150.33  CITY MAY REMEDY CONDITION; LIEN.
In the event that the City performs or causes to be performed the demolition or making safe of such buildings or structure there shall be a lien against the real property and it shall be reported to the Assessing Officer of the City.

(A)  The Assessing Officer of the City shall assess the cost of demolition or repair against the property  on which the building or structure in question is located.

(B)  The owner or party in interest in whose name the property appears upon the last tax assessment records of the City shall be notified of the amount of such cost by first class mail at the address shown on the records.  If he fails to pay the same within 30 days after mailing by the Assessor of the notice of the amount thereof, the Assessor shall add the same to the next tax roll of the City and the same shall be collected in the same manner and in all respects as provided by law for the collection of taxes by the City.
(Ord. 189, passed 9-16-87)

§ 150.34  JUDICIAL REVIEW.
An owner or party in interest aggrieved by any final decision or order of the City Council, under §150.32, may appeal the decision or order of the City Council to the County Circuit Court, by filing a petition for  an order of superintending control within 20 days from the date of the decision of the City Council.
(Ord. 189, passed 9-16-87)

§ 150.35  ADMINISTRATIVE LIABILITY.
No officer, agent or employee of the City shall render himself personally liable for any damage that may accrue to persons or property as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his duties under this subchapter. Any suit brought against any officer, agent or employee of the City as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his duties under this subchapter shall be defended by the City until the final determination of the proceedings as set forth in this subchapter.
(Ord. 189, passed 9-16-87)

§ 150.99  PENALTY.
(A)  The owner, agent or a party in interest of any dangerous or unsafe structure who shall violate  §§150.25 through 150.35 and fail to comply with any  notice or order to repair, alter, vacate or demolish said building or structure shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be fined not exceeding $500 for each offense and further sum of $25 for each and every day such failure to comply continues beyond the date fixed for compliance.
(Ord. 189, passed 9-16-87)



CHAPTER 151:  SUBDIVISION CONTROL REGULATIONS

Section
General Provisions
151.001 Title
151.002 Purpose
151.003 Statutory authorization
151.004 Interpretation
151.005 Scope
151.006 Definitions

Plat Preparation and Filing
151.020 Pre-preliminary plat
151.021 Preliminary plat; tentative approval
151.022 Final approval of preliminary plat
151.023 Final plat

Design Standards for Subdivision Planning
151.035 Intent
151.036 Streets and alleys
151.037 Utility and drainage easements
151.038 Lots
151.039 Blocks
151.040 Pedestrian ways

Required Improvements
151.050 Required financial guarantee arrangements
151.051 Utilities and improvements
151.052 Completion and acceptance for maintenance

Public  Reservations and Special Developments
151.065 Public sites and open spaces

Lot Splitting
151.075 Submittal and review
151.076 Duties of City Assessor
151.077 Payment of taxes and special assessments

Fees, Charges and Deposits
151.090 Preliminary plat fees
151.091  Final plat fees
151.092  Lot split fees

Administration
151.105 Variances
151.106 Engineering design standards
151.999 Penalty


GENERAL PROVISIONS
§ 151.001  TITLE.
This  chapter shall be known as the City Subdivision Control Regulations.
(Ord. 119, passed 11-4-74)

§ 151.002  PURPOSE.
The regulations contained in this chapter have been enacted to provide for the orderly growth and harmonious development of the community; to secure adequate traffic circulation through coordinated street systems with relation to major street, adjoining subdivision and public facilities; to achieve individual property lots of maximum utility and livability; to secure adequate provisions for water supply, drainage and sanitary sewage and other health requirements; to secure adequate provisions for recreational areas, school sites and other public facilities; and to provide logical procedures for the achievement of these purposes.
(Ord. 119, passed 11-4-74)

§ 151.003  STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION.
The regulations contained in this chapter are to be interpreted and enforced by the City Council pursuant to the authority granted the municipality by the State of Michigan in the Subdivision Control Act, Act 288, as amended, of the Public Acts of 1967.
(Ord. 119, passed 11-4-74)

§ 151.004  INTERPRETATION.
The provisions of the regulations contained in this chapter shall be held to be the minimum requirements adopted for the promotion and preservation of public health, safety and general welfare within the City.  These regulations are not intended to repeal, abrogate, annual or in any manner interfere with existing regulations or laws of the City, nor conflict with any statutes of the State or the County, except that these regulations shall prevail in cases where these regulations impose a greater restriction than is provided by existing statutes, laws or regulations.
(Ord. 119, passed 11-4-74)

§ 151.005  SCOPE.
Subsequent to the effective date of this chapter, plat which fail to conform with the regulations contained in this chapter shall not be approved by the City.
(Ord. 119, passed 11-4-74)

§ 151.006  DEFINITIONS.
For the purpose of this chapter the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.  For the purpose of this chapter all definitions used in the Subdivision Control Act of 1967, and all applicable administrative regulations regarding that act, shall have the same meaning when employed herein.

ALLEYS:  A strip of land dedicated to public use, generally for the purpose of providing vehicular access to the rear of properties to which the principal access is provided by an abutting street.

BUILDING LINE:  A line established in a plat for the purpose of prohibiting construction of any portion of a building or structure between such line and any easement, right-of-way or other public area.

CUL-DE-SAC:  A short minor street with only one end open to vehicular traffic and being permanently terminated at the other and by a vehicle turn-around.

DEAD-END STREET:  A street with only one end open to vehicular traffic and not provided with a vehicle turn-around at the other end.

EASEMENT:  A grant by the property owner of the use of a strip of land by the public, a corporation or private person or persons for a specific purpose or purposes.

FLOOD PLAIN:  That area of land adjoining the channel of a river, stream, water course, lake or other similar body of water which will be inundated by a flood which can reasonably be expected for that region.

IMPROVEMENT:  Any additions to the natural state of the land which increases its value, utility or habitability.  Improvements include street pavements, (with or without curbs) and gutters, sidewalks, water mains, storm and sanitary sewers, street trees and other appropriate and similar items.

LOCAL STREET:  A street intended primarily to provide access to abutting property.

LOT:  A portion of a subdivision or other parcel of land intended to be a unit for transfer of ownership or for development.

MAJOR STREET:  A street or highway used primarily for fast or heavy traffic, including expressways, freeways, boulevards and highways in the state system.

OUTLOT:  When included within the boundary of a recorded plat, means a lot set aside for purposes other than a building site, park or other land dedicated to public use or reserved for private use.

PARCEL:  A unit of land under one ownership.

PLAT:  A map or chart of a subdivision of land.

(1) Pre-preliminary plat.  A sketch plan of a proposed subdivision at sufficient accuracy and scale to serve the purposed of procedure as set forth in this chapter.

(2)  Preliminary plat.  A map showing the salient features of a proposed subdivision submitted to the City Council for purposes of preliminary consideration.

(3)   Final plat.  A map of all or part of a subdivision prepared and certified as to its accuracy by a registered  engineer or land surveyor.  Such map must meet the requirements of this chapter and of the Subdivision Control Act, Act 288, Public Acts of 1967, as may be amended.

PUBLIC RESERVATIONS:  A portion of a subdivision which  is set aside for public use and made available for public use and made available for public acquisition.

RESERVE STRIP:  A strip of land in a subdivision which extends across the end of a street proposed to be extended by future platting or a strip which extends along the lengths of partial width street proposed to be widened by future platting, to the minimum permissible width.

STREET:  A right-of-way dedicated deeded for public use, other than an alley, which provides for vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

SUBDIVIDED or SUBDIVISION:  The partitioning or dividing of a parcel or tract of land by the proprietor thereof or by his heirs, executors, administrators, legal representatives, successors or assigns for the purpose of sale, or lease of more than one year, or of building development, where the act of division creates five or more parcels of land each of which is ten acres or less in area; are created by successive divisions within a period of ten years.

SUBDIVIDER or PROPRIETOR:  A natural person, firm association, partnership, corporation or combination of any of these which may hold any ownership interest in land, whether recorded or not.

ZONING ORDINANCE:  The Zoning Ordinance of the City of West Branch, Ogemaw County, Michigan, adopted on March 16, 1970, as amended, and which is now in effect as the zoning code, as set out in Chapter 153.
(Ord. 119, passed 11-4-74)


PLAT PREPARATION AND FILING
§ 151.020  PRE-PRELIMINARY PLAT.
The purpose of the pre-preliminary plat is to provide the proprietor with an opportunity to avail himself of the advise and assistance of the City Council, City Engineer and the many other agencies  involved in subdividing, prior to preparing a preliminary plat and its submission for approval.  Nothing in this section, however, shall be construed as to require the submittal of a pre-preliminary plat.  Review at this stage shall not constitute any approval of the proposed preliminary plat but shall serve primarily as guidance to the prospective proprietor.  any proprietor may elect to begin subdividing by submitting a preliminary plat in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

(A)  Submittal.  The proprietor shall submit to the City Clerk, at least five days prior to a City Council meeting, ten copies of the Pre-preliminary plat.   The City Council shall promptly refer the plat to the City Engineer.

(B)  Suggested information.  The following information shall be shown on the Pre-preliminary plat or submitted with it:

(1)  The sketch plat shall be at a scale no less than 200 feet to one inch, a scale of 100 feet to one inch is preferred.
(2)  Names and addresses of the proprietor, owner proprietor and the planners, designer, engineer or surveyor who prepared the sketch plan.
(3)  An overall map at a scale not less than one inch to 2,000 feet showing the relationship of the subdivision to its surroundings, such as existing road rights-of-way, existing buildings, water courses, railroads, marshes, nearby public spaces and other physical features on and adjacent the tract.
(4)  Location and road rights-of-way of proposed streets, alleys, easements, parks, open spaces and lot lines.
(5)  All parcels of land proposed to be dedicated to public use and conditions of the dedication.
(6)  Date, cardinal points and scale.
(7)  Zoning on and adjacent to the tract.
(8)  Site data, including number of lots, typical lot size, acres in parks, and the like.
(9)  The proprietor shall furnish the City  Council with a statement indicating the proposed use to which the subdivision will be put, along with a description of the type of residential buildings and number of dwelling units contemplated or the type of business so as to reveal the effect of the development on traffic, fire hazards or congestion of population.  Such proposed uses may not be in conflict with the zoning ordinance.
(10)  Other related data as the City Council deems necessary.
(11)  If the proprietor has an interest or owns any parcel identified as "outlots" or "excepted," the pre-preliminary plat shall indicate how this property could be developed in accordance with the requirements of the existing zoning district in which it is located and with an acceptable relationship to the layout of the proposed pre-preliminary plat.

(C)  Procedures.  The City Council shall employ the following procedures:
(1)  The City Council shall review all details of the proposed subdivision within the framework of the Zoning Ordinance within the standards of this subdivision control regulations.
(2)  After reviewing comments of the City Engineer and any other persons or agencies who have been provided copies of the pre-preliminary plat, the City Council shall make appropriate comments and suggestions concerning the proposed development.  The City Council shall retain one copy of the pre-preliminary plat which shall become a matter of permanent record in the City Council's files and the proprietor shall receive a marked up copy of the pre-preliminary plat with any suggested changes.
(Ord. 119, passed 11-4-74)

§ 151.021  PRELIMINARY PLAT; TENTATIVE APPROVAL.
Tentative approval under this section shall confer upon the proprietor for a period of one year from date, approval of lot sizes, lot orientation and street layout.  Such tentative approval may be extended at the option of the City Council for a period of one year, if applied for by the proprietor and granted by the City Council in writing.

(A)  Submittal.  The proprietor shall submit ten copies of the preliminary plat and other data to the City Clerk at least 20 days before a meeting of the City Council and copies shall be distributed to:
(1)  City Clerk retains two copies.
(2)  Two copies are sent to the  City Engineer.
(3)  One copy to each member of the City Council.
(4)  School Board of Superintendent of the School District having jurisdiction in the area concerned.

(B)  Information required.  The following information shall be shown on the preliminary plat or submitted with it:
(1)  Proposed name of subdivision.
(2)  Location of the subdivision giving the numbers of section, township and range, or by other legal description.
(3)  Names and addresses of the proprietor, owner proprietor, and the planner, designer, engineer or surveyor who prepared the preliminary plat.
(4)  The names of abutting subdivisions, layout of streets, indicating street  names, right-of-way widths and connections with adjoining platted streets, the widths and location of alleys, easements and public walkways and lot layouts.
(5)  The preliminary plat shall be at a scale of 200 feet to one inch or larger.
(6)  Date, cardinal points and scale.
(7)  A map of the entire area, schedules for development, if the proposed plat is a portion of a larger holding intended for subsequent development.
(8)  Layout, numbers and dimensions of lots.
(9)  Indication of parcels of land intended to be dedicated or set aside for public use or for the use of property owners in the subdivision.
(10)  Location of any existing and proposed sanitary sewers, water mains, storm drains and other underground facilities.
(11)  A site report, if the proposed subdivision is not to be served by public sewer and water systems, as described in the rules of the State Department of Public Health.
(12)  Contours shall be shown on the preliminary plat at five-foot intervals where slope is greater than 10% or less.  Topography to be based on  U.S.G.S. datum.
(13)  The proprietor shall submit preliminary engineering plans for streets, water, sewers, sidewalks and other required public improvements.  The engineering plans shall contain enough detail to enable the City Engineer to make preliminary determination as to conformance of the proposed improvements to applicable municipal regulations and standards.

(C)  Procedures.
(1)  The City Clerk shall place the preliminary plat on the agenda of the next regular meeting of the City Council.
(2)  The City Council shall review the preliminary plat and the comments of the City Engineer and other interested parties and, if the plat meets all requirements shall:
(a)  Find that all conditions have been satisfactorily met and grant tentative approval of the preliminary plat.  The City Council shall record their approval on the plat (signed by the City Clerk) and return one copy to the proprietor.
(b)  If the preliminary plat does not meet all requirements, the City Council shall notify the proprietor by letter, giving the earliest date for resubmission of the plat and additional information required.
(c)  If no  action is taken within 60 days, the preliminary plat shall be deemed to have been approved by the City Council.
(d)  The proprietor upon receiving tentative approval from the City Council shall submit the preliminary plat to all authorities as required by sections 113 to 119 of the Subdivision Control Act, Act 288, Public Acts of 1967.
(Ord. 119, passed 11-4-74)

§ 151.022  FINAL APPROVAL OF PRELIMINARY PLAT.
Final approval of the preliminary plat under this section shall confer upon the proprietor for a period of two years from date of approval, the conditional right that the general terms and conditions under which preliminary approval was granted will not be changed.  The two year period may be extended if applied for by the proprietor and granted by the City Council in writing.  Written notice of the extension shall be sent by the City Council to the other approving authorities.

(A)  Submittal.  Ten copies of the preliminary plat for final approval shall be submitted to the City Clerk who forwards it to the City Council for its action.

(B)  Information required.  The following information shall be shown on the preliminary plat or submitted with it:
(1)  A list of all required approving authorities to the City Clerk, certifying that the list shows all authorities as required.
(2)  Submit copies of the approval to the City Clerk after all necessary approvals have been secured.
(3)  Copy of the  receipt from the City Treasurer that all fees, as provided in this chapter, have been paid.
(4)  Engineering inspection fees, and other charges and deposits provided for in this chapter.
(5)  Copies of the proposed protective covenants and deed restrictions.

(C)  Procedures.  The City Council, after receipt of the necessary approved copies of the preliminary plat, shall:
(1)  Consider and review the preliminary plat  at its next meeting, or within 20 days from the date of submission, and approve it if the proprietor has met all conditions laid down for approval  of the preliminary plat.
(2)  Instruct the  City Clerk to promptly notify the proprietor of approval or rejection in writing, and if rejected, to give the reasons.
(3)  Instruct the City Clerk to  note all proceedings in the minutes of the meeting, which minutes shall be open for inspection.
(4)  No construction of improvements shall be commenced by the subdivider until he has:
(a)  Received notice of final approval of the Preliminary Plat by the City Council; and
(b)  He has entered into a subdivision agreement with the City for construction of all required subdivision improvements; and
(c)  Has deposited with the City a performance guarantee and cash performance bond.  Escrow shall be as required under this chapter.
(Ord. 119, passed 11-4-74)

§ 151.023  FINAL PLAT.
Following the final approval of the preliminary plat by the City Council, the proprietor shall cause a survey and a true plat thereof to be made by a registered land surveyor.

(A)  Submittal.  Final plat shall be submitted to the City Clerk.  A final plat shall not be accepted after the date of expiration of the preliminary plat approval.

(B)  Information required.  The final plat of subdivided land shall comply with the provisions of survey and mapping requirements cited in the Subdivision Control Act, Act 288, Public Acts of 1967.
(1)  An abstract of title certified to date of the proprietor's certificate to establish recorded ownership interests  and  any other information deemed necessary for the purpose of ascertaining whether the proper parties have signed the plat, or a policy of title insurance currently in force, covering all of the land included within the boundaries of the proposed subdivision.  The City Council, in lieu of an abstract of title, may accept on its own responsibility an attorney's opinion based on the abstract of title as to ownership and marketability of title of the land.

(C)  Procedures.
(1)  The final plat shall be reviewed by the City Engineer as to compliance with the approved preliminary plat and plans for utilities and other improvements.
(2)  The Final plat shall be reviewed by the  City Attorney who shall prepare any necessary agreements to guarantee the construction or installation of improvements as provided in this chapter.
(3)  The City Council shall review all recommendations  and take action of the final plat within 20 days.
(4)  The City Council shall require all improvements and facilities to be constructed or require a bond in lieu of construction of facilities prior to approving the final plat.
(5)  Upon the approval of the final plat by the City Council, the subsequent approvals shall follow the procedure set forth in the Subdivision Control Act, Act 288, Public Acts of 1967.  If disapproved, the City Council shall give the proprietor its reasons in writing.
(6)  The City Council shall instruct the Clerk to record all proceedings in the minutes of the meeting, which shall be open for inspection and to sign the municipal certificate of the approved plat in behalf of the City Council.
(7)  It is the responsibility of the proprietor to furnish four additional copies of the final plat to the required agencies in accordance with the Subdivision Control Act.
(Ord. 119, passed 11-4-74)


DESIGN STANDARDS FOR SUBDIVISION PLANNING
§ 151.035  INTENT.
The design standards as set forth in this subchapter are intended as a guide to sound land planning and are the minimum standards for subdivision development in the City.
(Ord. 119, passed 11-4-74)

§ 151.036  STREETS AND ALLEYS.
The specifications herein set forth are to be the standards adopted for the width and location of all highways, streets and alleys which may hereafter be platted or accepted within the City.

(A)  Layout.  The layout of proposed streets shall provide for the continuation of existing streets in surrounding areas and/or shall conform to a plan for the neighborhood approved by the City Council in cases where topographical or other conditions preclude the continuation of existing streets.  In general, such streets shall be of width as great as that of the street so extended.  Local residential streets shall be laid out as to discourage their use by through traffic.

(B)  Private streets and alleys.  Private streets and alleys shall not be permitted, but rather all streets and alleys shall be dedicated to the public.

(C)  Access to property.  A plat shall not be approved which is isolated from  or which isolates other lands from existing public streets, unless suitable access is provided.

(D)  Intersections.  Intersecting streets shall be laid out so that the intersection angle is as nearly possible to 90°.  Streets converging at one point shall be reduced to the least practicable number.

(E)  Half streets.  Half streets shall not be permitted.  Wherever there already exists a dedicated and recorded  half-street or half-alley on an adjoining plat, and such half-street or half-alley cannot be vacated, the other half shall be dedicated on the proposed plat to make the street or alley complete.

(F)  Dead-end streets.   When adjoining areas are not platted, the arrangement of certain streets in  new subdivisions shall be extended to the boundary line of the tract to make provision for the future projection of streets into adjacent areas.  A one-foot public reserve may be required to be placed between stub streets and subdivision boundaries.  These reserves shall be deeded in fee simple to the  City for future street purposes.

(G)  Alleys.  Alleys shall not be permitted in residential areas, but may be permitted or required in commercial or industrial areas for the purpose of service access, such as for off-street parking and loading.

(H)  Street names.  Street names shall not be permitted which might cause confusion for purposes of assessing, mail delivery, or locating by the public with names of existing streets in or near the City.  Streets that will be continuations of existing streets shall be called by the same names of such existing streets.

(I)  Building lines and setback lines.  Building the lines shall conform to the requirements of the zoning ordinance.

(J)  Street alignment.
(1)(a)  Minimum horizontal centerline radii of curvature shall be:
1.  Major streets, 450 feet radius (35 miles per hour).
2.  Local streets, 250 feet radius (25 miles per hour).
(b)  A minimum 50-foot tangent shall be introduced between reverse curves on local streets, 100 feet on major streets except that upon recommendation of the City Engineer an exception may be granted by the City Council.

(2)  Visibility requirements:
(a)  Minimum vertical visibility (measured from 4-1/2-foot eye level to 18-inch tall light) shall be:
1.  350 feet on major streets.
2.  300 feet on secondary streets.
3.  200 feet on local streets.
4.  100 feet on local streets less than 500 feet in length.
(b)  Minimum horizontal visibility, as measured on center line, shall be:
1.  200 feet on major streets.
2.  100 feet on local streets.
3.  100 feet on minor streets.

(3)  Street jogs.  Street jogs with centerline off-sets of less than 150 feet shall be avoided.

(4)  Intersections.  Curved streets intersecting with major or local streets shall do so with a tangent section of centerline 100 feet in length measured from the right-of-way line of the major or local thoroughfare except that upon recommendation of the City Engineer an exception may be granted by the City Council.

(K)  Street grades.  Profiles may be required on all streets as the discretion of the City Engineer.  The minimum gradient and maximum gradient shall be upon the recommendation of the City Engineer.

(L)  Surface drainage.  Adequate and safe disposal of all yard drainage shall be provided in accordance with details and specifications prescribed by the City Engineer.

(M)  Street right-of-way widths.  Street right-of-way widths shall conform to at least the following minimum requirements:

Street Type  Minimum Right-of-Way 
Major Streets 100 feet 
Local Streets  86 feet 
Industrial & Commercial Service Streets  66 feet 
Boulevard Streets  86 feet 
Alleys  24 feet 
Cul-de-sac Streets  66 feet 

 
(N)  Cul-de-sacs.  Maximum length for residential cul-de-sacs shall not exceed 600 feet and shall terminate in a circle 120 feet in diameter.  Maximum length of industrial cul-de-sac streets may exceed 600 feet subject to the approval of the City council and shall terminate in a circle 150 feet in diameter.
(Ord. 119, passed 11-4-74)  Penalty, see §151.999

§ 151.037  UTILITY AND DRAINAGE EASEMENTS.
(A)  Drainage easements shall be provided, which conform substantially with the lines of any natural water course, drainage ditch, channel or stream.  Such easements shall be of adequate width for the particular conditions of the  site.  The City Engineer may, if he considers such requirement necessary to the proper development of the subdivision and the circulation of local traffic, require that the drain, if within a public right-of-way, will be tiled and fully enclosed.

(B)  Except where alleys are provided for the purpose, a private utility easement, not less than 12 feet in width, with six feet located on each side of the property line, shall be provided along rear or side lot line.  Utility easements six feet in width are permissible along rear property lines, in cases where such rear property lines abut unplatted  land.
(Ord. 119, passed 11-4-74)  Penalty, see §151.999

§ 151.038  LOTS.
The size, shape and orientation of lots shall be appropriate for the location of the subdivision and for the type of development and use contemplated.  Lots shall be of such size as to permit a variety of housing types, to provide side yards for desirable access, light, air, privacy, and safety from fire hazards, and to provide for setbacks from the street line and allow sufficient space for household purposes.

(A)  Access.  All lots shall abut upon their full frontage on a dedicated public street.  Lots, other than corner lots, shall not be permitted to abut two streets.

(B)  Depth.  No lot shall be less than 120 feet in depth.  The depth of a lot may not exceed a depth to width ratio of 2½ to 1.

(C)  Corner lot.  Corner lots in single-family  plats shall be provided with an extra 15 feet of width to permit the maintenance of the minimum front building setback lines on both the front and side street lines.

(D)  Side lot lines.  Side property lines of lots shall generally be perpendicular or radial to street lines except where, in the opinion of the City Council, a better lotting plan can be achieved.  Side and rear property lines should be straight, except as otherwise agreed to by the City.

(E)  Area.  The area and width of lots shall be in accordance with the minimum Zoning Ordinance requirements for the district in which the plat is proposed.

(F)  Industrial and commercial lots.  Not lot or parcel zoned industrial or commercial shall be platted unless such lot or parcel be sufficient in size as to provide area for off-street parking and loading in accordance with the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance.

(G)  Large lots.  In case a tract is subdivided into parcels containing over one acre in area, such parcels shall be arranged to allow the resubdivision of any parcels into smaller lots in accordance with the provisions of these subdivision control regulations.

(H)  Land subject to flooding.  Any areas of land within the proposed subdivision which are subject to flooding or inundation by storm water shall be clearly shown on the final plat.  Such land shall not be platted for residential occupancy  nor for such other uses as may increase danger to health, life or property, or unduly aggregate the flood hazard.
(Ord. 119, passed 11-4-74)  Penalty, see §151.999

§ 151.039  BLOCKS.
The size and shape of blocks shall be appropriate for the type of lots and land use proposed.  Blocks shall be designed so as to permit good lot orientation, safe street design and economical use of the land.

(A)  Maximum length.  Maximum length of blocks, measured between intersecting street centerlines, shall not exceed 1,320 feet.  This maximum may be exceeded where lot sizes average over 20,000 square feet, except that in no case however, may the maximum block length exceed 1,800 feet.

(B)  Minimum length.  Minimum block length, measured as above, shall not be less than 500 feet.

(C)  Width.  Width of blocks shall be equal to the total depth of two  tiers of lots and shall not be less than 240 feet.
(Ord. 119, passed 11-4-74)  Penalty, see §151.999

§ 151.040  PEDESTRIAN WAYS.
(A)  Crosswalks.  Right-of-way for pedestrian crosswalks in the middle of blocks exceeding 1,000 feet in length may be required where necessary to obtain convenient pedestrian circulation to schools, parks or shopping areas.  The right-of-way shall be at least 15 feet wide and extend  entirely through the block.

(B)  Surfacing.  The walkway surface shall be five feet in width, and constructed to meet City concrete sidewalk specifications.  The balance of the easement shall be sodded to meet City specifications.
(Ord. 119, passed 11-4-74)  Penalty, see §151.999


REQUIRED IMPROVEMENTS

§ 151.051  UTILITIES AND IMPROVEMENTS.
The improvements set forth under this subchapter are to be considered as the minimum acceptable standard.  Those improvements for which standards are not specifically set forth shall be established by the City Council  with assistance from the City Engineer.  The current M.D.S.H. and State Health Department requirements will also be applicable.

(A)  Street pavement.  Street improvements shall be provided by the proprietor in accordance with standards and specifications of the City Engineer and the following schedule:

Street Type  Pavement Width 
Major Street  In accordance with standards and specifications established by the City Engineer 
Local Street 37-feet to 44-feet 
Industrial & Commercial Service Streets       27-feet to 44-feet 
Multiple-family Street  37-feet 
Boulevard Street  Dual 22-foot pavement separated by a 20-foot island 
Alleys  20-feet 
Cul-de-sac Street (outside radius)
- Industrial
- Residential 
--
65-feet
50-feet

 
(B)  Storm drainage.  All streets shall have enclosed storm drainage sewers in accordance with standards and specifications prescribed by the City Engineer.  Where County drains are included in the proposed plat a letter or document of approval shall be submitted by the proprietor from the County Drain Commissioner and other public agencies that have jurisdiction.

(C)  Sanitary sewage system.  A public sanitary sewer system shall be constructed and the sewer size, type, grade and other appurtenances of the system shall be constructed in conformance with the standards and specifications prescribed by the City Engineer.

(D)  Water system.  A public water supply system shall be required and water mains, fire hydrants and necessary water system appurtenances shall be constructed in such a manner as to adequately serve all lots shown on the plat both for domestic use and fire protection.  Standards and specifications shall be prescribed by the City Engineer.

(E)  Curbs and gutters.  Roll or batter curbs shall be constructed on all streets shown on the plat in accordance with standards and specifications of the City Engineer.

(F)  Sidewalks.  Concrete sidewalks shall be constructed along both sides of all streets shown on the plat including major and secondary streets.  Where the average width of lots, as measured at the building setback line, is over 100 feet, sidewalks shall be required on one side only and provided further that sidewalks may not be required along commercial or industrial service streets.  Sidewalks where constructed shall be five feet in width and shall be placed one foot off the property line.  Sidewalks shall be constructed in accordance with standards and specifications prescribed by the City Engineer.

(G)  Trees.  Street trees shall be planted between curb and sidewalk in accordance with the following schedule for all residential lots:
(1)  Lots with street frontage of 65 feet or less shall have a minimum of one tree.
(2)  Lots with street frontage of 120  feet or more shall have a minimum of two trees per lot.
(3)  Minimum tree size shall be 1-1/2 to two inches in diameter as measured six inches above the ground.
(4)  The selection of variety, spacing and planting of all trees shall be done in accordance with standards and specifications of the City.

(H)  Street signs.  For the proper identification of streets, the proprietor shall provide and erect street signs and traffic-control signs meeting the standards of the City and State.

(I)  Street lights.  Street lights shall be provided in accordance with standards and specifications of the Consumers Power Company.

(J)  Underground wiring.  The proprietor shall make arrangements for all lines for telephone, electric, television and other similar services distributed by wire or cable to be placed underground entirely throughout a subdivided area, (except for major street right-of-way, if in agreement with the utility company and the City Engineer) and such conduits or cables shall be placed within private easements provided to such service companies by the developer or within dedicated public ways, provided only that overhead lines may be permitted upon written recommendation of the City Engineer and the approval of the City Council at the time of final plat approval where it is determined that overhead lines will not constitute a fare, plat design and character of the subdivision.  All such facilities placed in dedicated public ways shall be planned so as not to conflict with other underground utilities.  All these facilities shall be constructed in accordance with standards of construction approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission.  All drainage and underground utility installations which traverse privately owned property shall be protected by easements granted by the proprietor.

K)  Site plan, along with copper piping or metal trace wire required.  All construction or installation of private utility hookups and pipes for water and/or sewer occurring within the City of West Branch must be preceded by submission to the Zoning Administrator of a site plan, drawn to scale, demonstrating with reasonable accuracy the location of such utility hookups and pipes on the property, so as to enable the Department of Public Works to be able to locate the same by reviewing the site plan.  Once a site plan is approved, work must be completed within 6 months of the approval, or another site plan must be submitted.  In addition, once work is completed, photographic evidence demonstrating compliance with the site plan must also be submitted to City Hall within 90 days of the project completion, with said photographs demonstrating, with reasonable accuracy, the final location of any and all water/sewer installations.  All construction or installation of private utility hookups and pipes for water and/or sewer occurring within the City of West Branch must also either utilize copper implements, which is preferred, or include a metal trace wire of sufficient size so as to allow the Department of Public Works to be able to locate the water and/or sewer hookups and pipes through the above-ground utilization of a standard-grade metal detector.

(L)  Fees and Penalties for Turning Off Water Services.  Service requests made of the Department of Public Works to turn water services off for general purposes, such as seasonal winterization may be billed at the rate of $30.00 per service call, or such other rate as may be subsequently set by resolution of Council.  When water service must be turned off by the Department of Public Works for failure to timely pay City water bills, the party responsible for the water bill shall be billed $100.00, or such other rate as may be subsequently set by resolution of Council, to compensate the City for the increased administrative expenses associated with that type of shut off, as well as the time expended by the Department of Public Works in the effectuation of the shut off.  Water services generally will not be turned back on until all past water bills have been paid, including any billings related to water turn off fees.
(Ord. 119, passed 11-4-74; Am Ord 15-07, passed 11-2-15) Penalty, see §151.999


§ 151.051  COMPLETION AND ACCEPTANCE FOR MAINTENANCE.
(A)  Certification by the developer's engineer.  The proprietor's engineer shall furnish the City a letter or document indicating satisfactory completion of the required improvements.

(B)  Inspection by the proprietor's engineer and the City Engineer.  After the completion of the construction of the streets and other related facilities, the City Engineer will conduct a final inspection.  This inspection shall be made in conjunction with the proprietor's  Engineer to assure the subdivision is completed according to the approved plans and specifications.

(C)  Partial acceptance.  In no case will a partial acceptance of any street in the subdivision be made for maintenance.
(Ord. 119, passed 11-4-74; Am Ord 15-07, passed 11-2-15) Penalty, see §151.999

§ 151.060  REQUIRED FINANCIAL GUARANTEE ARRANGEMENTS.
(A)  The proprietor shall be required to provide financial security in one or a combination of the following arrangements, whichever the proprietor elects.
(1)  Performance bond.  A performance or surety bond to cover the costs of the contemplated improvements as estimated by the City shall be filed with the City Treasurer.  These bonds shall specify the time period in which the improvements are to be completed and shall be with an acceptable bonding company authorized to do business in the  State.
(2)  Escrow fund.  A cash deposit, or deposit by certified check sufficient to cover the cost of the contemplated improvements as estimated by the City shall be deposited with the City Treasurer.  The escrow deposit shall be for the estimated time period necessary to complete the required improvements.
(3)  Irrevocable letter of credit.  An irrevocable  letter of credit issued by a bank authorized to do business in the State in an amount to cover the cost of the contemplated improvements as estimated.  The City Council shall rebate or release to the proprietor, as the work progresses, amounts equal to the ratio of the completed and accepted work to the entire project.

(B)  In case the subdivider shall fail to complete the required public improvements work within such time period as required by the conditions or guarantees as outlined in division (A) of this section, the City Council may proceed to have such work completed and reimburse itself for the cost thereof by appropriating the cash deposit, certified check, surety bond or by drawing upon the letter of credit, or shall take the necessary steps to require performance by the bonding company.

(C)  The proprietor shall place  cash in escrow for sanitary sewer infiltration testing, water main testing and chlorination, traffic name and traffic-control signs.

(D)  Prior to the acceptance by the City of improvements, a one-year maintenance bond in an amount equal to 35% of the total cost shall be deposited by the proprietor.
(Ord. 119, passed 11-4-74)


PUBLIC RESERVATIONS AND SPECIAL DEVELOPMENTS
§ 151.065  PUBLIC SITES AND OPEN SPACES.
(A)  Where a site for a park, playground, school, library, fire station or other public use is deemed necessary by the City Council to fulfill its objectives, the Council may require the reservation of such areas within the subdivision.
(1)  Upon determination by the respective public agency that space for the public facility is required, the agency involved shall within 90 days enter into an agreement to purchase the site.
(2)  Acquisition of the site shall be accomplished within three years.

(B)  Reservation of other public open spaces may be required where deemed necessary by the City Council for preservation of historic sites and scenic areas or for a particular type of development proposed in the subdivision.

(C)  Dedication of greenbelts or buffer parks may be required by the City Council in areas where they are desirable to separate and protect residential subdivisions from adjacent commercial developments, highways, streets and railroads or any obnoxious use.
(Ord. 119, passed 11-4-74)


LOT SPLITTING
§ 151.075  SUBMITTAL AND REVIEW.
Any person desiring a lot split within a platted area shall submit to the City Assessor written application for splitting, and five copies of the lot split.  In addition he shall deposit the necessary fee as provided in §§151.090 through 151.092.
(Ord. 119, passed 11-4-74)

§ 151.076  DUTIES OF CITY ASSESSOR.
The  City Assessor shall review the proposed lot split to determine its compliance with the applicable City Ordinance, and with Act 288, Public Acts, 1967.  If the resultant split is in conformance with these  conditions, the City Assessor shall have the authority to authorize the requested lot splits.
(Ord. 119, passed 11-4-74)

§ 151.077  PAYMENT OF TAXES AND SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS.
No lot shall be split until all taxes and special assessments have been paid.  A receipt of payment must be submitted with the proposed lot split plan.
(Ord. 119, passed 11-4-74)


FEES, CHARGES AND DEPOSITS
§ 151.090  PRELIMINARY PLAT FEES.
At the time of submission of the preliminary plat, and prior to consideration of review thereof by the City, the proprietor shall deposit a review fee with the City Clerk, the fee to be computed as follows:

(A)  In the case of a subdivision of one-family lots, in such amounts as may be established by the City from time to time;

(B)  In the case of residential subdivision designed to contain at least in part, lots for residential buildings other than one-family residencies, in such amounts as may be established by the City from time to time; or

(C)  In the case of a commercial or industrial subdivision or any subdivision intended to contain no residential lots, in such amounts as may be established from time to time.
(Ord. 119, passed 11-4-74)

§ 151.091  FINAL PLAT FEES.
At the time of submission of the final plat, the proprietor shall deposit with the City fees computed as follows:

(A)  A fee, in such amounts as may be established by the City from time to time or such other amount as may hereafter be provided by statute;

(B)  Such fees and charges for water and sewer connections, inspection fees, fee for special meeting of governmental agencies, engineering fees for field work on site, and other official fees and charges in such amounts as may be established by the City from time to time; and

(C)  Such fees, charges or deposits as may be required pursuant to Section 125, 182, 188, or 192 of Act 288, Public Acts of Michigan of 1967.
(Ord. 119, passed 11-4-74)

§ 151.092  LOT SPLIT FEES.
A fee in such amounts as may be established by the City from time to time shall be required to review all proposed lot splits.
(Ord. 119, passed 11-4-74)


ADMINISTRATION
§ 151.105  VARIANCES.
The City Council may consider variances from the provisions of this Chapter on a finding that application of such provision or requirement is impracticable.  In making its findings, as required herein below, the City Council shall take into account the nature of the proposed use of land and the existing use of land in the vicinity, the number of persons to reside or work in the proposed subdivision, and the probable effect of the proposed subdivision upon traffic conditions in the vicinity.  No variance shall be granted unless the City  Council finds after a public hearing:

(A)  There are such special circumstances or conditions affecting said property that the strict application of the provisions of this Chapter would clearly be impracticable or unreasonable.  In such cases the subdivider shall first state his reasons in writing as to the specific provision or requirement involved and submit them to the City Council.

(B)  The granting of the specified variance will not be detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to other property in the area in which said property is situated.

(C)  The variance will not violate the provisions of the State Subdivision Control Act.
(Ord. 119, passed 11-4-74)

§ 151.106  ENGINEERING DESIGN STANDARDS.
The engineering design standards for regulating subdivision within the City shall be provided by the City Engineer.
(Ord. 119, passed 11-4-74)

§ 151.999 PENALTY.
Violation of this chapter is a Municipal Civil Infraction, pursuant to §10.99 of the City of West Branch Code of Ordinances.  Each day such violation shall exist shall constitute a separate offense.
(Ord. 119, passed 11-4-74; Am. Ord. 01-04, passed 6-18-01)



CHAPTER 152:  ZONING CODE
(click here to download zoning ordinances & codes)



CHAPTER 153:  BLIGHT AND NUISANCE REGULATIONS

Section
153.01  Nuisance defined and prohibited
153.02  Unsafe buildings, structures, and equipment
153.03  Nuisances per se
153.04  Noise Control
153.05  Abandoned Refrigerators
153.06  Bill Posting
153.07  Blight Prevention
153.08  Weed Control
153.09  Trees
153.10  Burning regulations
153.11  Violation of this chapter


§ 153.01  NUISANCE DEFINED AND PROHIBITED.
Whatever injures or endangers the safety, health, comfort or repose of the public; offends, public decency; interferes with, obstructs or renders dangerous any street, highway, navigable lake or stream; or in any way renders the public insecure in life or property is hereby declared to be a public nuisance.  Public nuisances shall include, but not be limited to, whatever is forbidden by any provision of this Chapter.  No person shall commit, create, or maintain any nuisance.
(Ord. 11-03, passed 4-18-2011)

§ 153.02  UNSAFE BUILDINGS, STRUCTURES, AND EQUIPMENT.
Unsafe buildings, structures and equipment are hereby declared a nuisance and shall be dealt with in accordance with Section 150 of the City of West Branch Code of Ordinances.
(Ord. 11-03, passed 4-18-2011)

§ 153.03  NUISANCES PER SE.
The following acts, services, apparatus and structures are hereby declared to be public nuisances:

(A)  The maintenance of any pond, pool of water, or vessel holding stagnant water.

(B)  The throwing, placing, depositing or leaving in any street, highway, lane, alley, public place, square or sidewalk, or in any private place or premises where such throwing, placing, depositing or leaving is in the opinion of the Health Officer dangerous or detrimental to public health, or likely to cause sickness or attract flies, insects, rodents and/or vermin, by any person, of any animal or vegetable substance, dead animal, fish, shell, tin cans, bottles, glass, or other rubbish, dirt, excrement, filth, rot, unclean or nauseous water, liquid or gaseous fluids, hay, straw, soot, garbage, swill, animal bones, hides or horns, rotten soap, grease or tallow, offal or any other offensive article or substance whatever.

(C)  The pollution of any stream, lake or body of water by or the depositing into or upon any highway, street, lane, alley, public street or square, or into any adjacent lot or grounds of, or depositing or permitting to be deposited any refuse, foul, or nauseous liquid or water, creamery or industrial waste, or forcing or discharging into any public or private sewer or drain any system, vapor or gas.

(D)  The emission of noxious fumes or gas in such quantities as to render occupancy of property uncomfortable to a person of ordinary sensibilities.

(E)  The distribution of samples of medicines or drugs unless such samples are placed in the hands of an adult person.

(F)  All explosives, inflammable liquids and other dangerous substances stored in any manner or in any amount contrary to the provisions of this Code, or statue of the State of Michigan.

(G)  Any use of the public streets and/or sidewalks which causes large crowds to gather, obstructing the free use of the streets and/or sidewalks unless approved by the West Branch City Council.

(H)  All buildings, walls, fences and other structures which have been damaged by fire, decay, or otherwise and all excavations remaining unfilled or uncovered for a period of ninety (90) days or longer, and which are so situated as to endanger the safety of the public.

(I)  All dangerous, unguarded excavations or machinery in any public place, or so situated, left or operated in private property as to attract the public.

(J)  The owning, driving or moving upon the public streets and alleys of trucks or other motor vehicles which are constructed or loaded so as to permit any part of its load or contents to blow, fall, or be deposited upon any street, alley, sidewalk or other public or private place, or which deposits from its wheels, tires or other parts onto the street, alley, sidewalk or other public or private place dirt, grease, sticky substances or foreign matter of any kind.  Provided, however, that under circumstances determined by the City Manager to be in the public interest, he may grant persons temporary exemption from the provisions of this subsection conditioned upon cleaning and correcting the violating condition at least once daily and execution of an agreement by such person to reimburse the City for any extraordinary maintenance expense incurred by the City in connection with such violation.(Ord. 11-03, passed 4-18-2011)

§ 153.04  NOISE CONTROL.
(A)  Excessive noise is hereby declared a nuisance.  All loud or repetitive noises or sounds or annoying vibrations that offend the peace and quiet of persons of ordinary sensibilities are hereby declared to be public nuisances.

(B)  Each of the following offensive specific acts is declared unlawful and prohibited, but this enumeration shall not be deemed to be exclusive:
(1)  Animal Noises.  The keeping of any animal, which, by causing frequent or long, continued noises, shall disturb the comfort or repose of ordinary sensibility.
(2)  Construction Noises.  The erection, including excavating therefore, demolition, alteration, construction or repair of any building or street or road, except between the house of 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
(3)  Sound Amplifiers.  Use of any loud speaker, amplifier or other similar instrument or device, whether stationary or mounted on a vehicle, shall be subject to the following restrictions:
(a)  The only sound permitted are music or human speech and they are subject to the requirements of §153.04(A).
(b)  The loudspeaker, amplifier or other similar instrument or device may be used only between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

(C)  Exceptions.  None of the prohibitions contained in §153.04 (A) and (B) shall apply to or be enforced against:
(1)  Emergency Vehicles.  Any police or fire vehicle or any ambulance, when engaged in emergency business.
(2)  Street or Highway Maintenance and Construction.  Excavations or repairs of bridges, streets, or highways by or on behalf of the City or the State of Michigan when the public safety, welfare or convenience of the City or State so requires.
(3)  Council Resolution.  The Council may by resolution modify the time limits in this subsection.
(Ord. 11-03, passed 4-18-2011)

§ 153.05  ABANDONED REFRIGERATORS.
No person shall have in his possession, either inside our outside of any building, structure or dwelling, in a place accessible to children, any abandoned, unattended or discarded icebox, refrigerator or any other similar air-tight container of any kind which has a snap latch or other locking device thereon, without first removing the snap latch or other locking device, or the doors, from such icebox, refrigerator or other container.
(Ord. 11-03, passed 4-18-2011)

§ 153.06  BILL POSTING.
(A)  Bill Posting in Streets.  No person shall attach, place, paint, write, stamp or paste any sign, advertisement, or any other matter upon any lamp post, electric light, railway, telegraph, or telephone pole, shade tree, fire hydrant, or on anything within any street.  Public officers posting any notice required or permitted by law shall be excepted from the provisions of this subsection.

(B)  Bill Posting.  No person shall attach, place, paint, write, stamp or paste any sign, advertisement, or other matter upon any house, wall, fence, gate, post or tree without first having obtained the written permission of the owner or occupants of the premises and having complied with all provisions of this Code pertaining thereto.
(Ord. 11-03, passed 4-18-2011)

§ 153.07  BLIGHT PREVENTION.
(A)  Purpose.  Consistent with the letter and spirit of Act No. 344 of the Public Acts of 1945, as amended, it is the purpose of this subsection to prevent, reduce or eliminate blight or potential blight in the City of West Branch by the prevention or elimination of certain environmental causes of blight or blighting factors which exist or which may in the future exist in said City.

(B)  Cause of Blight or Blighting Factors.  It is hereby determined that the following uses, structures and activities are causes of blight or blighting factors which, if allowed to exist, will tend to result in blighted and undesirable neighborhoods.  No person shall maintain or permit to be maintained any of these causes of blight or blighting factors upon any property in the City owned, leased rented, or occupied by such person.
(1)  The storage upon any property of junk automobiles, junk motor-driven vehicles, trailers in disrepair, contractor’s equipment in disrepair, or recreational vehicles, including boat hulls in disrepair, except in a completely enclosed building.  For the purpose of this subsection the term “junk automobiles, junk motor-driven vehicles, trailers in disrepair, contractor’s equipment in disrepair, and/or recreational vehicles in disrepair” shall include any self-propelled land motor vehicle which can be used for towing or transporting people or materials, including, but not limited to automobiles, trucks, buses, motor homes, motorized campers, motorcycles, tractors, snowmobiles, trailers, equipment or recreational vehicles and other off the road vehicles which are inoperative or partially dismantled for any reason for a period in excess of seven (7) days; provided, that any inoperative vehicle shall not include a vehicle which is not in operation for lack of a license unless the vehicle has been unlicensed for at least six (6) months.
(2)  The storage upon any property of building materials unless there is in force a valid building permit issued by the Ogemaw County Building Department for construction upon said property and said building materials are intended for use in connection with such on-going construction project.  Building materials shall include but shall not be limited to lumber, bricks, concrete, or cinder blocks, plumbing materials, mechanical materials or equipment, electrical wiring or equipment, shingles, mortar, concrete or cement, nails, screws, or any other materials used in constructing or repairing any structure.
(3)  The storage or accumulation of junk, trash, rubbish, or refuse of any kind, except domestic refuse stored in such a manner as not to create a nuisance for a period not to exceed thirty (30) days.  The term “junk” shall include parts of machinery, equipment, or motor vehicles, unused stoves, or other household appliances or furniture stored in the open, remnants of wood, metal or other material or other castoff material of any kind whether or not the same could be put to any reasonable use.
(4)  The existence of any vacant or abandoned parking area having an improved parking surface with substantial cracks, breaks or potholes whereby weeds grow therein or causing the pooling of stagnant water thereon.
(5)  The existence of any property whereby the landscaping is not regularly maintained, including, but not limited to, the lawn not being regularly mowed, noxious weeds not being eliminated or the shrubs not being regularly trimmed.
(6)  The existence of any fence, structure or damaged partial structure which because of fire, wind or other natural disaster or physical deterioration is no longer habitable if a dwelling, nor useful for any other purpose for which it was originally intended.
(7)  The existence of any vacant building, structure, garage, or other outbuilding unless such buildings or structures are kept securely locked, protected against the elements, and are inaccessible so as to prevent entrance thereto by vandals, rodents or other animals.
(8)  The existence of any incomplete structure unless such structure is in the course of construction in accordance with a valid and subsisting building permit issued by the County.  In no circumstances, however, shall the exterior of a structure, its final grading and the installation of landscaping remain incomplete in excess of the schedule:
(a)  Residential and two-family building, structures and related outbuildings:  12 months.
(b)  Multi-family, Commercial or Industrial buildings and structures under 10,000 square feet:  12 months.
(c)  Multi-family, Commercial or Industrial buildings and structures under 100,000 square feet:  18 months.
(d)  Multi-family, Commercial or Industrial buildings and structures over 100,000 square feet:  24 months.
The Planning Commission may extend such time period after receipt of a written request from the property owner demonstrating circumstances beyond his/her control, which have prevented the completion of the project.  Such extension shall either be equal to or less than the number of months listed in the above schedule.
(9)  The existence of any building or structure that is not structurally sound, safe for the intended use, weather tight, waterproof or vermin-proof.
(10)  The existence of any condition, which provides harborage for rats, mice, snakes and other vermin.
(11)  Every building or structure shall be kept neat and orderly in appearance.  The existence of any structure that is not covered by a water resistant paint or other waterproof covering so as to protect said structure from the adverse effects of the elements or from physical deterioration.
(12)  The covering of any building or structure, or the window(s) of a building or structure, with external boards, metal screens (other than those used to prevent the infestation of insects), grates, or other material in such a way that the building or structure appears to be unoccupied, or that the occupant of said building or structure has discontinued its occupancy, without obtaining a valid building permit to do so.  The City Manager is hereby authorized to sign off on building permits upon demonstration of a need by the applicant, giving consideration to the following criteria:
(a)  Whether the proposed protection will be in compliance with requirements of the Ogemaw County Building Code.
(b)  Whether the applicant can demonstrate a hazard to the security of the building or structure unless an external material covers the building or structure or window(s) thereof.
(c)  Whether the proposed protection would adversely impact the fire department in the performance of its duties.
(d)  Whether alternative, more creative solutions are available to provide the same type of protection, without the attendant effect of creating the appearance of a boarded building or structure.
(e)  Whether the applicant proposes to cover the window(s) for a period of time beyond 90 days.
(f)  Whether the owner created the hazard by the type of construction used on the building or structure.
(g)  Whether the front of the building or structure or window(s) to be covered are proximate to and visible from any street within the City.  If so, the City Manager shall balance the risk of the possible hazard against public welfare in having the appearance of a blighting factor.

(C)  Enforcement.
(1)  §153.07 (A) and (B) shall be enforced by the City of West Branch Police Department and the City Manager.
(2)  The owner, if possible, and the occupant of any property upon which any of the causes of blight or blighting factors set forth in §153.07 (B) is found to exist shall be notified in writing to remove or eliminate such causes of blight or blighting factors from such property within ten (10) days after service of this notice upon him.  Such notice shall be served as prescribed in §10.102 in the City of West Branch Code of Ordinances.
(3)  Failure to comply with such notice within the time allowed said owner and/or occupant shall constitute a violation of this Chapter.
(Ord. 11-03, passed 4-18-2011)

§ 153.08  WEED AND BRUSH CONTROL.

(A)  Definitions.  As used herein, the following terms shall be defined as follows:

(1)  Developed property.  Property, which has a building(s) or structure(s), either partially or completely finished, located thereon.

(2)  Noxious weeds. Noxious weeds shall include Canada thistle (Circium arvense), dodders (any species of Cuscuta), mustards (charlock, block mustard and Indian mustard, species of Brassica of Sinapis), wild carrot (Daucas carota), bindweed (convolvulus arvensis), perennial sow thistle (Sonchus arvensis) hoary alyssum (Berteroa incana), ragweed (ambrosia elatior 1), poison ivy (rhus toxicodendron), poison sumac (toxicodendron vernix), together with all other noxious weeds as designated by State, County or City statute or ordinance.

(3)  Miscellaneous debris.  Miscellaneous debris shall be that debris such as wood, metal, synthetic materials, glass, wire, brush, rubbish, or other refuse matter that must be removed in order to allow the cutting and removal of noxious weeds or grass.

(4)  Undeveloped property.  Property, which has no building or structure, located thereon.  Undeveloped property shall include vacant lots within a platted subdivision for purposes of this ordinance.

(B)  Noxious Weeds and Grass Growth Prohibited.

(1)  Undeveloped Property.

(a)  No person owning any undeveloped property shall permit or maintain on such premises any growth of noxious weeds; nor any growth of grass or other rank vegetation to a greater height than six (6) inches on the average; nor any accumulation of miscellaneous debris on any undeveloped property.

(b)  No person owning undeveloped property located within a platted subdivision with at least 60 percent (60%) of the lots developed shall permit or maintain within the public right-of-way adjoining such premises any growth of noxious weeds; nor any growth of grass or other rank vegetation to a greater height than six (6) inches on the average; nor any accumulation of miscellaneous debris.

(2)  Developed Property.  No person owning any developed property shall permit or maintain on any such premises any growth of noxious weeds; nor any growth of grass or other rank vegetation to a great height than six (6) inches on the average; nor any accumulation of miscellaneous debris on any developed property.

(C)  Duty of Owner(s).  It shall be the duty of the owner(s) of any premises within the City, to cut and remove or destroy by lawful means all such noxious weeds, grass and other rank vegetation and to remove the accumulation of any miscellaneous debris as often as may be necessary to comply with the provisions contained herein.

(D)  Noncompliance; Remedy of City.  If the owner(s) of any premises notified to abate a nuisance resulting from a violation of the provisions of this Chapter after receiving the required notice of a violation as set forth in (F), the City Manager or his or her agent shall through the Department of Public Works or contract laborer, cause all such noxious weeds and grass to be cut or destroyed, along with the removal of any accumulation of miscellaneous debris, upon lands of the person not complying with the provisions hereof.  The city shall keep an accurate account of all expenses incurred with respect to each parcel of land entered upon in carrying out the provisions of this subsection and shall make a sworn statement of said account.

(E)  Collection from Property Owner(s).  All expenses incurred in connection with the cutting and removal of noxious weeds and grass, including additional administrative fees and penalty fines, as set forth below, and all administrative expenses incurred for publication, inspection, enforcement and administrative costs shall be paid by the owner(s) of the property and shall be a lien against the premises and collected in the manner prescribed in Act No. 359 of the Public Acts of 1941, ad amended and Chapter 11 of the West Branch City Charter.

(F)  Notice of Requirements.

(1)  General Notice.  The City Clerk shall each year give notice of the requirements and provisions of this subsection by publishing a notice thereof either on the City website or in a newspaper of general circulation in the City of West Branch, with such notice preferably taking place on or before the 15th day of May of each year.

(G)  Exemptions.  Trees and wooded areas, flower and/or vegetable gardens, vegetation planted for ornamental purposes and/or agricultural purposes, plots of shrubbery, and flood plain areas or portions thereof determined not to be mowable by the City Manager of his/her designee are exempt from this subsection.  Such exemption for garden areas and agricultural purposes cannot be claimed unless the land has been cultivated and cared for in a manner appropriate to such categories.

(H)  Administrative fees and expenses.  In addition to the actual costs associated with any mowings actually performed by the City or its agents pursuant to this chapter, the City may also bill the property owner for all estimated administrative costs associated with such mowings, including costs for publication, inspection, and enforcement, among other administrative costs.  Furthermore, on top of the actual cost of the mowing and the administrative costs associated with the mowing, an additional penalty fee of $50.00 per occurence, or such other amount as may be subsequently set by resolution of Council, may be also assessed and charged to the property owner.

(I)  Standard brush pickups.  Standard brush pickups by the Department of Public Works may be offered to homeowners, so long as the City chooses to offer such services.  However, for homeowners to avoid being charged for the service, homeowners must strictly comply with any rules for such pickups as may be established by this ordinance, resolution of Council, or an administrative policy issued by the City Manager.  All standard brush pickups, unless approved otherwise in writing by the City Manager, must be placed curbside, between the sidewalk and street, or as near the street as possible where no sidewalk exists, but in no circumstance shall the placement of brush for pickup impede foot traffic, vehicle traffic, or the vision of travelers traversing either the sidewalk or street.  In no circumstance is brush to be placed in the street or on a sidewalk.  All standard brush pickups, unless otherwise approved in writing by the City Manager, may not include full branches or tree limbs, pieces greater than 4” in diameter, or amounts deemed by the DPW Superintendent to be amounting to approximately a full tree worth of brush, as removals of full trees and/or large amounts/pieces of brush remain the sole responsibility of the home owner, absent written permission otherwise from the City Manager.  All standard brush pickups, unless otherwise approved in writing by the City Manager or subsequently amended by Council resolution or administrative policy change, will occur on or around the last Monday of each month, with property owners being allowed to place brush curbside only during the two-day period prior to the last Monday of the month.  Violators of of any portion of this section are subject to removal of offending brush by the Department of Public Works, or its agent, with or without prior notice to the property owner, with the property owner being responsible for all actual costs associated with such removal, including administrative costs, along with a penalty fee of $50.00, or such other amount as may subsequently be set by resolution of Council.  Costs and fees associated with the provision may become a lien on the property if unpaid within 30 days of a request for payment being submitted to the property owner.

(J)  Additional brush pickups.  All brush pickups other than those classified as “standard brush pickups” must be scheduled in advance of the brush being placed curbside.  Such additional brush pickups may be scheduled by contacting City Hall during regular business hours, providing an accurate approximation of the location and quantity of brush to be picked up, and the payment in advance of the estimated costs associated with the pickup, including administrative costs and a “convenience fee” of $25.00.  Additional brush pickups are not a guaranteed service, and are only provided at the discretion of the DPW Superintendent.  Additional fees may be charged and billed for costs that exceed those originally billed and paid by the property owner.

(Ord. 11-03, passed 4-18-2011; Am. Ord. 12-04, passed 4-2-2012; Am. Ord. 15-08, passed 11-01-15)


§ 153.09  TREES.
(A)  Finding of Fact.  The City Council finds and declares that it is in the public interest and public welfare to plan for and regulate trees in the City of West Branch.  All street trees, park trees and privately owned trees are valuable assets to the residents of the City.  Proper planning and care will help insure that these assets will continue to thrive and benefit the citizens of the City in the future.

(B)  Definitions.
(1)  LARGE TREES:  “Large trees” are those trees attaining a height of forty-five (45) feet or more at maturity.
(2)  PARK TREES:  “Park trees” are herein defined as trees, shrubs, bushes, and all other woody vegetation in public parks having individual names, and all areas owned by the City, or to which the public has free access as a park.
(3)  SMALL TREES:  “Small trees” are those trees attaining a height of twenty (20) to thirty (30) feet in height at maturity.
(4)  STREET TREES:  “Street trees” are herein defined as trees, shrubs, bushes, and all other woody vegetation on land lying between property lines on either side of all streets, avenues, or ways within the City (also referred to as the “street right-of-way”).

(C)  Written Plan.  It shall be the responsibility of the City Manager or his/her designee from time to time, to study, investigate, counsel and develop and/or update annually, and administer a written plan for the care, preservation, pruning, planting, replanting, removal or disposition of trees and shrubs in parks, along street, and in other public areas.  Such plan will be presented to the City Council and upon their acceptance and approval shall constitute the official comprehensive City tree plan for the City of West Branch.  The Planning Commission shall consider, investigate, make findings, report and recommend upon any special matter or question coming within the scope of its work.

(D)  Operation.  The Planning Commission will act as the City Tree Board.

(E)  Street Tree Species to be Planted.  Upon recommendation by the Planning Commission, the City Council shall determine by resolution from time to time, a list of street tree species either allowed to be or prohibited from being planted.  Said list shall contain small trees, large trees and prohibited street trees.

(F)  Spacing.  The spacing of street trees will be in accordance with the two (2) species size classes listed in §153.09(B) and no trees may be planted closer together than the following:  Small trees, thirty (30) feet, and large trees, fifty (50) feet; except in special plantings designed or approved by a landscape professional.  Each residential lot in the City of West Branch is entitled to at least one (1) street tree.

(G)  Distance from Curb and Sidewalk.  The distance trees may be planted from curbs, or curb lines and sidewalks, will be in accordance with the (2) species size classes listed in §153.09(B).  As a general standard, no trees may be planted closer to any curb or sidewalk with the following:  Small trees – two (2) feet; and large trees – four (4) feet.  Exceptions to this standard may be approved by the City Manager in those areas where the distance between the curb and sidewalk is less than eight (8) feet.

(H)  Distance from Street Corners and Fire Hydrants.  No street tree shall be planted closer than thirty-five (35) feet to any street corner, measured from the point of nearest intersecting curbs or curb lines.  No street tree shall be planted closer than ten (10) feet to any fire hydrant, or eight (8) feet of any driveway.

(I)  Distance from Utility Poles.  No street tree shall be planted closer than ten (10) feet to any utility pole.

(J)  Public Tree Care.  The City shall have the right to plant, prune, maintain and remove trees, plants and shrubs within the lines of all streets, alleys, avenues, lanes, squares and public grounds, as may be necessary to insure public safety or to preserve or enhance the symmetry and beauty of such public grounds.  Said care shall conform to the latest American National Standard (ANSI) for Tree Care Operations – “Tree, Shrub and other Woody Plant Maintenance – Standard Practice.”  The City Manager or his/her designee may remove, or cause or order to be removed, any street tree or park tree, or part thereof, which is in an unsafe condition or which by reason if its nature is injurious to sewers, electric power lines, gas lines, water lines, or other public improvements, or is infected with any injurious fungus, insect or other pest.  This section does not prohibit the planting of street trees by adjacent property owners, providing that the selection and location of said trees is in accordance with §153.09(E) through (I).

(K)  Tree Topping.  It shall be unlawful as a normal practice for any person, firm or City department to top any street tree, park tree, or other tree on public property.  Topping is defined as the severe cutting back of limbs to stubs larger than three (3) inches in diameter within the tree’s crown to such a degree so as to remove the normal canopy and disfigure the tree.  Trees severely damaged by storms or other causes, or certain trees under utility wires or other obstructions, where other pruning practices are impractical, may be exempted from the subsection at the determination of the City Manager.

(L)  Pruning, Clearance.  Every owner of any tree overhanging any street or right-of-way within the City shall prune the branches so that such branches shall not obstruct the light from any street light or obstruct the view of any street intersection, and so that there shall be a clear space of at least eight (8) feet above the surface of the street or sidewalk.  Said owners shall remove all dead, diseased or dangerous trees, or broken or decayed limbs, which constitute a menace to the safety of the public.  The City shall have the right to prune any tree or shrub, or branches and limbs thereof, on private property when it interferes with the proper spread of light along the street from a street light, interferes with the safe passage of any vehicle, obstructs the visibility of any traffic control device or sign, or obstructs the safe passage of any public sidewalk.

(M)  Dead or Diseased Tree Removal on Private Property.  The City shall have the right to cause the removal of any dead or diseased tree(s) on private property within the City, when such tree(s) constitutes a hazard to life and property, or harbors insects or disease which constitutes a potential threat to other trees within the City.  The City Manager will notify, in writing, the owners of such trees by personal service or first class mail.  Removal shall be done by said owners at their own expense within thirty (30) days after the date of service or mailing of notice.  In the event of failure of owners to comply with such provisions, the City shall have the authority to remove such trees and charge the cost of removal to the property owners.  Failure to pay any such invoice by the time period specified shall create a right by the City to add the amount of such bill to the real property tax rolls for said property, to be collected the same as other real property taxes in the City.

(N)  Removal of Stumps.  All stumps of street and park trees shall be removed, within one year of removal, below the surface of the ground so that the top of the stump shall not project above the surface of the ground.

(O)  It shall be unlawful for any person to prevent, delay or interfere with the City’s agents, while engaging in and about the planting, cultivating, mulching, pruning, spraying, or removing of any street trees, park trees, or trees on private grounds, as authorized in this subsection.

(P)  Tree Permit and Insurance Requirements.  It shall be unlawful for any person or firm to engage in the business or occupation of pruning, treating, or removing street or park trees within the City without first applying for and procuring a tree permit from the City Manager or his/her designee.  The person requesting the tree permit must provide proof of his/her skills and qualifications or a state or national arborist license.  The tree permit fee shall be determined from time to time by City Council resolution; provided, however, that no tree permit shall be required for any public service company or City employee doing such work in the pursuit of their public service endeavors.  Before any tree permit shall be issued, each applicant shall first file evidence of possession of liability insurance in the amounts of one million dollars ($1,000,000) for bodily injury and one million dollars ($1,000,000) for property damage indemnifying the City or any person injured or damaged resulting from the pursuit of such endeavors as herein described.

(Q)  Review by City Council.  The City Council shall have the right to review the conduct, acts and decisions of the Planning Commission or its agents.  Any person may appeal any ruling or order of the Planning Commission or its agents to the City Council who may hear the matter and make the final decision.
(Ord. 11-03, passed 4-18-2011)

§ 153.10  BURNING REGULATIONS.
(A)  Purpose and Intent.  The purpose of this subsection is to protect the people and property within the City against health, safety, environmental and fire hazards caused by burning near roads, streets, places, buildings and structures, both public and private.  To promote the health, safety and general welfare of the community by regulating methods of burning of materials.  To encourage alternative methods of disposing of natural and biodegradable materials.  It shall be unlawful for any person to open burn any material, including the following at any time in the City:  Household trash, books, magazines, newspapers, cardboard and/or any items that are recycled in the State of Michigan, including brush, leaves and scrap lumber or any vegetation, plywood, drywall, plastic products, insulation material, upholstered furniture, garbage, dead animals, human and animal excrement, human and animal hair, rubber products including tires, hydrocarbon products or flammable liquids, asphalt or tar shingles or roofing materials, bedding, foam rubber, nylon, rayon, cotton, wool, polyester or other synthetic material, insulation from copper or other wiring, solid waste and/or construction waste.

(B)  Outdoor fires may be kindled and maintained in portable outdoor fireplaces under the conditions specified in this subsection.  No bonfires or campfires are allowed.
(1)  Definition of a “Portable Outdoor Fireplace” – A “Portable Outdoor Fireplace” means a movable container, which is commercially manufactured and designed with a chamber to hold an outdoor fire, used for heat or light, but not for cooking.  A portable outdoor fireplace must be equipped with a screen capable of preventing burning embers from escaping.  The appliance cannot be homemade.
(2)  Weather Conditions – No person may kindle or maintain an outdoor fire in a portable outdoor fireplace when sustained wind velocities or wind gusts exceed 15 miles per hour, or when atmospheric conditions or other circumstances make such fires hazardous.
(3)  Fuel – Wood shall be used as the fuel in a portable outdoor fireplace, provided that the wood does not extend outside of the fireplace.  “Wood” does not include green tree branches or wet, treated or painted wood.  Flammable liquids may not be used to ignite the fire.  No rubbish, trash, combustible materials, leaves, grass clippings or other yard waste may be burned in a portable outdoor fireplace.
(4)  Portable Outdoor Fireplace to be Attended – No person under 18 years of age may kindle or maintain a fire in a portable outdoor fireplace.  The fireplace must be attended at all times by a person 18 years of age or older.  An extinguishing agent capable of extinguishing the fire must be present whenever the fireplace is in use.
(5)  Location of Fireplace – No portable outdoor fireplace may be located within 15 feet of any building or combustible structure, fence, deck, or vehicle.  A fireplace must be placed on a noncombustible barrier such as cement patios, used only in backyards, and in no event shall the portable outdoor fireplace be built into the ground or located below grade.
(6)  Intensity of Fire – No person shall maintain a fire in a portable outdoor fireplace so that the flames extend beyond the fire chamber in the fireplace.  Fires shall be put out completely, they shall not smolder or self-extinguish.
(7)  Odor and smoke – no portable outdoor fireplace shall be used in such a manner as to emit offensive or objectionable smoke or odors.
(8)  Time Limitation – No person shall maintain a fire in a portable outdoor fireplace between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.
(Ord. 11-03, passed 4-18-2011)

§ 153.11  VIOLATION OF THIS CHAPTER.
Violation of this chapter is a Municipal Civil Infraction, pursuant to §10.99 of the City of West Branch Code of Ordinances.
(Ord. 11-03, passed 4-18-2011)