City of Saginaw MI -
How to Apply

Use the following sections to learn how to apply for rezoning, variances, and other exceptions or changes.

Rezoning requests

Requests for rezoning of properties are made to the City Council through the City Clerk's Office and the necessary forms can be obtained either from the Clerk's Office or the Building Inspections Division. The petitioner for rezoning should be aware that in most cases existing zoning district boundaries are considered to be appropriate unless the petitioner can sufficiently justify why an amendment should be made. It is wise to consult with the zoning-planning staff prior to submitting the petition as staff can give guidance as to the merits of the request.

Zoning code text change requests

Requests for text changes are also made to the City Council through the City Clerk's Office and the request can be made in the form of a letter to City Council requesting which provision of the zoning code is requested to be changed. Again, it is wise for the petitioner to consult with the zoning-planning staff prior to submitting the petition.

To request a rezoning or zoning code text change contact:

Building Inspections Division or
Planning & Zoning Division
City Hall
1315 S. Washington Ave.
Telephone: (989) 759-1553 or 759-1303

Steps in the rezoning or text change process

Step 1:

Pick up rezoning request form in the City Clerk's Office or Building Inspections Division Office and discuss the rezoning request or zoning code text change request with Planning-Zoning Staff.

Step 2:

After discussing the proposal with city staff, if the petitioner feels that the rezoning or text change is worth pursuing, the rezoning petition should be completed or the letter requesting the text change prepared, and then submitted to the City Clerk's Office.

Step 3:

The City Clerk will forward the rezoning or zoning code text change request to City Council and Council will refer the petition to the City Planning Commission for a public hearing.

Step 4:

The City Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the request and all interested parties will be heard. After the public hearing the Planning Commission will make a recommendation to City Council. After receiving the Commission's recommendation, if the City Council wishes to rezone an area or make a change in the zoning code text, and ordinance will be enacted making the change.

Fee:

The filing fee to request a rezoning or a zoning code text change is three hundred dollars ($300) and is paid at the City's Clerk's Office at the time that the petition is filed.

Each zoning category lists special land uses which are not appropriate as a permitted use in that zone but might be allowable under certain conditions within that zone. In Saginaw, a special land use is referred to in the zoning code as a Permitted Use After Special Approval. Examples of Permitted Uses After Special Approval include automobile service stations in B-1, Local Business Districts, professional offices in the RO-1, Restricted Office District, and hospitals in Residential Districts.

To Request a Permitted Use After Special Approval Contact:

Building Inspections Division or Planning and Zoning Division City Hall 1315 S. Washington Ave. Saginaw, Michigan 48601 Telephone: (989) 759-1553 or 759-1303

The steps that are followed to obtain special land use approval are the same as the steps that are followed in the Site Plan Review process with the following exceptions:

  1. An Appeal form for a Permitted Use After Special Approval along with the Site Plan Review form has to be filed at least 30 days before the next Planning Commission meeting (Commission meets the 4th Tuesday of each month).
  2. City staff will publish a notice of public hearing in the Saginaw News and also mail a public hearing notice to owners and occupants of property within 300' of the proposed special land use.
  3. The filing fee to request a Permitted Use After Special Approval is $300.

City Planning Commission Appeal Application

The Board of Appeals on Zoning may grant a variance from the regular provisions of the Zoning Code in cases where adhering to the strict application of the zoning code causes unnecessary hardship or practical difficulty for a property owner, due to unique circumstances of the property.

The Board of Appeals can also authorize Special Exceptions to provisions of the zoning code for off-street parking requirements, construction below flood level in floodway areas, grant approval for temporary buildings and uses, and allow expansion of a non conforming building or structure. The Board of Appeals also has the responsibility of making interpretations of questions relating to zoning district boundaries.

Types of variances

Use Variance - A use variance permits a use of land which is not otherwise permitted in the zone in which the property is located.

Non-Use Variance - A nonuse variance allows for modification of the regular provisions of the zoning code for height, size, setback, lot coverage and other physical requirements of the Zoning Code.

To Request a Variance, Special Exception or District Boundary Interpretation Contact:

Building Inspections Division or
Planning & Zoning Division
City Hall
1315 S. Washington Ave.
Saginaw Michigan 48601
Telephone: 759-1553 or 7591303

Step 1: Discuss the proposed appeal with Planning & Zoning Staff.

Step 2: Submit a completed application and required materials to the Building Inspections Division at least 17 days before a scheduled hearing.

Note: The Board of Appeals on Zoning meets the first Wednesday of each month at 7:00 P.M. in Room 205 (Council Chambers) at City Hall.

Note: The appeal should be presented to the Board at their meeting by the appellant or others that have knowledge of the request.

Note: If an appeal is granted by the Board, a building permit or certificate of occupancy for the requested improvement or change shall be applied for within 6 months from the date of the hearing, at the end of which time the action of the Board shall become null and void.

Note: Approval of the Board of Appeals on Zoning does not constitute approval of plans for a building permit. The appellant should contact the Building Inspections Division at City Hall to obtain information on what is needed to obtain a building permit.

Requests for vacation of a street or alley are made to the City Council through the City Clerk's Office and the necessary forms can be obtained either from the Clerk's Office or the Planning & Zoning Division Office. When considering a request for a street or alley vacation the City staff will contact the various public utilities to see if they have any facilities in the street or alley and if they have any objection to the proposed vacation. Sometimes a utility will have a facility in the street or alley but may only require that an easement be reserved for that facility, so there may be a vacation with only that easement reserved.

City Staff will also contact all of the owners of property which abut the street or alley and inform them of the proposed vacation. It is important to note that the vacation of all or part of a street or alley cannot be recommended to the City Council by the Planning Commission when any abutting property owner who would be deprived of a substantial right of access to his or her property because of such vacation objects thereto. Therefore, any petition for vacation of all or any part of an alley or street should be signed by the owners of all abutting properties.

Maintenance of Alleys

In cases when it is not possible to vacate an alley, it should be noted that it is the responsibility of the owners of the property which abut the alley to care for the alley to its centerline.

To request an alley or street vacation contact:

Planning & Zoning Division
City Hall
1315 S. Washington Ave.
Telephone: (989) 759-1303
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