Michigan Land Use Institute

MLUI / Articles from 1995 to 2012 /

January 21, 2004 |

The Michigan Land Use Leadership Council presented the Legislature a bipartisan plan  to improve the quality of life, job security, and economic opportunity for every Michigan citizen. The plan, if enacted, would revitalize cities, build more prosperous communities, improve
transportation choices, and protect the state’s unmatched beauty.

THE PROBLEM : Michigan's land development is expanding eight times more quickly than its population. This erases productive farmland, wildlife habitat, recreation areas, and beautiful landscapes.

It also costs taxpayers a great deal of money in new infrastructure development. We are unable to better control and guide this land-hungry development because our planning and zoning “home rule” laws were written when only wealthy auto owners and farmers lived in the country. Today approximately 1,800 independent, local jurisdictions regulate land use.

THE SOLUTION : Correct the hodge-podge of clashing, inefficient community planning with state-level policies that, without dictating, encourage and reward localities to make planning and zoning decisions that are regionally focused, internally and externally consistent, and fair and efficient in the use of local tax revenues.


Establish state land use goals for Michigan and create a process that prevents the advancement of one state agency's goals from inadvertently diminishing another's.

Embrace regional planning as a tool to halt sprawl by installing economic incentives that encourage local governments to plan together for appropriate development, as well as demonstrate that their capital expenditures follow those plans.

Authorize local governments to require concurrency in infrastructure construction; i.e., adequate roads, sewers, and other necessary improvements must be in place before new commercial or residential developments are approved.

Michigan Land Use Institute

148 E. Front Street, Suite 301
Traverse City, MI 49684-5725
p (231) 941-6584 
e comments@mlui.org