Stop the new 2022 Hayes Township Zoning Ordinance

Join us in a unified campaign to Stop the new Hayes Township Zoning Ordinance from taking effect. 

The Planning Commissioners received copies of the draft of the new Zoning Ordinance at the October 2022 Planning Commission meeting. It is a combination of a rewrite of the Bay Township ordinance and rewritten chapters of the current Hayes ordinance. As expected, it:

–IS A MASSIVE, radical rezoning of the entire Township

–Will harm the lakes, streams and creeks in the Township by gutting protections for the Shoreland Protection Strip, defining it not as land but as “an area of protective ground cover”

-Completely revises the language of the Waterfront Regulations section to allow the Law Boathouse/Dining/Event facility and boat basin and channel project to go through, after the Zoning Board of Appeals decision that determined the ordinance prohibits excavation of shoreland. (The Laws’ developer was a part of a 3-person waterfront subcommittee who rewrote this section).

–Is harmful to Lake Charlevoix’s water quality and scenic beauty by rezoning R-1 and R-2 residential zones into one, reducing residential lot size (from the current 2 acres to 1/4 acre) for waterfront lots, increasing the number of people, buildings, and septic systems 8-fold

–Rezones much of the Agricultural Zone as Rural Residential, allowing  lot sizes to be smaller, which is adverse to maintaining the rural character of the township

–Rezones some residential areas as “Resort Residential” that will allow public assembly buildings nearby people’s homes

–Has a whole new definitions section, with some important definitions no longer there, and introduces many new terms, such as “Earth Changes” that would allow cuts through the shoreland.

The new Zoning Map has not yet been revealed. The one pictured to the right, however, is from the Beckett and Raeder draft produced for the Township. The Planning Commission has not yet provided it to the public nor discussed it. (We obtained it through a FOIA request).

Based on a Flawed Master Plan

The entire Master Plan, approved in January 2020, is flawed by not following what surveys of the residents indicated was the “community’s desired future.” They desired protection of shoreland and water quality, they desired no more industrial operations, they want to preserve the community’s rural character, and limit growth and development. Some of the language in the Master Plan says this, but the massive rezoning plan would achieve the opposite results.

First petition: 475 signatures submitted to the Planning Commission

We circulated a petition to the Planning Commission and gathered 475 signatures of Hayes Township residents. The petition asked the Planning Commission to amend the “Future Land Use” map to align with the plan regarding parcels in Bay Shore that erroneously got designated for future use as “industrial,” and go back to the drawing board and re-do the Master Plan process so that it accurately reflects the “community’s desired future.”  Any new Zoning Ordinance based on the flawed Master Plan will not be good. The Planning Commission apparently made a decision out of the public eye when they first commented that they would amend the Future Land Use Map, and quickly voted “to amend it.”  It’s pretty clear they do not intend to revise the language of the Master Plan and address all of its other flaws, however, as they were adamant about continuing with the Zoning Ordinance rewrite based on the Master Plan.

Come to Planning Commission meetings this Fall:

December 13, 2022 at 7 pm

Second petition: Official petition to put the new zoning ordinance, if they adopt one, on the ballot for a vote of The People

If the Planning Commissioners and Board of Trustees adopt a new ordinance, we will rescind it using a petition process. If you are a registered voter in Hayes Township, we’ll need your signature! Contact: to sign up.

See more below

See the current Hayes Township Zoning Ordinance at this link

The Beckett and Raeder draft of the Zoning Ordinance (center) (already discarded)

The 2019 Master Plan (right). Future Land Use Map is on page 17. Survey of residents is at the end.

Help with the petition drive to rescind the new ordinance

Contact us at to get involved in our petition drive. If you are a Hayes registered voter, you can sign the petition. We haven’t started this petition yet. Stay tuned.