Secord Township   1507 Secord Dam Road    Gladwin,  Michigan 48624
Secord Township Ordinances - Article IV

Table of Contents
Ordinance Index
Article I
Article II
Article III
Article IV
Article V
Article VI
Article VII
Junk Ordinance
Blighted Structure
Inoperable Motor

Enforcement Officer
Fire & Rescue Charge
Noise Ordinance
Amend Violations
Floating Docks
Zoning Authority

401 Ordinance General Regulations

401:1 The provisions of this Ordinance shall be held to the minimum requirements and shall apply uniformly to each kind or class of structure or land.
401:2 Where the conditions imposed by any provisions of this Ordinance upon the use of structures of land are either more or less restrictive than comparable conditions imposed by the provisions of any other lawful ordinance or of any law, resolution, rule or regulation of any kind, the regulations which are more restrictive (or which impose higher standards or requirements) shall govern.
401:3 This Ordinance is not intended to nullify any easement, covenant or any other private agreement, provided that where the regulations of this Ordinance are more restrictive (or impose higher standards or requirements) than such easements, covenants or other private agreements, the regulations of this Ordinance shall govern.
401:4 Structures or uses which were unlawfully existing at the time of the adoption of this Ordinance shall not become or be made lawful solely by reason of adoption of this Ordinance.
401:5 All structures erected hereafter, all uses of land or structures established hereafter, all structural alterations or relocations of existing structures occurring hereafter and all enlargements of or additions to existing uses occurring hereafter shall be subject to all regulations of this Ordinance which are applicable to the zoning districts in which such structures, uses or land shall be located.
401:6 Nothing contained in this Ordinance shall in itself be deemed to be a consent, license or permit to use any property or to locate, construct or maintain any structure or facility or to conduct any trade, industry, occupation or activity.
401:7 Any building permits issued prior to the effective date of this Ordinance shall be considered valid and structure may be completed and used or occupied in accordance with plans provided that use or occupancy is on the basis for which building permit was originally designated and provided that construction is begun within sixty (60) days. Any such use which would become non-conforming by virtue of the passage of this Ordinance shall thereafter be considered non-conforming and subject to the provisions of this Ordinance.
401:8 Any structure or use lawfully existing at the time of adoption of this Ordinance may be continued except as hereinafter provided in the regulations concerning non-conforming uses in this Ordinance.
  A. Blue Tarps: Portable carports, lean-tos, sheds attached to any structure.
Side-walls to enclose structures must be of-like materials. Existing carports and lean-tos with existing tarps and other material; when upgrading or repairing must be replaced with materials similar to structure. May require a Land Use Permit.
401:9 Roads - Private: Private road width to be a minimum of 66 feet in A-1, R-1 and C-1 Districts.
401:10 Wells and Septic Systems – The Buyer/Seller must obtain a certificate from the Central Michigan District Health Department certifying that the well and septic system are in compliance with Health Safety Sanitary Code in A-1, R-1, and C-1 Districts at the Point-of-Sale.

1 A form letter will be issued to the Buyer/Seller by the Secord Township Supervisor or Designated Representative, who shall be the enforcing agent if non-compliance is present.

A. Buyer/Seller to have ninety (90) days after closing to obtain inspection from the Central Michigan District Health Department and comply with current well and septic regulations, including completion of final inspection of any modifications.
2 Existing Systems Evaluation submitted by the Central Michigan District Health Department will be reviewed by the Township. Violations will be reported to the Buyer/Seller for corrections.
3 Non-Compliance and Violations Penalties shall be in effect according to Section 708 of the current Secord Planning and Zoning Ordinance.
4 The Buyer/Seller has the Right of Appeal under Section 705:7 of current Secord Township Planning and Zoning Ordinance.
5 Land contracts are considered a transfer of interest and are subject to this ordinance.
EXCEPTIONS: The following are exempt from the requirements listed in Article 401:10.
1 A sale, transfer or conveyance of premises from a spouse to a spouse.
2 A sale, transfer or conveyance of premises that changes ownership due solely to exclude a spouse.
3 A sale, transfer or conveyance of premises that creates or ends a joint ownership if at least one of the joint owners is (a) Property owner of record prior to enactment of this ordinance or (b) The spouse of that property owner of record.
4 A sale, transfer or conveyance of premises containing buildings or structures, all of which are to be immediately demolished and not occupied after the sale, transfer, or conveyance.
5 A sale, transfer, or conveyance of premises containing a new home that has not been previously occupied or lived in for which a satisfactory final inspection was issued by the Central Michigan District Health Department within the past 24 months.
6 A sale, transfer, or conveyance of premises that the Central Michigan District Health Department has inspected and certified acceptable within the prior twelve (12) months.
401:11 Nothing in this Ordinance shall be deemed to prevent the strengthening or restoring to a safe condition any structure or part thereof declared to be unsafe by any official charged with protecting the public safety upon such order of such official.
401:12 SIGNS


It is the general intent of this Ordinance to prohibit signs of commercial nature from districts in which commercial activities are barred: to limit subject matter on signs in business districts to products, accommodations, services, or activities on the premises and to control the number, types and sizes of all signs in business areas and certain other districts. Governmental signs shall conform to this Ordinance: however: those signs used for traffic or street markings shall not be regulated by this Ordinance.

A A separate permit shall be required for the erections of signs regulated in this Ordinance except that no permit shall be required for (A) 3, R and A below or for a sign advertising a business, product or profession located or manufactured on the same premises.
B Each application for a sign shall be accompanied by a drawing showing the design proposed, the size, character, and color of letters, lines symbols, method of illumination and exact location of the sign in relation to the building and property, the details and specifications of the construction. A fee as determined by Secord Township Board shall accompany each application for a sign permit, which will be issued by the Township Zoning Administrator? A permit shall be issued or denied within fifteen (15) days after receipt of the fully completed permit form and the permit fee from the applicant.
C All persons holding permits as required by this Ordinance, at their own expense, shall place the permit number on each sign facing erected or maintained by them within four (4) months after receiving a permit. The numbers shall be in EGYPTIAN BLOCK type lettering no less than one (1) inch in height and located on the lower corner thereof nearest the adjacent highway.
D Fraternal, Religious, benevolent or other non-profit organizations may, under one (1) permit erect cluster signs advertising the presence of all such groups in an area.

Except as provided in Section (A) 8; Signs shall be permitted in these Districts only as follow:

A One (1) non-illuminated name plate not exceeding five square feet (5ft) in area for each single family unit dwelling unit indicating only name an occupation.
B One (1) non-illuminated identification sign for each dwelling and office, not exceeding ten square feet (10ft) in an area indicating only name, address, management name and management address, financing information, and information required by public agencies.
C One (1) non-illuminated identification sign at each entrance to subdivisions, site condominiums, or planned unit developments, not exceeding thirty-two square feet (32ft) in area.
D Up to two (2) non-illuminating “For-Sale” or For-Rent” sign per parcel, not exceeding a total of twelve square feet (12ft) in an area, which may include sales identification.
E One (1) non-flashing sign designating each entrance to or exit from or conditions of use of a parking area not exceeding five square feet (5ft) in an area.
F One (1) non flashing school or church bulletin board sign for each school or church, not exceeding twenty feet (20ft) in area.
The preceding signs shall be permitted providing the top of the sign shall not be higher than eight feet (8ft) above the curb level: and that on a corner lot two signs, one facing each street, shall be permitted in Section (A) 3, R, and A above; and that on the waterfront property, one additional sign facing said water shall be permitted for Sections (A) 3, A


Except as permitted in Section (A) 8. Signs visible from the public way shall be permitted further subject to the following conditions:

A Such signs shall restrict subject matter to products, accommodations, services or activities on the premises. The top of the sign shall not be higher than twenty feet (20ft) above the curb level. Such signs shall be non-flashing.
B External illumination of signs shall be located such that the illumination shall not be cast upon lands in R-A Districts, unless that source of illumination is at least two hundred feet (200ft) from the R-A District.
A For integrated Developments under single ownership or under unified control, (including shopping centers) in the Commercial Districts (C-1) two (2) additional illuminated signs may be erected providing they do not exceed one hundred twenty-five square feet (125ft) in gross surface area each, and contain only name and location of the development.
B The signs are subject to the following restrictions;

1 The signs shall not be of a design or location which will unreasonably block vision of traffic, and
2 The signs shall not exceed twenty five feet (25ft) in height above ground level, and
3 Any signs which exceed thirty-two feet (32ft) in area shall be located not less than twenty –five feet (25ft) from the road right-of-way, and
4 Section (A) 4. Shall apply.

Except for the provisions as set forth in Section (A) 5 above, all signs shall be setback a minimum of ten feet (10 ft) from the highway right-of-way and all lot lines.


Billboards may be established in C-1 Districts only, provided that they meet the following conditions;

A Not more than three (3) billboards may be located per linear mile of street or highway regardless of the fact that such billboard may be located on different sides of the street or highway. The linear mile measurement shall not be limited to the boundaries of the Township of Secord where the particular street or highway extends beyond such boundaries. Double-faced billboard structures (i.e., structured having back-to-back billboard faces) and V-types billboard structures have only one face visible to traffic proceeding from any given direction on a street or highway shall be considered as one billboard. Additionally, billboard structures having tandem billboard faces (i.e. two (2) parallel billboard faces facing the same direction and side-by-side to one another) or stanched billboards faces (i.e. two (2) parallel billboard faces facing the same direction with one face being directly above the other) shall be considered as one billboard. Otherwise, billboard structures having more than one (1) billboard face shall be considered as two (2) billboards and shall be prohibited in accordance with minimum spacing requirement set forth in sub-section “B” below.
B No billboard shall be located within one thousand feet (1000 ft) of another billboard abutting either side of the same street or highway.
C No billboard shall be located within two hundred feet (200ft) of a Residential District (R-1) and/or existing residence. If the billboard is illuminated, this required distance shall be three hundred feet (300ft).
D No billboard shall be located closer than seventy-five feet (75ft) from a property line adjoining a public-right-of-way or ten feet (10ft) from any interior boundary lines of the premises on which the billboard is located. No billboard shall be located within five hundred feet (500ft) of an intersection. The five hundred feet (500ft) shall me measured from the center of the intersecting roadways.
E The surface display area of any side of a billboard may not exceed six hundred square feet (600ft). In the case of billboard structures with tandem or stacked billboards faces, the combined surface display area may not exceed six hundred square feet (600ft).
F The height of a billboard shall not exceed thirty feet (30ft) above the grade of the abutting roadway.
G No billboard shall not be on top of cantilevered or otherwise suspended above the roof of any building.
H A billboard may be illuminated, provided such illuminations concentrated on the surface of the sign and is so located as to avoid glare or reflection onto any portion of an adjacent street or highway, the path of oncoming vehicles or any adjacent premises. In no event, shall any billboard have flashing or intermittent lights, nor shall the light be permitted to rotate or oscillate.
I A billboard must be constructed in such fashion that is will withstand all wind and vibration forces which can normally be expected to occur in the vicinity. A bill board must be maintained so as to assure proper alignments of structure, continued structural soundness and continued readability of message.
J The spacing requirements provided in this section shall be measured along the nearest edge of the pavement of the highway between points directly opposite each sign.

The following signs or sign structures are prohibited:
A Those which purport to regulate, warn or direct the movement of traffic or which interfere with, imitate, or resemble any official traffic sign, signal or device.
B Those which are not adequately maintained and in good state of repair.
C Those which are erected or maintained upon trees or painted upon rocks or other natural resources.
D Those which prevent the driver of a motor vehicle from having a clear and unobstructed view of approaching, intersecting or merging traffic.
E Those are which are abandoned.

Signs and their supporting structures erected or maintained in violation of this Ordinance may be removed by the Township in the manner prescribed in this section.
A There shall be posted on the sign a notice that the sign or its supporting sign structures violates stated specified provisions of this Ordinance and is subject to removal. The notice shall be written on red waterproof paper stock of a size not less than eight and one-half inches (8 ˝”) by eleven inches (11”). The notice shall be posted in the area designated be Section 4(A) 2. For the placing of permit numbers, in a manner so that it is visible from the street or highway face by the sign or sign structure.
B Where a sign bears a permit number, written notice that the sign or sign structure violates specified provisions of this Ordinance and is subject to removal shall be given the permit fee by Certified Mail to the posted notice required by sub-section A above.
C If the sign or sign structure is not removed or brought into compliance with this act within sixty (60) days following the date of posting, mailing or written notice or within such further time as the Zoning Administrator may allow in writing, the sign shall be deemed to be abandoned.
D Signs or sign structures deemed abandoned, and any other sign or sign structure erected or maintained in violation of this Ordinance shall be removed by the Township forthwith upon expiration of the sixty (60) day period following the date of posting or mailing written notice or upon the expiration of such further time as the Zoning Administrator may have allowed. The Township may recover as a penalty from the owner of the sign structure, or if he/she cannot be found, the owner of the realty property upon which the sign or sign structure is located, double the cost of removal or Fifty Dollars ($50.00), whichever is greater.
E The Township, its agents and employees, and any person acting under the authority of, or by contract with Township, may enter upon private property without liability for so doing in connection with the posting or removal of any sign or sign structure pursuant to this Ordinance.
F The Township may contract on a negotiate basis without competitive bidding this act for the removal of any sign or sign structure pursuant to this Ordinance.
402 District General Regulations

402:1 No yard or lot existing at the time of passage of this Ordinance shall be reduced in dimension or area below the minimum requirements set forth herein. Yards or lots created after the effective date of this Ordinance shall be at least the minimum requirements of this Ordinance. All lot splits and land divisions require UP-TO-DATE legal description completed within the last twelve (12) months.
402:2 No part of a yard or other open spaces or parking or loading space required in connection with any structure for the purpose of complying with this Ordinance, shall be included as part of a yard, open space or parking or loading space similarly required for any other structure or use.
402:3 In case of a lot having a side yard along any district boundary line, on the other side of which is a more restrictive district, said side yard shall have a width of not less than that required for the more restrictive district.
402:4 In any R-1 or A-1 District, all single-family residences must have floor space of at least 720 square feet and a minimum exterior side-to-side or end-to-end distance of no less than fourteen (14) feet, except when located in a mobile home park.
402:5 On any corner lot in the R-1 and A-1 Districts nothing shall be erected, placed, planted, or allowed to grow in such a manner as materially to impede vision between a height of two and one half (2-1/2) feet and eight (8) feet above the established road grade within a triangle formed by the two road right-of-way lines and a line connecting them at points twenty-five (25) feet from the intersection of the right-of-way lines.
402:6 On double-frontage lots, a front yard as prescribed for the district as designated on the plat or in the address of the lot.
402:7 Every structure hereafter erected or relocated shall be on a lot adjacent to a public road or with access to an approved private road and all structures shall be so located on lots as to provide safe and convenient access for well, septic system servicing, fire protection and required parking.
402:8 In any district, more than one structure, housing more than one permitted or permissible use, may be erected or maintained on a single lot, provided that all other requirements of this Ordinance shall be met for each structure or for each use as though it were on an individual lot.
402:9 In any residential district, a single family detached dwelling and its accessory structures may be erected on any legal lot or parcel of record which was recorded in the office of the County Recorder of Deeds before the effective date or amendment of this Ordinance. Lots of Record that are nonconforming because of lack of the required number of acres or the minimum number of square feet required may be allowed to be built on, and variances may be allowed for required setbacks and yard sizes, based on individual merits provided adequate potable water supply and proper and safe sewage disposal facilities, as determined by the Health Department, can be provided. In making it’s determination for a variance the Zoning Board of Appeals may consider one or several individual lots at one time or it may consider the entire subdivision after determination by the Health department. Variance request shall require notification of adjoining property owners.
402:10 In any R-1 or A-1 district, lots which have frontage on both an approved street or road and a body of water (lake, river, stream, etc.) shall be considered to have two front yards. Any rule or regulation that is applicable to front yards shall apply storage of recreational equipment may be permitted in the water-side front yard, except trailers, boats and pontoons on trailers, shall observe the forty foot (40ft) setback.
402:11 Water Related Accessory Structures

Any water related accessory structure such as a boat house, shed or similar shall follow all rules and regulations of this Ordinance including setbacks, height restrictions, lot conditions.

Floating docks or ice shanties shall have light reflecting devices at each corner or side of the above said items that makes them clearly visible during night-time hours by boaters and snowmobilers. Floating docks must also have a three (3) inch by five (5) inch permanent sign or placard that conspicuously identifies the current lake property name and address of the owner. Ice shanties must be identified according to the DNRE requirements, which state that the name and address of the owner must be on all sides of the shanty in legible letters at least 2 inches in height. The letters shall be readily visible and consist of material not soluble in water. The name and address must be on the shanty and may not be placed on a board or other material that is attached to the shanty.
402:12 In any district, fences may be installed on an individual property providing that such fence shall not obscure vision any time of the year. Any solid fence over (4) feet tall shall require a site-plan approval by the Planning Commission. On lake front properties solid fences shall not be closer than forty (40) feet from the established water’s edge. Solid fences shall not be installed or erected closer then twenty-five (25) feet from road right of way. Any special meeting requested by applicant for approval of a fence variance shall incur all cost of the Planning Commission meeting held. There will be no cost if request is held at a regular scheduled meeting.

Recreation Vehicle (hereafter referred to as R.V.)

a No R.V. except as noted within this section shall be used for occupancy in any residential zoning district. A R.V. may be used for temporary occupancy, upon application and issuance of a permit therefore, obtained from the Zoning Administrator. Prior to issuance of a permit, the Zoning Administrator shall determine on-site sanitary facilities are present and in compliance with Central Michigan District Health Department. There shall be no outside disposal of any type of sanitary waste or household refuse.
b A guest R.V. parked and used on residential property with a permanent dwelling for more than five (5) days shall require a R.V. use permit.
c No more than two (2) R.V. shall be permitted on any parcel of land.
d Parking and use of a R.V. on any parcel of land shall comply with set back requirements as stated in our Zoning Ordinance, SCHEDULE OF R-1 DISTRICT REGULATION, Item 1.
e Permits for temporary occupancy of a R.V. shall be issued on a continuous thirty (30) day block and may be renewed thereafter. No permit shall be renewed which provides for occupancy greater than one hundred twenty (120) days in any calendar year. Permits must be displayed and visible from the road.
f Upon receiving a formal and signed written complaint, the Zoning Administrator will investigate and determine if any action is to be taken.
g Permit fees will be determined by the Secord Township Board.
402:14 Any mobile home not located in a mobile home park and intended for use as a dwelling shall conform to the County Ordinance section 9.03 using HUD Regulation Building Code and have a minimum of seven hundred twenty (720) square feet of living space.
402:15 The keeping of farm animals and poultry on a non-commercial basis in an R-1 District shall be permitted only with the specific approval of the Zoning Board of Appeals which would issue a variance based on practical difficulties or unnecessary hardship.

A home occupation may be permitted within a single family residential dwelling or accessory building subject to the following conditions:

a The use of the dwelling unit for the home occupation shall be clearly incidental and subordinate to its use for residential purposes by the home owner. When one or more home occupation exists within a single dwelling, they shall not occupy a portion of the dwelling which is greater than 25% of the floor area of the dwelling unit as shown on the tax assessment card, or 300 square feet, whichever is less.
b Except as noted in item g. below there shall be no change in the outside appearance of the structure or premises, or other visible evidence of the conduct of such home occupation.
c A home occupation shall be conducted entirely within an enclosed structure such as a home or accessory building with no spill over allowed.
d No traffic shall be generated by any such home occupation in greater volumes than would normally be expected in a residential neighborhood.
e No equipment or process shall be used in such home occupation which creates noise, vibration, glare, fumes, odors, or electrical interference detectable to the normal senses of surrounding property owners. In the case of electrical interference, no equipment or process shall be used which creates visual or audible interference with any radio or television receivers off the premises, or causes fluctuations in the line voltage off the premises.
f Upon receiving a formal and signed written complaint the Zoning Administrator will investigate and determine if any action is to be taken.
g One nameplate advertising the home occupation, not to exceed four (4) square feet in area, shall be allowed. The sign shall be confined to the property of the homeowner.
h The home occupation shall not entail deliveries to or from the home in connection with the home occupation other than those items which are routinely handled by the US Postal Service or small package deliver services.

1 In Residential/Recreation districts, there shall be at least fifty (50) feet of lake frontage as measured along the normal high water mark of the lake for each single-family home, dwelling unit, cottage, condominium, unit, site condominium unit or apartment unit utilizing or accessing the lake frontage.
2 Any multiple-unit residential development in Residential/Recreation Zoning districts that share a common lake front area or frontage may not permit lake use or access to more than one (1) single-family home, dwelling unit, cottage, Condominium unit, site condominium unit, or apartment unit for each thirty five (35) feet of lake frontage in such common lake front area as measured along the normal high water mark line of the lake.
3 In addition to the above limitations, no easement, private park common area, lot or access property abutting or adjoining a lake shall be used to permit access to the lake for more than one (1) single-family home, dwelling unit, condominium unit, site condominium unit, apartment unit or any other use unless such additional access use is approved as a special use.
4 All existing lake front lots having less than fifty (50) feet of water frontage at the high water mark shall be considered non-conforming uses and shall be covered under grandfather clause.

Changes to original implied use of a structure such as garages, storage buildings and enclosed porches to a Livable status shall require a Land Use Permit.