Planning & Zoning in Michigan>Lot Averaging

Lot Averaging
This information was adapted from the 'Shiawassee & Huron Headwaters Preservation Project' developed by Oakland County Planning and Carlisle Wortman & Associates.

The following is sample language allowing for lot averaging. This approach is a simple method to permit flexibility in lot size without requiring the more complex review process typically associated with clustering. Lot averaging would be an effective technique for smaller parcels (10-20 acres in size) proposed for land division where flexibility in lot size may help preserve resources. Effectiveness of the lot averaging technique will be further advanced if used in combination with a private road ordinance allowing for flexibility in road construction standards.

Section _________. Lot Averaging

The (community) recognizes that certain parcels contain wildlife, plant life, and/or other natural characteristics in need of protection and that varying lot sizes may assist in preserving these priority resources. The intent of this section is to permit the applicant to vary lot sizes and lot widths so as to average the minimum size of lot per unit as required in the schedule of regulations. However, lot averaging shall not create an attendant increase in the number of lots.

(1) To the maximum extent feasible, any land division proposed for lot averaging shall be designed and arranged to ensure that disturbance to any priority resource protection area as a result of the development, and that impacts and disturbance to such areas and the plans and wildlife inhabiting those areas shall be minimized through the use of natural area buffers, scenic easements, and creative lot arrangement.

(2) In meeting the average minimum lot size, lot area or width shall be reduced by not more than (typically 10-25%) percent below that area or width required in the schedule of regulations.

(3) All computations showing lot area and the average resulting through this technique shall be indicated on the drawing which accompanies the land division application.

(4) Approval of a lot averaging land division under this section shall be conditioned upon recordation of appropriate conservation easements, deed restrictions, and/or other instruments for the purpose of providing for long term maintenance and preservation of private roads, open space areas, wooded areas, and/or other areas with natural resources or features to be preserved on the property. Such instrumentation shall be in the form approved by the (community) attorney.
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