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Planning & Zoning Department

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Operating under the "Stay Home, Stay Safe" Executive Order, effective midnight March 24, the Charter Township of Shelby closed Township Hall and all associated buildings until June 13. Residents may still call any township department to leave a voicemail message. Appropriate personnel will return calls as soon as possible. Residents can also email township staff at for general questions.

In an effort to follow the practices of the Open Meetings Act, Shelby Township will hold its June 4 Zoning Board of Appeals meeting via video conference call. Public comments regarding agenda items can be sent to the Planning and Zoning Department ahead of time. These comments will be read or summarized aloud and responded to at the Zoning Board of Appeals meeting.

Email to submit comments/questions for the Thursday, June 4, Zoning Board of Appeals meeting. Submissions may be received until the end of the meeting. Should you have comments and not be able to comply with those requirements, please call Planning Director Julijana Misich at 586-726-7243. If you do are not able to reach Julijana Misich, you may leave a voicemail message. Thank you.

The meeting may be joined in real time by phone:
Dial: 312-626-6799
Enter Meeting ID: 882-7436-8005#

When asked for attendee ID, press #
Participants will be muted and put on hold initially, the meeting host will connect them

Visit for a department directory. Information is also regularly updated at

Letter from Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis regarding "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order

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The Planning and Zoning Department has two principal functions: 1) supervising the long range planning for the community and 2) the review of all development proposals submitted to the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals. As part of this function the department is responsible for the administration of the Zoning Ordinance and other land development regulations including the Woodland Preservation Ordinance and the Subdivision Ordinance.

The Planning and Zoning Department also provides professional and administrative staff to both the Planning Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals. This particular function includes the preparation of agendas, coordination of reviews with other departments and public notification requirements. The department provides a variety of township maps and other development related information.  The department is also responsible for administering the Township's annual Community Development Block Grant program.

The number of signs, their size and placement are all regulated by the Shelby Township Zoning Ordinance. Sign requirements and standards differ by zoning district as well as the speed limit of the adjacent roadway. Sign permit applications must demonstrate compliance with all applicable standards.
Sign Permit

Minor temporary uses and buildings may be approved by the Planning Director. All other temporary uses are approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). At the discretion of the Planning Director, an application for a minor temporary use may be referred to the Zoning Board of Appeals for review and approval.
Apply for a temporary use

Since a variance is the result of a condition unique to a particular property or structure and not the result of an administrative action, a “denial” is not a required precedent to an application. Projects that require site plan review must first be considered by the Planning Commission before an application is submitted to the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Apply for a variance

A tree removal permit is required for any of the following activities:
  • The removal, transplanting or destruction of any tree within a woodland area.
  • Land clearing or removal of understory vegetation within a woodland area.
  • The removal,transplanting or destruction of any regulated tree outside of a woodland area.
Tree Removal Permit

Procedures & Forms
Nonconforming uses are uses that were legally established but that no longer comply with Ordinance regulations due to the adoption or amendment of the Zoning Ordinance. A nonconforming use may be continued; however, alteration and enlargement of the use depends upon whether it is designated as a Class A or a Class B nonconforming use. Nonconforming uses that were not legally established shall not be permitted to continue.
Class A Nonconforming Use

The intent of condominium subdivision review is to ensure that all condominium subdivisions (or site condominiums) are developed in a manner that conforms with acceptable planning, zoning and engineering standards applicable to similar forms of detached single family development in the Township.
Condominium Subdivisions

A Planned Unit Development (PUD) is a development option that permits flexibility in development regulations. The PUD requirements of Zoning Ordinance Section 13.37 are intended to accomplish the objectives of the Ordinance through a review process based on site planning criteria that integrates the proposed development with the characteristics of the site.
Planned Unit Development

A rezoning is a change in the zoning classification of a specific property; it is an amendment to the Township’s Official Zoning Map. Authority to rezone property rests with the Township Board.
Rezoning Requests

A site plan is required for review and approval by the Shelby Township Planning Commission. The site plan review process generally consists of the preliminary review and the final review. Preliminary review may not be required if the project is moderate in scope. Please check with the Planning & Zoning Department to determine whether preliminary review is required.
Site Plans

Special land uses are uses that may be permitted within a zoning district subject to special conditions and standards. Special land uses listed in the Zoning Ordinance may not always be permitted at all locations within a district. Special land uses are subject to specific use conditions listed in the ordinance, standards for all special land uses listed in Section 13.01 of the Zoning Ordinance, site plan review by the Planning Commission, and final approval by the Township Board.
Special Land Use

The subdivision review process has been established by the State of Michigan Land Division Act. While the flowchart provides an overview of the Township approval process, applicants should closely review the Shelby Township Subdivision Regulations (Article IV, Chapter 30 Land Development, Shelby Code of Ordinances) and the State Land Division Act for all procedures and requirements of the plat review and approval process. Applicants are encouraged to schedule a pre-application meeting as provided for in the Land Division Act.

Minor temporary uses and buildings may be approved by the Planning Director. All other temporary uses are approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). At the discretion of the Planning Director, an application for a minor temporary use may be referred to the Zoning Board of Appeals for review and approval.
Temporary Use

The Shelby Township Zoning Board of Appeals consists of five members who are approved by the Township Board of Trustees. One member of the Planning Commission participates as a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals. The Zoning Board of Appeals meets the first Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m. in the Municipal Building.

All communities with an adopted Zoning Ordinance are required to have a Board of Appeals to provide relief for properties that cannot adhere to specific requirements of the zoning ordinance.

The Zoning Board of Appeals has the quasi-judicial function of interpreting the zoning ordinance to ensure that it has or will be properly followed. The basic responsibilities of the Zoning Board of Appeals include the following:



The Zoning Board of Appeals has the responsibility to hear and decide on any decision or determination of an official or body charged with the administration of the Zoning Ordinance. The administration of the ordinance typically falls under the jurisdiction of the Planning and Zoning Department, the Planning Commission, or Code Enforcement.



A variance is official permission to deviate from a requirement of the Zoning Ordinance. The authority to grant a variance is discretionary. The Zoning Ordinance contains standards for the Board to consider in evaluating the appropriateness of variance requests. The most common variance is a dimensional or non-use variance. These typically pertain to buildings and structures that cannot be constructed in the location required by the ordinance or that certain other requirements cannot be met. Common dimensional variance requests include building setbacks, building height, lot coverage requirements, parking standards, signs, and accessory building requirements, among others.



Requests for ordinance interpretations may result from undefined or ambiguous terms or poorly defined standards, lack of clarity concerning the location of a zoning district boundary or other similar matters. The Zoning Board of Appeals is the only local body authorized to render "official" interpretations of the zoning map text or map.



The Zoning Board of Appeals may approve temporary structures for periods not to exceed six months. They may also approve temporary uses not otherwise permitted in any zoning district and which do not require the erection of any capital improvement of a structural nature.

Planning and zoning minutes, agendas & notices 

The Shelby Township Planning Commission consists of nine members who are appointed by the Township Supervisor with the approval of the Township Board of Trustees. The Planning Commission has several functions, which are established by state statute and the Township’s Zoning Ordinance. These activities include the preparation of the master plan and other planning studies, site plan approval, the review of new subdivisions, the review of zoning map amendments, and the review of all special land uses. A description of each of these activities is provided below.


The Planning Commission’s principal responsibility is the preparation and adoption of the Township’s Master Plan. The Master Plan is a comprehensive document, long-range in its view that is intended to guide the development of the Township over a period of time ranging from 10 to 20 years. The plan establishes policies regarding new development and redevelopment. These policies are intended to guide private and public decisions regarding the public and private issues of land and the provision of public facilities.


The Planning Commission is responsible for the responsible for the review and approval of site plans for new office, retail, industrial and multiple family

developments. Site plan review provides the Planning Commission with an opportunity to review the proposed use of a site in relation to all applicable

requirements of the Zoning Ordinance and any other development standards. Site plans are required to show the location of any proposed structures, parking spaces, landscaping, lighting, building elevations and other proposed site improvements. During the site plan review process, the Planning Commission considers the relationship of the site to surrounding uses, accessibility, pedestrian and vehicular circulation, off-street parking, utilities, drainage, and landscaping.


The Planning Commission is responsible for providing the Township Board with recommendations regarding new subdivisions. The Township’s subdivision

regulations offer the following criteria for the Planning Commission to consider in the review of new subdivisions. Provide for the orderly growth and harmonious development of land. Secure adequate traffic circulation and lessen the congestion on roads. Facilitate adequate provisions for transportation, water, sewage, recreation and other public services and facilities. Facilitate the subdivision of larger tracts into smaller parcels of land.


The Planning Commission is responsible for providing recommendations to the Township Board of Trustees regarding amendments to the Township Zoning Ordinance and Zoning Map. The commission also conducts one public hearing as part of the amendment process.


The Planning Commission offers recommendations to the Township Board for all special land uses. A special land use refers to an activity that may be appropriate at a particular location and zoning district after taking into account of the proposed location and surrounding development patterns. The Commission holds a public hearing on all special land uses and reviews each plan to ensure their compatibility with adjacent properties and to minimize any potential negative impacts. The Commission also requires the submission of a site plan for all special land use applications.

The Planning Commission holds its regular meetings on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the Municipal Building.

Planning and zoning minutes, agendas & notices 

Shelby Township GIS Maps and Portals
Shelby Township Zoning Districts - The zoning districts map displays information relevant to all properties within the township. Its data includes zoning districts, wetlands, drains, roads, subdivisions, condominiums, right of ways and elevation contours. Users can research any parcel in the township by using the address locator in the map’s the top left quadrant.

Site Plan and Zoning Board of Appeals Applications - The Site Plan and Zoning Board of Appeals applications provide information on developments and changes in the township. This map sorts site plan applications, variance requests and rezoning applications. Users can search township parcels to find out what is being built or what variances are requested. This application helps answer the question, “what is going on in Shelby Township?”

Residential Projects and Senior Living Facilities - Per the township’s 10-year Master Plan, it seeks to provide a diverse array of housing. This map shows users the housing types being developed within the township as well as the locations of all senior living facilities. The housing types displayed include, “single-family,” “multifamily,” “duplexes,” “single-family and duplexes,” and “single-family and multifamily” developments.

Shelby Township Parks and Recreation - Visit this map to get an introduction to the recreation options offered by the township and it’s 1,100 acres of public parks. Information includes locations and details of events, parks, facilities, areas of interest, rental information, and park rules and guidelines.

Shelby Township Sidewalk Priorities and Deferrals - On this application, users can view the status of sidewalk projects, including their priority levels, deferrals and gaps in the sidewalk network. Providing sidewalks is a top safety priority with a focus on creating routes for people getting to and from work or school. This map displays where sidewalks are to allow pedestrians to plan a safe route to their destination.

2018-2019 PASER Road Ratings - The Pavement Surface Evaluation Rating is a system that evaluates surface road pavement conditions. A rating of 1 means the road quality has failed. The scale rises to a 10, which rates a road surface as excellent. This system provides a quick method of evaluating road conditions and does not delve into sub-surface details for the initial rating. It gives viewers a clear way to prioritize road repairs and construction. The Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council uses the PASER system as the statewide standard of pavement condition reporting.

Residential Address Density by Type - This map displays data concerning the residential address types present within the township. The address types include apartments, trailers, multibusiness, condominiums, and single-family addresses or base parcel. The map displays aggregated values displaying how many address types are in a given spatial context.

Shelby Township Retail Inventory Viewer - This web application displays all retail establishments within Shelby Township. Retail businesses include shops, boutiques, restaurants, bakeries and any other business offering goods or services. Users can click on any individual “dot” for information detailing the establishment. The map also displays vacant retail spaces and aggregates the data based upon available square footage. This map is great if you are looking to open a business or find something to do.

Investing in Shelby Township - This story map offers insight into the township’s blight removal and remediation efforts. The map highlights local businesses that have invested in remodeling their facades, removing blighted properties, or by making their properties more appealing. This initiative has led to innovative developments that are at the fore of suburban architecture.

Annual Report
The Michigan Planning Enabling Act requires the Planning Commission to prepare an annual report summarizing activities and accomplishments during the past year. This report provides a summary of development activities during the past year as well as trends dating back to 2008. The annual report also describes other activities undertaken by the Planning and Zoning Department.

Click here for the 2019 Annual Report

Shelby Township Master Plan
The Shelby Township Board of Trustees approved the township's new master plan Oct. 17, 2017. The master plan is a policy document created by the Shelby Township Planning Commission to guide the future growth and development of the township. A sound master plan helps ensure that Shelby Township remains a highly desirable place to live, work, or visit. 

2017 Shelby Township Master Plan
Parks & Recreation Master Plan 2016-2021

Need more information? Try these sources:

Township Hall - Upper Level
52700 Van Dyke Ave.
Shelby Township, MI 48316-3572
Phone: 586-726-7243
Hours of Operation: 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM (Monday through Friday)