L A P E E R  C O U N T Y ,  M I C H I G A N

Property Buyer's Guide

L A P E E R  C O U N T Y ,  M I C H I G A N

Before you buy property in Mayfield Township, be sure to research the property and its surroundings. Here are some things to look for:

Visit Mayfield Township Internet Services or contact the township and obtain the assessed value of the property you are considering buying - not the current property tax being paid by the seller. Your property taxes will not be the same as the current owner. In the year following your purchase of the property, your property taxes will be based on the assessed value. The previous owner paid taxes on the property’s taxable value. There may be a significant difference. This is a State Law, and local officials have no control over this “uncapping” of property taxes.

Obtain a copy of the Mayfield Township Zoning Ordinance and map. The map will show the current zoning of property, while the zoning ordinance will describe what types of land uses and developments are permitted in each zoning district. The zoning map will show the zoning of surrounding properties.

Always assume that any type of development permitted by the zoning ordinance may occur. For example, if your property is located near vacant land zoned for commercial use, plan on the property being developed for any commercial use allowed by the zoning ordinance.

If a proposed development is located in the appropriate zoning district and meets all zoning ordinance requirements, the township must - by law - approve it. This applies to all types of development - from new homes to industrial parks.

Obtain a copy of the Mayfield Township Master Plan and map. Unlike the zoning ordinance, the master plan shows possible future development and land uses that are likely to occur during the coming years. Local planning officials use this document when considering proposed land use changes, such as rezoning requests.

A proposed rezoning that is consistent with the township’s long-range plan, may likely be approved. For example, a parcel of land currently zoned for residential use, but “master-planned” for future commercial use may be rezoned for any commercial use permitted by the zoning ordinance.

Contact the Mayfield Township Building and Zoning Department to see if there are any known development proposals under consideration or “in the works” in the area of the property you are considering purchasing. If you are buying property next to vacant land, assume that the vacant land will be developed.

The township planning commission reviews all non-residential projects, special land use requests and rezonings. The planning commission does not review proposals for each new single family home constructed. New single-family homes, as long as they are constructed in the appropriate zoning district and meet all building code requirements, are permitted without planning commission approval.

Contact the Lapeer County Road Commission to see if there are any future road improvement plans in the area, and ask if the road is public or private. Private roads are private property and neither the township, nor the road commission, can maintain or improve them.

Deed restrictions over-ride township authority. Many properties, especially in platted subdivisions or along privates roads, are subject to certain restrictions and requirements established by the original developer or a previous owner. These covenants, often more strict than township regulations, are binding upon the owners of the property and commonly set minimum building standards and, in some cases, establish association fees. These restrictions are not imposed or enforced by the township.