Great Lakes Tiny Homes Zoning Intelligence-Volume 1: Mecosta County “Mini-Cabin” Zoning Ordinance Provision
My wife and I were excited to discover that some rural property that belongs to our family in Sheridan Township, Mecosta County, MI actually has a way for us to live legally in a tiny house on wheels! Although the zoning ordinance only allows for residency on a temporary basis, allowing no more than 30 consecutive days and no more than a total of 90 calendar days in a year, this is much more than what we have seen allowed by most other counties in Michigan.
Keep in mind this provision is not for all areas in Mecosta County, it’s specifically for rural areas currently classified as AG (Agricultural) or AF (Agricultural/Forestry). Essentially, this means anywhere outside of city and village limits where farm land and hunting property are typically located. Mecosta County is not a major metropolitan area, with its only large city of Big Rapids with a moderate population of approximately 11,000. With that said, the majority of Mecosta County is zoned AG (Agricultural) or AF (Agricultural/Forestry) providing a great opportunity for tiny house enthusiasts!
I’ve included a link to the zoning ordinance and the excerpt of the mini-cabin section. I hope this helps any other would-be tiny home enthusiasts looking for a place to call home with their tiny house.
Mecosta County Zoning Ordinance (rev. 08/2016)
SECTION 3.49 MINI CABINS (AMENDMENT NO. 07-003, 15-003) A mini cabin shall be classified as a seasonal recreational camping structure with a minimum size of 120 square feet and a maximum of 500 square feet living area. Mini cabins shall be permitted provided the following requirements are met:
A. Mini cabins shall be sited in a licensed campground on an approved lot (limit one cabin per lot) or on property zoned AG (Agricultural) or AF (Agricultural/Forestry) for personal use;
B. Mini cabins may have electric, water, and sewage disposal hook ups;
C. Mini cabins shall meet all requirements for density, setback and any other applicable zoning requirements that apply to tents, trailers and recreational vehicles sited within the campground or on private property;
D. Mini cabins shall be occupied on a temporary basis; 1. On private property cabins cannot be occupied for a continuous period of longer than thirty (30) days and exceed a total of ninety (90) days within any calendar year.
E. No more than 20 percent of the licensed campground lots shall be developed in this manner.