About This Project

Our goal is to understand, accept, and adopt standards and zoning language with the intent of keeping the Lake Charlevoix clean

Enacting Shoreline Protection Zoning Standards around Lake Charlevoix

Based on previous shoreline protection work in the communities surrounding Lake Charlevoix, it is clear that local elected and appointed officials believe that maintaining the water quality of the lake is important for future economic development and quality of life in the region. In an effort to build upon previous shoreline protection work, the Enacting Shoreline Zoning Protections project was launched to help protect the water quality of Lake Charlevoix through the adoption of common shoreline protection zoning standards in the ten jurisdictions surrounding the lake. The project promotes the understanding and acceptance of the need for common shoreline protection standards in the City of Charlevoix, Boyne City, East Jordan, Bay Township, Charlevoix Township, Eveline Township, Evangeline Township, Hayes Township, Marion Township, and South Arm Township.

The project team, brought together through a grant secured by the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, began work on the project in 2014. The Land Information Access Association (LIAA), a non-profit community services organization in Traverse City, was contracted to convene a steering committee made up of local planning and zoning officials to help guide the creation of common definitions and standards for waterfront properties around the lake. The steering committee provided guidance for the creation of a report that includes a summary of the findings and recommendations from previous shoreline protection efforts, a summary of current shoreline protection zoning standards in the ten jurisdictions surrounding Lake Charlevoix, and recommendations for common definitions and zoning standards to help protect Lake Charlevoix's water quality.

Review and analysis of the work by the previous shoreline protection studies shows that local municipalities can be effective in protecting water quality by managing development and redevelopment on waterfront properties. The project team and steering committee used the findings of these previous studies to guide the creation of the shoreline protection recommendations found on this site. During discussions throughout the project, the steering committee noted that, in order to be effective, recommendations for common zoning standards must address the different circumstances faced by townships and cities within the study area. Recognizes these difficulties, differing recommendations for cities and townships were made where applicable. It was also noted that there may be limiting factors in certain portions of the study area that make the adoption of uniform standards difficult. While the physical characteristics of certain waterfront parcels may present some challenges in implementing the common recommendations, the jurisdictions are encouraged to adopt the common standards as they are presented and make adjustments only if there is an absolute need to do so.

Project Components

LIAA has been contracted to facilitate the project steering committee, analyze the recommendations of previous shoreline protection studies, provide consolidated recommendations from previous studies to the jurisdictions around the Lake, and support the adoption of these standards.