(A)   Statement of purpose.
      (1)   The purpose of this district is to preserve, for agricultural activity, to the greatest extent possible those areas in the township which have been designated as essential agricultural lands in the township’s land use plan, while allowing a limited amount of non-farm housing. To this end the number of non-farm dwellings allowed on a parcel of land, which is a parcel of record at the time this chapter is adopted, shall be based on a schedule of density contained in § 154.044. However, it should be noted that the primary intended use of this district is agricultural activities and that there may be odors, dust and noise associated with these activities which are not compatible with residences.
      (2)   It is recognized that the public health and welfare of the citizens of the township and the United States are greatly dependent upon the sustenance and economic benefits provided by a viable agricultural industry. This district is intended to ensure that land areas within the township which are well suited for production of food and fiber are retained for such production, unimpeded by the establishment of incompatible uses which would hinder agricultural practices and irretrievably deplete agricultural lands.
      (3)   The Essential Agricultural District has the following specific purposes and objectives:
         (a)   Protect prime farmland from speculative increases in land values;
         (b)   Prevent fragmentation of farmlands by division into small parcels;
         (c)   Prevent loss of prime farmland;
         (d)   Prevent conflicts between agricultural activities and residences;
         (e)   Prevent encroachment of urban and suburban services into agricultural areas;
         (f)   Minimize cost of providing services to rural areas;
         (g)   Encourage long-term investment in improvements needed to maintain and expand agricultural production by creating a stable environment for such production;
         (h)   Reduce the amount of land consumed in rural areas for nonagricultural use;
         (i)   Prevent intrusion of uses into farm areas which are incompatible with general farming activities; and
         (j)   Permit services which are necessary to support farming activities.
      (4)   The Agricultural District is intended to be used in those parts of the township which are designated for permanent agricultural use in the township’s land use plan.
   (B)   Permitted principal uses. The following uses are permitted in an AG, Agricultural District. Any use not expressly permitted is prohibited.
      (1)   Accessory uses and buildings customarily incidental to the above permitted principal uses;
      (2)   Adult foster care family homes;
      (3)   Apiaries;
      (4)   Conservation areas for flora or fauna;
      (5)   Family day care homes;
      (6)   Farm and farm operations involved in the production of farm products meaning plants and animals;
      (7)   Forest preserves;
      (8)   Game refuges;
      (9)   Home occupations as defined in § 154.255;
      (10)   Kennels, hobby;
      (11)   Nursery stock, farming and commercial greenhouses;
      (12)   Public, parochial or other private elementary, intermediate schools and/or high schools offering courses in general education and not operated for profit on sites of not less than ten acres;
      (13)   Publicly owned and operated museums, libraries, parks, playfields, playgrounds, recreational facilities and conservation;
      (14)   Roadside stands for the marketing of agricultural products produced on the premises;
      (15)   Single-family detached dwellings (as defined in § 154.020), both farms and non-farm related;
      (16)   Stables, hobby (private); and
      (17)   Transmission and distribution lines and pipelines, related structures and telephone repeater structure, but not including buildings of public utility companies when located in an existing right-of-way or utility easement.
   (C)   Special land uses. The following special land uses shall be permitted subject to the standards hereinafter imposed:
      (1)   Adult foster care group homes;
      (2)   Airfields, airstrips, airports, runways, and accessory uses and facilities associated with aircraft operations subject to the following.
         (a)   The runway shall be of a length appropriate to safely accommodate aircraft which will use the facility, but not less than 1,200 feet in length.
         (b)   A 20:1 approach surface clearance shall exist over obstructions.
         (c)   An area clear of any obstructions, and under control of the applicant through ownership or easement for a distance of 125 feet either side of the runway, and 200 feet beyond the runway ends, shall be maintained.
         (d)   Noise levels perceptible on adjacent properties shall not exceed:
            1.   Twenty dB in excess of the ambient level, for any period of time;
            2.   Fifteen dB in excess of the ambient level, for a cumulative period of more than one minute in any hour;
            3.    Ten dB in excess of the ambient level, for a cumulative period of more than five minutes in any hour; and
            4.   Five dB in excess of the ambient level, for a period of more than 15 minutes in any hour.
         (e)   The runway shall be aligned on the parcel so as to avoid aircraft take-off or landing in a manner directly aligned with any dwelling church located within 1,500 feet of the runway.
         (f)   The airport or airstrip shall not be located within 2,000 feet of a school, or within a distance from a farm which would affect livestock production.
         (g)   The applicant shall request a review of proposed airport or airstrip plans from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Bureau of Aviation, Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). Comments received from the FAA and MDOT shall be submitted to the township with the request for special land use permit. All requirements of the FAA and MDOT, other federal and state agencies, and all federal and state laws, regulations, rules and standards shall apply. In addition, the applicant shall meet, to the satisfaction of the Township Board, all recommendations of the FAA regarding public health, safety and welfare.
      (3)   Agricultural service establishments engaging in the performance of agricultural, animal husbandry or horticultural services on a fee or contractual basis, including corn shelling; grain storage; hay baling and threshing; sorting, grading and packing fruits and vegetables for the grower; agricultural produce milling and processing; crop dusting; fruit picking; grain cleaning; harvesting and plowing; animal hospitals, animal cemeteries and veterinary services; agricultural processing operations; agricultural products storage facilities; bulk feed and fertilizer outlets; farm machinery sales; grain elevators; livestock auction facilities; and livestock slaughter facilities;
      (4)   Ambulance stations;
      (5)   Bed and breakfast establishments subject to the following conditions.
         (a)   Each premises must be occupied and operated by its owner.
         (b)   Not more than 25% of the total floor area of the dwelling unit shall be used for bed and breakfast sleeping rooms.
         (c)   No bed and breakfast sleeping room shall be located in a basement or above the second story of the dwelling.
         (d)   There shall be no separate cooking facilities used for bed and breakfast stay.
         (e)   The stay of bed and breakfast occupants shall be no more than 14 consecutive days and not more than 30 days in any one calendar year.
         (f)   The operator of each facility shall keep a list of the names of all persons staying at the bed and breakfast, which list shall be available for inspection by township officials at any time.
         (g)   Adequate bath and toilet facilities shall be provided for all bed and breakfast guests.
         (h)   Every bed and breakfast bedroom shall contain a functional smoke detector, and an approved fire extinguisher shall be located on each floor on which such sleeping room is located.
         (i)   Sufficient off-street parking shall be provided in addition to that required by § 154.085(B)(2)(a)1. for residential purposes, at the rate of one space per double-occupied room.
      (6)   Bulk feed and fertilizer outlets;
      (7)   Campgrounds, travel trailer parks and tent sites subject to the following requirements.
         (a)   Minimum lot size shall be 20 acres. The lot shall provide direct vehicular access to public street or road. The term LOT shall mean a campground or travel trailer park.
         (b)   Public stations, houses in all-weather structures, containing adequate water outlet, toilet and waste contained and shower facilities shall be provided uniformly throughout the lot at a ratio of not less than one such station per 50 sites.
         (c)   No commercial enterprises shall be permitted to operate on the lot, except that a convenience good shopping building may be provided on a lot containing more than 80 sites.
         (d)   Each lot shall provide vehicle parking areas for site occupants and guest parking. Such parking area shall be treated in a manner so as to minimize dust and shall be located within 400 feet of the site it is intended to serve (except in the case of sites specifically designated only for tent camping).
         (e)   Each site shall contain a minimum of 1,500 square feet. Each site shall be set back from any right-of-way or property line at least 75 feet.
         (f)   A minimum distance of 15 feet shall be provided between all travel trailers and tents.
         (g)   A minimum of 10% of the total lot shall be left in open space developed for recreation purposes. Such area shall not include roads, sidewalks, land underwater or having excessive grade and shall be so developed as to have adequate drainage and usability by users of the lot.
      (8)   Cemeteries, provided that the principal access shall be directly to a county road. Minimum site size shall be ten acres;
      (9)   Churches, subject to the following requirements:
         (a)   Minimum lot width of 200 feet;
         (b)   Minimum site size of five acres; and
         (c)   All front, side and rear yard space shall be a minimum of 50 feet each from adjoining lot lines.
      (10)   Colleges and universities;
      (11)   Charitable, philanthropic institutions;
      (12)   Golf courses, which may or may not be operated for profit, subject to the following conditions.
         (a)   The site shall be planned so as to provide all ingress and egress onto a county road.
         (b)   Development features including the principal and accessory buildings and structures shall be so located and related as to minimize the possibilities of any adverse effects upon adjacent property. This shall mean that all principal or accessory buildings shall be not less than 200 feet from any property line of abutting residentially zoned lands.
      (13)   Golf driving ranges subject to following conditions:
         (a)   Minimum lot size of ten acres;
         (b)   The site shall be so planned as to provide all ingress and egress directly onto a county road; and
         (c)   Such use shall be located at least 200 feet from any property line of abutting residentially zoned lands.
      (14)   Government buildings;
      (15)   Gravel pit and sand extraction, quarries. The removal of soil, sand, gravel, stone and other earth materials shall be subject to the following conditions.
         (a)   There shall be not more than one entrance way from a public road to said lot for each 500 feet of front lot line.
         (b)   Such removal, processing, transportation and activities relating to storage such as stockpiling shall not take place before sunrise or after sunset.
         (c)   On said lot, no digging or excavating shall take place closer than 100 feet to any lot line, or greater distance as may be required by prevailing conditions.
         (d)   On said lot all roads, driveways, parking lots and loading and unloading areas within 100 feet to any lot line shall be paved, oiled, watered or chemically treated so as to limit adjoining lots and public roads nuisance caused by wind-borne dust.
         (e)   Any odors, smoke, fumes or dust generated on said lot by any digging, excavating, processing, stockpiling or transportation operation and borne or able to be borne by wind shall be confined within the lines of said lot as much as is possible so as not to cause a nuisance or hazard on any adjoining lot or public road.
         (f)   Such removal, processing or storage shall not be conducted as to cause the pollution by any material of any surface or subsurface, watercourse or body outside the lines of the lot on which such use shall be located.
         (g)   Such removal processing or storage shall not be conducted as to cause or threaten to cause the erosion by water of any land outside of said lot or of any land on said lot so that earth materials are carried outside of the lines of said lot, that such removal shall not be conducted as to alter the drainage pattern of surface or subsurface waters on adjacent property, and that in the event that such removal, processing or storage shall cease to be conducted it shall be the continuing responsibility of the owner or operator thereof to assure that no erosion or alteration of drainage patterns, as specified in this division (C)(15)(g), shall take place after the date of the cessation of operation.
         (h)   All fixed equipment and machinery shall be located at least 100 feet from any lot line and 500 feet from any residential zoning district, but that in the event the zoning classification of any land within 500 feet of such equipment or machinery shall be changed to residential subsequent to the operation of such equipment or machinery, the operation of such equipment or machinery may continue henceforth but in no case less than 100 feet from any lot line.
         (i)   There shall be erected a fence not less than six feet in height around the periphery of the development. Fences shall be adequate to prevent trespass, and shall be placed no closer than 50 feet to the top edge of any slope.
         (j)   All areas within any single development shall be rehabilitated progressively as they are worked out or abandoned to a condition of being lacking in hazards, inconspicuous and blended with the general surrounding ground form so as to appear reasonably natural.
         (k)   The operator shall file with the Planning Commission and the Zoning Inspector a detailed plan for the restoration of the development area which shall include the anticipated future use of the restored land, the proposed final topography indicated by contour lines of not greater interval than five feet, steps which shall be taken to conserve topsoil, proposed and final landscaping; and the location of future roads, drives, drainage courses and/or other improvements contemplated. Said plans shall be subject to review and modification from time to time by the Planning Commission. The anticipated cost of carrying out the plans of restoration shall be included with said plans.
         (l)   The operator shall file with the township a performance bond, payable to the township and conditioned on the faithful performance of all requirements contained in the approved restoration plan. The amount of the required bond which will reflect the anticipated cost of the restoration shall be fixed by the Township Board. The bond shall be released upon written certification of the Township Zoning Administrator that the restoration is complete and in compliance with the restoration plan.
         (m)   The permit or each renewal thereof shall be for a period of not more than five years and shall be renewable only upon reapplication, a redetermination by the Planning Commission and a filing of a performance bond, said redetermination to be made in accordance with the requirements of this chapter for the issuance of a conditional use permit.
      (16)   Group day care homes;
      (17)   Hospitals, nursing homes, sanitariums;
      (18)   Intensive livestock feeding operations:
         (a)   All structures confined to lots designed to house or contain livestock or animal waste shall be set back at least 250 feet from the property line abutting any road and 500 feet from other abutting property lines;
         (b)   All structures and confined lots designed to house or contain livestock or animal waste shall be set back 750 feet from any existing family residence, except that of the intensive animal feeding operator; 1,500 feet from any existing church, business, school, recreational area (public or private) or any public building; and 2,000 feet from any recorded residential plat;
         (c)   The need for the preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) and/or a hydrological study shall be determined by the regulating state or federal agency. The Township Zoning Administrator shall be notified in writing should these requirements be waived by the regulating agencies and the reasons for the waiver. A copy of any EIS or hydrological study prepared shall be provided to the Township Zoning Administrator;
         (d)   The design and construction of all equipment, facilities and structures to be used for disposal of animal waste, including animal waste lagoons, shall be approved by, and meet the then current requirements and standards defined by the County Soil Conservation Service, and the regulating state or federal agency. Evidence that these requirements have been met and the required approvals from these agencies obtained, shall be provided to the Township Zoning Administrator prior to the start of the operation of the waste disposal equipment, facilities and structures;
         (e)   The design, installation and operation of all facilities and equipment required to monitor groundwater, soil and air contamination, including monitoring and test wells, shall meet the then current requirement specified by the regulating state or federal agency;
         (f)   Proven methods shall be used to minimize odor, smoke, fumes, dust, insects or rodents generated as a result of the facility operation; and
         (g)   A copy of all reports and results of groundwater, soils and/or air quality tests required by the regulating state or federal agency’s monitoring program shall be provided to the Township Zoning Administrator. This requirement shall also apply to intensive animal feeding operations existing at the time of the enactment of this chapter.
      (19)   Kennels, commercial subject to the following requirements:
         (a)   Minimum lot size shall be ten acres; and
         (b)   All outdoor runs or breeding areas shall be enclosed on all sides by a wall or fence.
      (20)   Livestock auction yards;
      (21)   Police and fire stations;
      (22)   Seasonal housing for agricultural workers (on farms of 60 acres or larger);
      (23)   Snowmobile trails, motorcycle trails;
      (24)   Stables, commercial;
      (25)   Swimming pools, public or community;
      (26)   Temporary buildings for use incidental to construction work for a period not to exceed one year;
      (27)   The raising of fur-bearing animals subject to the following conditions.
         (a)   The commercial raising of fur-bearing animals, including minks, chinchillas, rabbits, fox, guinea pigs and similar animals shall be located on a continuous parcel of land 20 acres or more in area. All outdoor runs or breeding areas shall be enclosed on all sides by an obscuring wall or fence not less than four feet in height. All such runs or breeding areas and shelter areas shall be set back from the front property line a minimum of 100 feet.
         (b)   The commercial raising of domestic or laboratory animals such as cats, dogs, mice, rats or other similar animals shall be located on a parcel of property not less than ten acres in area. All outdoor runs or breeding areas shall be enclosed on all sides by a wall or fence.
      (28)   Transient or temporary amusements and carnivals;
      (29)   Transmission and distribution lines, pipelines of public utility companies when new rights-of-way or easements are required, and structures of public utility companies provided that there shall be no storage of materials, equipment, vehicles or supplies on the premises, except as required for maintenance of a permitted or special use; provided further that no personnel shall be quartered on the premises; and provided that the structures shall be located, designed, constructed and landscaped in such a manner as to conform to the character of the surrounding area and zoning district in which located; and
      (30)   Tree and sod farms.
   (D)   Area, height, bulk and placement requirements. Area, height, bulk and placement requirements unless otherwise specified are as provided in § 154.044.
(Ord. 1, passed 11-13-2000, § 3.3; Ord. 22, passed 7-13-2015)