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(a) Findings, Legal Considerations, and Intent.
(1) In its deliberations leading to the adoption of this section, the City Council, following recommendation of the Planning Commission, has recognized and concluded that the appearance and natural condition of the waters and associated resources of Lake Angelus are central to maintaining the property values and unique character of the City of Lake Angelus, and provide areas for scenic residential use. The City Council has also recognized that the use of private land at the lakeshore, and the water resources associated with Lake Angelus, must be regulated in order to retain and maintain the physical and aesthetic characteristics that have established and now maintain the character and property values unique to the City of Lake Angelus. Moreover, it has been recognized that discerning and regulating the type, nature, aesthetics, noise, and other perceivable characteristics of watercraft and personal watercraft launched onto the lake, particularly considering the cumulative impact of all watercraft and personal watercraft that could be launched, are critical to maintaining the riparian rights, property values and character of the City as a whole. It has further been recognized that the present lack of regulation is likely to result in an impairment of riparian rights, property values, character of the lake, the lakeshore, and the City as a whole, and thus result in an impairment of the public health, safety and welfare of the persons residing in the City. Accordingly, it is the intent and purpose of the City Council to adopt reasonable regulations for watercraft and personal watercraft launching in the City.
(2) City resources and features that are in need of protection and preservation are identified in the Master Plan of the City. Relying on the evidence received during the deliberations on this section, and the City Master Plan, the City Council recites the following findings that support the adoption of this section.
A. The waters and associated resources of Lake Angelus define the unique character of the City of Lake Angelus and provide areas for scenic residential use. If the attractiveness, value, and character of the City are to be maintained, it is clear that preservation of the lake and its surrounding resources is imperative. Therefore, it is the intent and policy of the City to maintain and enhance the unique character of Lake Angelus, and this includes ensuring that actions that regularly occur in association with the exercise of riparian rights, either directly on private land, or by usage of City-owned property, are compatible with the existing character of the City and its lake resources. Implementing this policy requires that the exercise of riparian rights must be subject to and enhanced by the regulations in this section, which are intended to protect and promote the City's resources, character, and property values.
B. The majority of residents in the City believe that the lake and its surrounding shoreline and environment represent the very focal point that attracted them to the City, and it is this focal point that has created and maintained substantial property values that must be maintained for the benefit of present as well as future property owners.
C. Following the recommendation of the Planning Commission, the City Council finds and determines that the type, nature, aesthetics, noise, and other perceivable characteristics of watercraft and personal watercraft launched onto the lake have a direct impact upon the character of the lake and the desire of individuals to reside on the lake, and correspondingly upon private property values. For this reason, as far back as 1954, the Village of Lake Angelus (predecessor to the City) enacted Ordinance No. 18, effective September 4, 1954, requiring Village licenses for motor boats, with a prohibition upon licenses for outboard internal combustion engines (this ordinance was passed by referendum vote, 42 in favor to 1 in opposition). The evolution of watercraft regulation can be traced to the use of a set of “rules,” rather than ordinance to achieve the retention of the desired character for the lake. These “rules” have now been in effect for some time. The regulations contained in this section substantially correspond to the rules, which enjoyed very substantial voluntary compliance for the duration of their existence. The rules have been recognized to be important for the maintenance of the character of the lake and City and of the values of private property in the City. It is the intent of this section to confirm the efficacy of the regulations, and later rules, together spanning more than sixty years, and to effectively restate them in the form of City ordinance to achieve the purposes long recognized to be accomplished by having them in place.
D. The City Council finds that the unique distinction, formality, scenic harmony, and decorum of the lake, lakeshore, and City itself, which were achieved in part by compliance with the earlier Village ordinance and later by the rules which are now being formalized by the regulations in this section, are indispensable and compelling interests relating to the maintenance of character and property values in the City. Allowing watercraft and personal watercraft launching prohibited in this section would, considering the long-term cumulative impact, materially undermine those values. The City Council recognizes that views on the type of watercraft launching that would provide distinction, formality, scenic harmony, and decorum, will differ among various people, and in the formulation of this section the Council was placed in a position of having to draw lines consistent with the traditional function of a legislative body exercising zoning authority and responsibility. In this capacity, the City Council has attempted to exercise its discretion and make value choices in a manner that reflects the views of most property owners and riparians in the City.
E. The City has determined that it is necessary to regulate boat launching in order to preserve and protect the health, safety, and welfare of persons living in the area of Lake Angelus, and that the lack of regulation would result in the destruction of property values, and a threat to the public health, safety, and welfare.
F. The City Planning Commission and City Council have taken testimony from residents and riparians in the City, and have consulted with experts on the relationship between the regulations provided in this section and the promotion of the goals and objectives of the Master Plan, including the promotion of property values and character of the City, the lakeshore, and Lake Angelus. On this basis, the City Council has concluded that this section directly and materially promotes and furthers the legitimate objectives of the Michigan Planning Enabling Act, MCL 125.3801, et seq, the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act, MCL 125.3101, et seq., the City Master Plan, and protects private property values throughout the City and the unique character of the City.
(3) In the enactment of this section, the City Council has relied on the legal authority provided in Square Lake Hills Condominium Association v Bloomfield Township, 437 Mich 310 (1991) as adapted to cities:
A. There is regulatory authority to enact ordinances regulating boat launching on inland lakes as a measure to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of persons and property within a City.
B. The delegated police power authority in the City Charter enables cities to regulate launching boats for the protection of the health, safety, and welfare of persons and property within their communities.
(4) In the enactment of this section, the City Council has also relied on the legal authority provided in Hess v Charter Township of West Bloomfield, 439 Mich 550 (1992) as adapted to cities:
A. The term “land,” as used within the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act, includes those rights or interests that attach to the ownership of land, which extends to riparian rights.
B. Land which includes or is bounded by a natural watercourse is defined as riparian.
C. The Legislature must have been aware of the importance of riparian rights with regard to the overall use of land. In a state such as Michigan, with its abundant bodies of water, there would be no way to ensure that land uses are compatible with surrounding properties unless water activities are evaluated. Similarly, the conservation of natural resources, which clearly includes water, cannot be undertaken if there is no means for regulating riparian rights. The Michigan Zoning Enabling Act allows cities to balance the most advantageous uses of the lands, resources, and properties within their boundaries and to create zoning ordinances in accordance with such evaluations. Such a balance could not be achieved if riparian rights are excluded from any zoning control by the township.
D. The Michigan Zoning Enabling Act authorizes cities to regulate riparian rights as part of their zoning power.
(5) In the enactment of this section, the City Council has also relied on the legal authority provided in Gordon v City of Bloomfield Hills, 207 Mich App 231 (1994), and Davenport v Grosse Pointe Farms Board of Zoning Appeals, 210 Mich App 400 (1995), and specifically the proposition that “harmony” means more than technical compliance with zoning requirements, and the courts should give due regard for the city's judgment on this issue.
(6) In the enactment of this section, the City Council has also relied on the legal authority provided in Penn Central Transportation Company v New York City, 438 US 104, 129 (1978), and specifically for the proposition that “cities may enact land-use restrictions or controls to enhance the quality of life by preserving the character and desirable aesthetic features of a city.”
(7) In the enactment of this section, the City Council has also relied on the legal authority provided in Village of Belle Terre v Boraas, 416 US 1, 129 (1974), and specifically for the proposition that regulations based on the City’s police power include the public welfare, which is broad and inclusive. “The values it represents are spiritual as well as physical, aesthetic as well as monetary. It is within the power of the (local) legislature to determine that the community should be beautiful as well as healthy, spacious as well as clean, well-balanced as well as carefully patrolled.”
(8) In the enactment of this section, the City Council has also relied on the legal authority provided in Kyser v Kasson Township, 486 Mich 514, 537 (2010), and specifically for the proposition that local legislative bodies in the exercise of the zoning authority must balance various competing interests and factors, make policy judgments, and exercise discretion.
(9) In the enactment of this section, the City Council has also relied on the legal authority provided in Gackler v Yankee Springs Township, 427 Mich 562, 572 (1986), and specifically for the proposition that achieving the objectives of improving the aesthetics of an area amounts to the advancement of a reasonable government interest.
(b) Conflict with State Law. This section is not intended to conflict with and/or preempt application of state law, but intended to supplement state law in a compatible manner so as to enhance the exercise of riparian rights in a manner consistent with the public interest.
(c) Definitions. The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this section, shall have the meanings ascribed to them below, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
(1) “Character” means, and is intended to encompass, the impact on the lake, the lakeshore and the City as a whole based on the type, nature, noise, and other perceivable characteristics of watercraft and personal watercraft launched onto the lake, including without limitation the economic value reasonably attributable to private properties and their associated resources relating to the City and the lake.
(2) “Lake” means Lake Angelus, wholly situated within the City of Lake Angelus, Oakland County, Michigan.
(3) “Launch” means to physically move a watercraft or personal watercraft from a location on a launch site into the waters of Lake Angelus.
(4) “Launch site” means a private lot or parcel of land that has frontage on the waters of Lake Angelus, and shall also mean property owned by the City that has frontage on the waters of Lake Angelus.
(5) “Personal watercraft” means a vessel that uses a motor-driven propeller or an internal combustion engine powering a water jet pump as its primary source of propulsion and is designed to be operated by one or more persons positioned on, rather than within, the confines of the hull.
(6) “Riparian rights” means those rights which are associated with the ownership of the bank or shore of an inland lake or stream. (Compare MCL 324.30101(s))
(7) “Watercraft” shall include, but not limited to, a motor-powered or engine-powered boat, rowboat, motorboat, raft, dinghy, pontoon boat, or similar vessel. The term “watercraft” standing alone shall not include a “personal watercraft” as defined in this section.
(d) Regulations. Launching from private property and City-owned property.
(1) Authorization. The following watercraft shall be permitted to be launched from private launch sites and City-owned property subject to the limitations stated in this section and otherwise restricted in this Ordinance Code and by law. Considering that zoning along the lakeshore permits single-family residential use, and not multi-family residential use, this authorization shall only permit an occupant of a property to launch from a respective private launch site.
A. A watercraft powered by an inboard internal combustion, 4-cycle engine.
B. A watercraft powered by electric motor.
(2) Prohibition. Watercraft not specified in paragraph (1) above, including the following, shall not be permitted to be launched from private property and City-owned property, nor permitted to be placed on Lake Angelus in any other manner:
A. A watercraft powered by diesel engine.
B. A watercraft powered by 2-cycle engine.
C. A watercraft powered by an outboard internal combustion engine.
D. A personal watercraft, including, but not limited to, a vessel commonly known as a jet ski.
E. A watercraft powered by one or more water jet pumps as its primary source of propulsion.
F. A watercraft understood to be a houseboat, characterized by the features of a galley (kitchen), bathroom, and sleeping facilities.
G. A watercraft or any other vessel leaking or discharging a petroleum product or other pollutant unintended by the manufacturer in connection with normal operation and usage.
(3) Registration to Permit Enforcement. Prior to launching a watercraft from a launch site on private property, the owner of the property shall register the property as a launch site with the City Clerk.
(e) Special Exception for Limited Usage.
(1) Despite the generally applicable prohibition stated above, upon application to and approval by the City Council, the following types of watercraft may be approved for launching during specified days and times, with the approval of an application specifying any applicable time restrictions for removal from the lake:
A. A watercraft launched for use in maintenance or construction on the lake or lakeshore, such as installation and repair of docks.
B. A watercraft launched to carry out a fireworks display on the lake for the benefit of residents.
C. A watercraft launched to undertake scientific purposes such as water testing or application of weed control.
D. The launching of other special and limited purpose watercraft identified by resolution passed and published by the City Council based on a showing that such watercraft are not expressly prohibited in this section (above) and are reasonably needed to perform important functions on the lake.
(2) The City Council may pass and publish a resolution identifying particular watercraft that are expressly authorized in paragraph (e)(1) above that would be permitted without the necessity of filing an application or securing other approval before launching. Such resolution shall state the reason for identifying the particular watercraft, the reason for the launching authorization of such watercraft, and any time limitations for launching and removal from the lake.
(f) Penalties for Violation. Any person who shall violate the provisions of this section shall be responsible for a municipal civil infraction, subject to the following penalties:
(1) Fines. The following civil fines shall apply in the event of a determination of responsibility for a municipal civil infraction, unless a different fine is specified in connection with a particular ordinance:
A. First Offense. The civil fine for a first offense violation shall be in an amount of one hundred fifty dollars ($150.00), plus costs and other sanctions, for each offense.
B. Repeat Offense. The civil fine for any offense which is a repeat offense shall be in an amount of five hundred dollars ($500.00), plus costs and other sanctions for each offense.
(2) Enforcement. In addition to ordering the defendant determined to be responsible for a municipal civil infraction to pay a civil fine, costs, damages and expenses, the judge or magistrate shall be authorized to issue any judgment, writ or order necessary to enforce, or enjoin violation, of this section.
(3) Continuing Offense. Each act of violation, and on each day upon which any such violation shall occur, shall constitute a separate offense. For purposes of this section, an “act of violation” shall be deemed to occur on each day a watercraft remains in the water after being launched in violation of the authorization of this section.
(4) Remedies not Exclusive. In addition to any remedies provided for by this section, any equitable or other remedies available may be sought.
(5) The judge or magistrate shall be authorized to impose costs, damages and expenses as provided by law.
(6) A municipal civil infraction shall not be a lesser included offense of a criminal offense or of an ordinance violation which is not a civil infraction.
(g) Severability. If any provision of this section or its application to any person or circumstances is held invalid or unconstitutional, the invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not affect other provisions or application of this section that can be given effect without the invalid or unconstitutional provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this section are severable.
(Ord. 139. Passed 12-13-16.)