Public utility franchises, and all renewals and extensions thereof and amendments thereto, shall be granted by ordinance only. No exclusive franchise or grant of privilege with respect to any utility shall ever be granted. No franchise shall be granted for a longer period than thirty years.
No franchise ordinance which is not subject to revocation at the will of the Council shall be enacted nor become operative, until the same shall have first been referred to the people at a regular or special election and received the affirmative vote of three-fifths of the electors voting thereon. No such franchise ordinance shall be approved by the Council for referral to the electorate before thirty days after application therefor has been filed with the Council, nor until a public hearing has been held thereon, nor until the grantee named therein has filed with the Clerk his unconditional acceptance of all terms of such franchise. No special election for such purpose shall be ordered by the Council, unless the expense of holding such election, as determined by the Council, shall have first been paid to the Treasurer by the grantee.
A franchise ordinance which is subject to revocation at the will of the City may be enacted by the Council without referral to the voters, but shall not be enacted nor become operative, unless it shall have been complete in the form in which it is finally enacted and has remained on file with the Clerk for public inspection for at least four weeks before the final enactment thereof.
State Law References: Submittal of irrevocable franchises to electors required, Mich. Const. art. VII, § 25; franchises limited to 30 years, Mich. Const. art. VII, § 30.