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Bear Lake Township Master Plan & Zoning Ordinance Update

bear lake township master plan & zoning ordinance update

Bear Lake Township will coordinate with Community Planners from Networks Northwest to make updates to its 2014 Master Plan. This planning effort, which will be conducted through the Bear Lake Township Planning Commission, will involve monthly meetings in addition to a larger public input open house. The Master Plan, sometimes referred to as the Comprehensive Plan, is a municipal document that describes the various intricacies of the community: its past, present and future. The Master Plan is a community input-driven guidebook that considers the many interests represented in the community and attempts to reconcile these varying viewpooints into a single text. For Michigan communities utilizing zoning to regulate its land use, the master plan is required under the Michigan Planning Enabling Act (MPEA) (Act 33 of 2008) and is updated every 5 years.

The Master Plan, the prerequisite for zoning, will be completed in late 2022. Upon completion the Bear Lake Township Planning Commission will continue to work with Networks Northwest to udpate its Zoning Ordinance. The Zoning Ordinance is a set of land use regulations that balance property owners' rights with the community's standards meant to protect public health, safety and well-being. This part of the planning process will begin in late 2022 and will be completed by January 2024. 

Community members are highly encouraged to participate in this planning process. Networks Northwest will meet with the Bear Lake Township Planning Commission on the second Tuesday of every month. For a tentative meeting schedule for this project, please click here (PDF). 

Upcoming Meetings

9/13 @ 7pm - Bear Lake Township Hall

Questions and comments can be directed to:

Zach Vega, AICP, Community Planner
Networks Northwest
P: 231-342-0903


Networks Northwest always proves to be a valued resource for our local government planning efforts. No organization does a better job of convening partners, promoting collaboration, and reporting on the data than does Networks Northwest

Ty Wessell, Leelanau County Commissioner