The State Construction Code officially known as Public Act 230 excludes agricultural buildings and structures from construction permits only. It has nothing to do with zoning and land use permits as local ordinances govern these issues. As per the State’s definition, to be qualified for an agricultural exemption, the following rules need to be considered:
1. No part of the building or structure may be used as a dwelling.
2. The building may not be used for retail sales ever. Wholesale sales are permitted such as selling raw milk and produce to processors.
3. The produce, crops, livestock, etc. must be grown on the same property the building is located. This language excludes farm co-op buildings such as grain mills where many farmers would bring crops to be processed, but they are not grown in that location.
Please remember, the exclusion is based solely on use of the building and items #1, 2, & 3 above. If the building is used for any other purpose, the exemption does not apply. A building used for horses, feed, farm equipment, animal husbandry, horticulture and other bone-a-fide agricultural uses are exempt. Should you be erecting a building or structure for an approved agricultural use, a building permit is not required.
However, a Zoning Compliance permit is required to assure the use of the building is permitted in the zoning district it is located and it meets minimum setback requirements for the lot. An accessory building for a garden tractor or 4-H rabbit which also stores cars, motor homes or boats is an example of a building which would not be considered exempt. The pre-dominate use must be for agricultural purposes.
If you have any questions, please direct them to Professional Code Inspections of Michigan (P.C.I.) at 1-800-628-3335. Zoning compliance permits may be obtained from P.C.I. or may be downloaded from our website www.pcimi.com . A zoning compliance permit is required to be obtained prior to the construction of an agricultural building. The zoning fee is $35.00 (subject to change) payable to Hopkins Township.
Kirk Scharphorn, Building Official Hopkins Township