Otsego County Michigan Commissioners want to build a new county jail in a location that is not zoned for a detention facility. Otsego County zoning ordinances are very specific regarding what zoning districts allow detention facilities (see http://www.otsegocountymi.gov/planningzoning/county_ordinance_nov_2006.pdf and search for “detention”). The only ordinances that apply to the proposed location are county zoning ordinances.
Commissioners cite a Michigan court case (Pittsfield Township vs. Washtenaw County see http://courts.michigan.gov/supremeco...eld-119590.pdf) as precedent that will allow a county to disregard their own zoning laws. This case was a dispute between a township and a county where the township wanted the county to adhere to township zoning laws. The case made its way to the Michigan Supreme Court and this court decided in favor of the county. The case seems to make it clear that a Michigan county isn’t governed by township zoning, but, does this precedent allow a Michigan county to violate its own zoning ordinances?