Ordinance Enforcement

Enacting ordinances protects the health, safety and welfare of Township residents. Ordinance violation complaints are reviewed by the Ordinance Enforcement Officer.

General and Zoning Ordinances

Ordinance Complaint Form    

Burn Ordinance and Burn Permits

Adopted Ordinances        


Animals (Keeping of)

How many dogs am I allowed to have on my property?

Up to three (3) dogs are allowed on platted properties. Up to nine (9) dogs are permitted on un-platted properties, unless they become a nuisance by reason of odors or noise. See Zoning Ordinance Article 57, 57.70 Keeping of Dogs.

Can my neighbor keep beehives or chickens on their property?

It depends on the type of property in question. See Zoning Ordinance Article 57, 57.80 Keeping of Livestock and Honeybees. For more information, please contact the Oshtemo Township Planning Department, (269) 216-5223.

Blight / Litter / Junk / Inoperable Motor Vehicles

My neighbor has a lot of junk in their yard. Does the Township have a “blight” ordinance?

Yes. According to Township Ordinance Gen. Ord. No. 599, Part 212.000, blight is defined as any “junk” or “litter” detrimental to the health, safety, or welfare of Township residents. Any blight is considered unlawful use of a property and may result in a violation if not removed. For a more board definition of blight please see Gen. Ord. No 599, 212.03.

My neighbors have a junk car in their driveway. Is this a violation?

Yes. Any inoperable or unlicensed vehicle that remains on a private property not zoned for such use, including someone’s driveway, for no more than consecutive 14 days is a violation. For more information, please see Gen. Ord. No. 599, Part 212.000, Blight Elimination Ordinance.

Burning Ordinance

Can someone have a campfire in their yard?

Yes. However, recreational fires, such as a campfire, shall not be within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material unless contained in a barbecue pit or charcoal/gas grills or outdoor fireplace. For more information, please see Gen. Ord. No. 324, BURNING ORDINANCE, Section VI, 256.060.

Do I need a Burning Permit to burn yard waste?

Yes. A permit can be obtained by calling the Oshtemo Township Fire Department at 269-375-0487 or by filling out an application online (Online Burning Permit App). For more information on safety requirements, please see Gen. Ord. No. 324, Burning Ordinance, Section V, 256.050 – Open Burning.

Can I have a barbecue pit, charcoal grill or outdoor fireplace on my apartment balcony or deck? 

BBQ pits, charcoal grills and outdoor fireplaces are prohibited above ground level of any multifamily apartment, within the structure or on any balcony or deck.  If your apartment complex allows BBQ pits, charcoal grills or outdoor fireplaces on premises, they must be on the ground and not be located within ten (10) feet of combustible walls or roofs or other combustible material.  Please note that your lease may prohibit use of any grill/fire pit on the property. Portable fire extinguishers shall be readily available.  *Note: Gas grills are permitted.  (See http://online.encodeplus.com/regs/oshtemo-mi/doc-viewer.aspx#secid-712  BURNING ORDINANCE, SECTION VII 256.070 - BARBECUE PITS AND CHARCOAL OR GAS GRILLS and SECTION VIII 256.080 - OUTDOOR BARBECUE PITS, CHARCOAL GRILLS AND OUTDOOR FIREPLACES.)


Construction Activity

What times of day is construction activity allowed?

Construction activities may occur between the hours of 07:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. However, for any nonresidential construction site area within 1,000 ft of an occupied residence, all construction activities within that area of the site must cease by 7:00 p.m. For more detailed information, please see General Ord. No. 176, Part 214, Anti-Noise Ordinance, 214.003 – Anti-noise regulations. Sec. III. B. 8.

There is construction on my street, contractor trucks are tracking soils onto the street, loose soils are washing into the street/onto my property when it rains. Who do I report this to?

Contact RCKC or County Drain Commissioner’s Office.   

Fences / Trees / Property Line Concerns

I want to install a fence. How tall can it be?

In “AG”, “RR”, “R-C”, “R-1”, “R-2”, and “R-3” Zoning Districts, fences are limited to a maximum height of four (4) feet within the required front building setback area except as stated in Section 57.60.B.2. The maximum fence height in the side or rear yard shall be six (6) feet as measured from the grade on both sides of the fence. See Zoning Ordinance Article 57, 57.60 Fences

Do I need a permit to install a fence?

Most residential fences do not require a permit. See Zoning Ordinance Article 57, 57.60 Fences

Can the Township determine where my property line is?

No, property line location is determined by locating the property stakes/pins which may require the services of a private state-licensed surveyor. Township staff cannot make this determination.

Firearm Discharge / Target Practice

Can I target practice with a firearm on my property?

  1. The answer depends on where your property is located within the Township. If your property is located within the “No Discharge of Firearms(PDF, 289KB)” area map of the Township, you may NOT discharge a firearm.

If your property is OUTSIDE of the “No Discharge of Firearms(PDF, 289KB)” area map of the Township, you may target practice with a firearm on your property, only when abiding by State of Michigan Firearm LawsTownship Noise Ordinance, and Hunting Area and Firearms Discharge Control.

Can I hunt with a firearm on my property?

A: It depends on where you live in the TownshipIf your property is OUTSIDE of the “No Discharge of Firearms(PDF, 289KB)” area map of the Township, you may hunt with a firearm on your property, abiding by State of Michigan Firearm Laws,  MI State Law Act 451 of 1994 MCL 324.40111Township Noise Ordinance, and Hunting Area and Firearms Discharge Control.


What days are Fireworks allowed in Oshtemo?

Consumer fireworks may be used in Oshtemo Charter Township on the following days beginning at 11 a.m. and ending as set forth in Gen. Ord. No. 613, Fireworks Ordinance, Section V, 219.005 – Consumer Fireworks.  (See complete Fireworks Ordinance.)

Grass / Vegetation / Plant Growth Control

How tall can someone allow their grass to grow before it is in violation?

Ten (10) inches. For the purposes of this ordinance, “lawn” means ground (as around a house) covered with short turf grasses and other plants that is traditionally cut or mowed. For more information, please see Gen. Ord. No. 595, Part 211.007, Lawn Maintenance. Sec. VII. A.

Noise Nuisance

My neighbor’s dog barks a lot. Is this an ordinance violation?

Maybe. This is determined on a case-by-case bases depending on several factors. Animals that make noise for more than 60 minutes which clearly disturbs the quiet and comfort of nearby property owners is considered a violation. Investigation is necessary to determine if the noise meets standards for a nuisance. For more information, please see General Ord. No. 176, Part 214.003 – Anti-noise regulations. Sec. III. B Specific violations. 4.

Public Nuisance: Soliciting

Is door-to-door soliciting allowed in Oshtemo Township?

Soliciting door-to-door is only allowed to those who have received a license from the Township. Please see Gen. Ord. No. 156, Part 122.000 – Hawkers, Peddlers, and Solicitors.

Street Parking / Obstructions

A vehicle/trailer has been parked on my street for weeks. Is there a Township ordinance against parking on the street?

The Township does not have a street parking ordinance, however, provisions of the Michigan Vehicle Code may be applicable: Michigan Vehicle Code Act 300 of 1949, Sec. 257.676 b (2).

Can my relatives park their RV/travel trailer/motor home in my driveway and sleep in it during their visit?

Yes, but only temporarily. A recreational vehicle may be parked on a property for a period of not more than 14 days in any one year and only when located on a premise that has water and sewage facilities. RV’s cannot be parked on the street. For more information, please see Zoning Ordinance Article 57, 57.30 A.

Streets: Speeding Concerns / Radar Speed Trailer

How was the speed limit determined on our road? Can the speed limit be lowered?

The Road Commission of Kalamazoo County (RCKC) sets speed limits. They do so based on Michigan State Police standards for setting speed limits. One of the data factors used is the 85th percentile of the speeds that vehicles are recorded being driven. RCKC conducts traffic studies to collect data necessary to set the most appropriate speed limit.  For more information check out RCKC’s brochure.

Streets: Truck Route

A semi-truck/truck-tractor/Class 3 box truck is driving up and down my street which is not a truck route. Is this allowed?

No, unless the truck is running materials delivery/pick-up directly to and/or from a specific address, provided the most direct route to and from a designated truck route is utilized.  For more information, please see Gen. Ord. No. 478, Part 153.000 – TRUCK ROUTE ORDINANCE.

Zoning Use

My neighbor is operating a commercial type business from their house/garage/yard/pole barn. Is this allowed?

It depends on the Zoning district, type of business and if it is allowed under Zoning Ordinance Article 48.60 Home Occupation and other applicable ordinance. For specific information, contact the Oshtemo Township Planning Department, (269) 216-5223.