Chapter 6
Low Impact Development Standards

4.601 Storm Water Management.

A.    Low Impact Storm Water Options. Whenever this ordinance refers to, or provides incentives for the use of low impact storm water management methods, it shall include the following methods:

1.    Bioretention (rain gardens).

2.    Infiltration practices.

3.    Pervious pavement with infiltration.

4.    Vegetated filter strip.

5.    Vegetated swale.

6.    Such methods shall be designed according to the best management practices identified in Chapter 7 of the Low Impact Development Manual for Michigan, available at the Planning Department.

B.    Storm Water Management Ponds. Where any pond, detention or retention basin, or other storm water management facility is required, it shall comply with the following landscaping requirements:

1.    Configuration. The facility shall be incorporated into the natural topography to the greatest extent possible. Where this is not practical, the basin shall be shaped to emulate a naturally formed or free-form depression. The basin edge shall consist of sculpted landforms to filter and soften view of the basin.

2.    Landscape Plantings.

a.    Basin bottoms and side slopes should be vegetated with a diverse native planting mix to reduce maintenance needs, promote natural landscapes, and increase infiltration potential.

b.    Vegetation may include trees, woody shrubs, and meadow/wetland herbaceous plants.

c.    Woody vegetation is generally discouraged in the embankment.

d.    Meadow grasses or other deeply rooted herbaceous vegetation is recommended on the interior slope of embankments.

e.    Fertilizers and pesticides should not be used.

C.    Pre-Treatment Requirements. High pollutant producing land uses that are characterized by the handling or storage of potentially hazardous chemicals or by very high traffic generation that results in frequent turnover of parking spaces shall incorporate water quality pre-treatment elements into the overall site design as required by Table 14. These water quality elements are intended to remove potential pollutant loadings from entering either groundwater or surface water systems.

Table 14. Required Storm Water Pre-Treatment Elements



Automobile Service

Spill prevention and response program, and Oil/water separators/hydronomic separators or water quality inserts for inlets or equivalent

High turnover retail uses including but not limited to fast food restaurants or convenience stores

Sediment traps/catch basin sumps, or trash/debris collectors in catch basins, or water quality inserts for inlets or equivalent

On-site storage or handling of chemicals or hazardous materials

Diversion of storm water away from environmentally sensitive areas

4.602 Woodland Preservation.

A.    Declaration. Resurgent development in the City of Pontiac has resulted in an unregulated and, in many cases, unnecessary removal of trees and other forms of vegetation and natural resources. Regulation of such removal of trees, vegetation and natural resources will achieve a preservation of important physical, aesthetic, recreational and economic assets for both present and future generations. Specifically it is found that:

1.    Woodlands provide for public safety through the prevention of erosion, siltation, and flooding;

2.    Woodland growth protects public health through the absorption of air pollutants and contamination, including the reduction of excessive noise and mental and physical damage related to noise pollution;

3.    Trees, vegetation and associated natural resources provide a material aspect of the character of the City of Pontiac and its neighborhoods, and

4.    Trees and woodland growth serve as an essential component of the general welfare by maintaining natural beauty, recreation and irreplaceable natural heritage

B.    Purpose. Therefore, the purpose of this Section is as follows, to be applied throughout the City of Pontiac:

1.    To provide for the protection , preservation, proper maintenance and use of trees and woodlands in order to minimize disturbance to them and to prevent damage from erosion and siltation, a loss of wildlife and vegetation, and/or from the destruction of the natural habitat;

2.    To protect the woodlands (including trees and other forms of vegetation) for their economic support of local property values when allowed to remain uncleared and/or unharvested in whole or in significant part, and for their natural beauty, character, and geological, ecological, or historical significance.

3.    To provide for the paramount public concern for these natural resources in the interest of health, safety and general welfare of the residents of this City, in keeping with Article IV, Section 52 of the Michigan Constitution of 1963, and the intent of the Michigan Environmental Protection Act, No. 127 of the Public Acts of 1970.

C.    Definitions. The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation of this Section.

1.    Building Envelope. The area enclosed or to be enclosed by the exterior walls of the principal building, plus a reasonable area beyond such walls up to ten (10) feet, provided that no building envelope area may encroach into any required setback. In the interest of allowing reasonable development while preserving trees, the ten (10) feet beyond each wall may be reallocated so that the total distance that the building envelope extends away from the exterior wall on opposing sides of the building totals twenty (20) feet e.g., five (5) feet on one side and fifteen (15) feet on the other.

2.    Commercial Nursery or Tree Farm. A licensed plant or tree nursery or farm in relation to those trees planted and growing on the premises of the licensee, which are planted and grown for sale to the general public in the ordinary course of the licensee’s business.

3.    Critical Root Zone shall mean the area where the tree’s roots are located. The critical root zone area is described by a circle around the tree with one foot of radius for each one inch D.B.H. of tree.

4.    Dead, Diseased, or Damaged Tree shall any tree that has been declared as “dead, diseased or damaged” by an ISA Certified Arborist, a municipal forester, or a state registered forester.

5.    Diameter Breast Height (d.b.h.). A tree’s diameter in inches measured by diameter tape at four and one-half (4 1/2) feet above the ground. On multi-stem trees, the largest diameter stem shall be measured.

6.    Driveway Envelope shall mean an area designated by the property owner to provide vehicular access to the building or parking area.

7.    Grubbing shall mean the effective removal of understory vegetation, groundcover, shrubs or trees but not including removal of any trees of greater than six (6) inches D.B.H.

8.    Large Tract. A non-residential lot or parcel, or a residential lot or parcel which is more than one single-family residential building site.

9.    Person. An individual, partnership, corporation, association or other legal entity.

10.    Protected Tree. Any tree having a diameter breast height (d.b.h.) of six (6) inches or greater. The following trees, however, are not deemed to be protected trees: Boxelder (Acer Negundo); Silver Maple (Acer Saccarinum); Poplars (Populus Species); Willows (Salix Species); Siberian Elm (Ulmus Pumila); Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus Altissima); European White Birch ((Betula Pendula); Catalpa(Catalpa Speciosa); Common Honeylocust(Gleditisia Tancunthis); Red Mulberry((Morus Rubra); White Mulberry((Morus Alba).

11.    Remove or Removal. The act of removing a tree by digging up or cutting down or the effective removal through human damage.

12.    Replacement Tree shall mean those trees considered by the City to be acceptable to replace trees proposed to be removed. Replacement trees should display the following characteristics:

a.    Minimal fruit litter.

b.    Upright growth of trunk; trees used for streetscape purposes should branch at a minimum height of seven (7) or more feet; trees used for other landscaping may have branching at lower heights.

c.    Resistance to disease.

d.    No thorns on trunk or branches.

e.    Resistance to drought.

f.    Salt tolerance.

13.    Single Family Residence shall mean any parcel, lot, unit, or adjacent parcels, lots or units under common ownership that contain(s) a permanent, occupied and habitable single-family dwelling unit.

14.    Transplant. The relocation of a tree from one place to another within the City.

15.    Tree. Any self-supporting, woody plant of a species which normally grows to an overall height of fifteen (15) feet or more.

16.    Tree Survey. A minimum of one (1) inch equals 100 feet scale drawing which provides the following information: location of all protected trees, i.e., trees having six (6) inches or greater d.b.h. plotted by accurate techniques, and the common or botanical name of those trees and their d.b.h.

17.    Undeveloped. A parcel of land which is unplatted and substantially unimproved. With respect to land which, on the effective date of this Ordinance, is partially improved by virtue of a building(s) or other improvement(s) located on a portion of the land, the portion of the land which does not contain the building(s) or other improvement(s) shall be considered undeveloped.

D.    Tree Removal Permit Required.

1.    Permit Required. No person shall remove, cause to be removed, transplant, damage, or destroy, on any land in the City of Pontiac, any protected tree outside of a building envelope without first obtaining a tree removal permit.

2.    Waiver for Drainage Improvements. The Planning Commission may waive the requirement for a tree removal permit when it is shown that tree removal is necessary and there is no reasonable alternative in connection with drainage improvements.

E.    Tree Removal Permit Not Required. The following activities are exempt from the requirements of this Section.

1.    Activities Within Building Envelope. No tree removal permit shall be required for construction of structures or improvements or other activities within a building envelope.

2.    Commercial Nursery or Tree Farm. Tree removal or transplanting occurring during use of land for the operation of a commercial nursery or tree farm, provided, this exception shall only be applicable if the commercial nursery or tree farm has been licensed with the State of Michigan and in operation on the property for three years or more, or the property owner records an affidavit that the commercial nursery or tree farm shall continue in active operation for a period of no less than five (5) years. This exception shall apply only as long as the tree farm or commercial nursery remains in operation and shall immediately terminate when such operations cease on the premises.

3.    Emergencies. Actions made necessary by an emergency, such as tornado, windstorm, flood, freeze, insect infestation, disease, or other disaster, in order to prevent injury or damage to persons or property or restore order, and where it would be contrary to the interest of the public, or to the health or safety of one or more persons, to defer cutting pending submission and processing of a permit application.

4.    Governmental Agencies. Tree trimming, removal or transplanting performed by, or on behalf of, governmental entities or agencies.

5.    Public Utilities. Repair or maintenance work performed by public utilities necessitating the trimming or cutting of trees.

6.    Dead or Damaged Trees. The removal or trimming of dead, diseased or damaged trees (as described by a certified arborist or registered forester and approved by the City) provided that the damage resulted from an accident or non-human cause and provided further that the removal or trimming is accompanied through the use of standard forestry practices and techniques.

7.    Tree Management. Where a tree management plan, prepared by a State of Michigan registered forester is submitted to and approved by the Planning Administrator, after consultation with the City expert, tree cutting may occur without a permit. To qualify under this exception, tree management activity shall be for the purpose of reducing the density of trees so as to promote and maintain the health and viability of the remaining trees. The forester shall certify that the tree management activity shall be for the purpose of reducing the density of trees so as to promote and maintain the health and viability of the remaining trees. The management plan shall include a method of felling the trees to be harvested so as to minimize damage to adjacent trees and the means by which cut trees shall be removed from the property without damaging remaining trees, and it shall include methods of correcting any drainage gradient alterations caused by the harvesting activities. The person seeking approval and exemption under this provision shall establish an escrow with the Director of Community Development for the purpose of covering the costs of the City’s expert.

8.    Single Family Residences. Existing single family residential homes are exempt from the provisions and requirements of this Section.

F.    Application for Tree Removal Permit.

1.    Application and Fee. A person seeking a tree removal permit must submit a written application to the Department of Community Development and pay the application/permit fee as established by resolution of the Pontiac City Council.

2.    Time of Application. Application for a tree removal permit shall be made before removing, cutting or transplanting trees. Where the site is proposed for development necessitating site plan or plat review, application for a tree removal permit shall be made prior to site plan or preliminary plat submittal. In cases where there are no trees on a site, no protected trees on a site, or there are no protected trees proposed to be removed from a site, the applicant or developer shall certify those facts to the Planning Administrator, who shall inspect the site to determine the need for a tree removal permit. If the Planning Administrator determines that no tree removal permit is required, then the Planning Administrator shall certify that determination to the Director of Community Development, who shall retain a record of such determinations.

3.    Required Information. The permit application shall include five (5) copies of a plan drawn to scale containing the following information:

a.    Property Dimensions. The boundaries and dimensions of the property, and the location of any existing and proposed structure or improvement, with a statement identifying the type of structure or improvement.

b.    Inventory of Trees. Trees proposed to remain, to be transplanted, or to be removed shall be so designated.

c.    Tree Protection. A statement describing how trees intended to remain will be protected during development.

d.    Easements and Setbacks. Location and dimension of existing and proposed easements, as well as all setbacks required by the Zoning Ordinance.

e.    Grade Changes. Designation of grade changes proposed for the property.

f.    Intended Tree Replacement. A cost estimate for the proposed tree replacement program with a detailed explanation including the number, size and species.

g.    Tree Identification. A statement that all trees being retained will be identified by some method such as painting, flagging, etc., and, where protective barriers are necessary, that they will be erected before work starts.

h.    Building Envelope, Utilities and Driveway. The plan shall show the building envelope, utilities and driveway as existing and/or proposed on the property.

i.    Plan. A topographical survey sealed by a registered engineer or registered surveyor shall be shown on the plat.

j.    Tree Survey. A tree survey prepared by a State of Michigan registered forester for all areas for which a Tree Removal Permit is required.

G.    Application Review Procedure.

1.    Department Review. The Planning Department shall review the submitted tree removal permit application to verify the applicant has provided all required information. Upon request of either the applicant or the City of Pontiac, the City may conduct a field inspection or review, and the applicant shall be required to cooperate in the field inspection. In the event that the applicant fails to cooperate, the Planning Department is authorized to cease further processing of the application until such a time as it achieves the necessary cooperation.

2.    Reviewing Authority. Where the site is proposed for development necessitating site plan review or the preliminary plat review by the Planning Commission, the Planning Commission shall be responsible for granting or denying the application for a tree removal permit. Where site plan review or plat approval by the Planning Commission is not required by ordinance, the grant or denial of the tree removal permit application shall be the responsibility of the Planning Department. Where the use of a consultant is reasonably required by the City in connection with a site plan or plat review, the property owner shall establish an escrow in an amount determined by City Council resolution to be a reasonable fee, out of which the consultant’s fee shall be paid. The decision to grant or deny a tree removal permit by the City Planning Commission, the City Council, or the Director of Planning shall be governed by the tree permit requirements enumerated in subsection H, below.

3.    Tree Removal Permit Approval. Final approval of the subdivision plat by the City Council or final site plan approval by the Planning Commission shall constitute approval under this ordinance and constitute the issuance of a tree removal permit. Whenever an application for a tree removal permit is granted, the reviewing authority shall:

a.    Conditions. Attach to the granting of the permit any reasonable conditions considered necessary by the reviewing authority to ensure the intent of this ordinance will be fulfilled and to minimize damage to, encroachment in or interference with natural resources and processes within wooded areas, including, without any limitation, the trees to be preserved.

b.    Completion of Operations. Fix a reasonable time, up to a maximum of eighteen (18) months, to complete tree removal, transplanting and replacement operations ensuring that plantings occur at correct times of the year; and c. Security. Require the permit grantee, in residential or commercial development cases, to file with the City of Pontiac a cash or corporate surety bond or irrevocable bank letter of credit in an amount reasonably determined necessary by the City to ensure compliance with the tree removal permit conditions and this ordinance in regard to transplanting and replacement of trees, except that vacant small tracts involving development of one single family residential home shall be exempt from this requirement.

d.    Term of Permit. A tree removal permit issued under this Section shall be null and void if completion of work permitted under the permit has not occurred within a reasonable time, not to exceed eighteen (18) months after issuance of the permit. The date of issuance of a permit shall be considered to be commencement of work and shall determine the beginning of the eighteen (18) month period referred to above. In addition, a permit shall be void after the expiration of eighteen (18) months from the date of issuance. Permits are not transferable, and successors in interest are required to submit a new or renewed application for a permit.

4.    Denial of Tree Removal Permit. Whenever an application for a tree removal permit is denied, the permit applicant shall be notified in writing of the reasons for denial using the application review standards in subsection H, below.

H.    Tree Permit Requirements. The following standards shall govern the granting or denial of an application for tree removal permit:

1.    Building Envelopes. The developer shall designate building envelopes for all structures. Such designation shall be made with the objective of preserving protected trees, and the Reviewing Authority shall have discretion to require reasonable adjustments in this regard.

2.    Minimum Preservation Requirement.

a.    Minimum Preservation. The developer shall preserve and leave standing and undamaged a minimum of eighty (80%) of the total number of protected trees on the lot having a d.b.h. of 6 inches or greater. However, trees contained within the designated building envelope, or within required drainage, or utility improvement areas, and/or driveway and sidewalk areas, as determined by the Reviewing Authority and City Engineer, based upon plans presented by the developer, and on-site inspection, and to the extent removal is necessary, shall not be included in the calculation for determining the required minimum preservation percentage.

b.    Reduction of Preservation Requirements. The Planning Commission shall have the authority to reduce the preservation requirements if it finds that the following criteria have been met.

i.    Unique conditions on the site make development impossible without removing additional trees.

ii.    The applicant has submitted at least three (3) substantially different site layouts superimposed over the tree survey and showing tree preservation possible for each alternative in order to demonstrate that the maximum feasible tree preservation has been achieved. In order to qualify as substantially different, the alternate layouts should incorporate different building footprint placements and shapes, different parking and maneuvering aisle locations, and alternate locations for other proposed site improvements. Plans that show proposed improvements such as buildings, detention ponds, and paved areas in essentially the same location or in the same layout on the site shall not be considered substantially different.

3.    Tree Protection.

a.    Placing Materials Near Tree. No person may conduct any activity within the critical root zone of any protected tree designated to remain, including, but not limited to, placing solvents, building material, construction equipment or soil deposits.

b.    Attachments to Trees. During construction, no person shall attach any device to any remaining protected tree except for the protection of a tree in accordance with forestry procedures.

c.    Protective Barrier. Before development, land clearing, filling or any land alteration for which a Tree Removal Permit is required, the developer shall erect and maintain suitable barriers to protect remaining trees. The location and construction of protective barriers on the site shall be inspected and approved by the City prior to any construction activity occurring on the site, and the protective barriers shall remain in place until the City authorizes their removal or issues a final certificate of occupancy, whichever occurs first. Wood, metal or other substantial material shall be utilized in the construction of barriers. Barriers are required for all trees designated to remain, except in the following cases:

i.    Rights-of-Way and Easements. Street right-of-way and utility easements may be cordoned by placing stakes a minimum of fifty (50) feet apart and tying ribbon, plastic tape, rope, etc. from stake to stake along the outside perimeters of areas to be cleared.

ii.    Large, Separate Areas. Large property areas separate from the construction or land clearing area onto which no equipment will venture may also be cordoned off.

4.    Preservation and Conservation. Tree preservation and conservation shall be of paramount concern and importance, provided, that an application shall not be denied solely because of the presence of some trees on the site.

5.    Developmental Alternatives. Preservation and conservation of wooded areas, trees, similar woody vegetation, wild life and related natural resources and processes shall have priority over development when there are feasible and prudent location alternatives on site for proposed buildings, structures or other site improvements.

6.    Land Clearing. Where the proposed activity consists of land clearing, it shall be limited to areas to be improved for roadways, sidewalks, drainage and utilities and areas necessary for the construction of buildings, structures or other site improvements as shown on an approved site plan or subdivision plat. This subsection shall not be construed to undermine other standards of this ordinance.

7.    Residential Development. Where the proposed activity involves residential development, residential units shall, to the extent reasonably feasible, be designed and constructed to blend into the natural setting of the landscape.

8.    Compliance with Statutes and Ordinances. The proposed activity shall comply with all applicable statutes and ordinances.

9.    Relocation or Replacement. The proposed activity shall include necessary provisions for tree relocation or replacement, in accordance with subsection I below.

I.    Tree Relocation or Replacement.

1.    Tree Replacement Required. For each protected tree that is permitted to be removed by permit granted under this section, the developer shall provide one tree replacement credit.

2.    Tree Replacement Credits. Replacement trees shall be provided such that the total credits as identified in the following table equal the total number of protected trees to be removed from the site.

Replacement Tree Type

Replacement Tree Size

Replacement Credit Value

Park grade deciduous tree

Minimum 1” caliper

0.25 credits

Nursery grade No. 1 deciduous tree

Minimum 1” caliper

0.33 credits

Nursery grade No. 1 deciduous tree

1.5”-2” caliper

0.66 credits

Nursery grade No. 1 deciduous tree

2.5” caliper

1 credit

Nursery grade No. 1 deciduous tree

3” caliper

1.33 credits

Nursery grade No. 1 deciduous tree

3.5” caliper

2 credits


5 feet

0.75 credits


6 feet

1 credit


8 feet

1.5 credits


10 feet+

2 credits

3.    Replacement Tree Requirements.

a.    Replacement trees shall have shade potential and/or other characteristics comparable to the removed trees and must be approved by the City of Pontiac prior to planting. Replacement trees must be staked, fertilized and mulched, and shall be guaranteed for two (2) years.

b.    Trees usable for replacement trees may be transplanted on site using appropriate and accepted procedures and precautions.

4.    Replacement Tree Location.

a.    City Approval Required. The City of Pontiac shall approve tree relocation or replacement locations in order to provide optimum enhancement, preservation and protection of wooded areas. To the extent feasible and desirable, trees shall be relocated or replaced on-site and within the same general area as trees removed, provided that survival shall not be jeopardized by improvements or activities.

b.    Relocation or Replacement Off-site. Where it is not feasible and desirable to relocate or replace trees on site, relocation or replacement may be made at another location in the City of Pontiac approved as part of the permit. If no feasible or desirable location for replacement trees exists at the time of permit approval, the developer may provide compensation in other forms deemed acceptable by the City that achieve the overall goals of this section and equal to the current market value of the replacement credits required.

5.    Replacement Tree Diversity. If fifteen (15) or more replacement tree credits are required, no one species of replacement tree shall account for more than thirty percent (30%) of all required replacement trees. If fewer than fifteen (15) replacement tree credits are required, there is no diversity requirement.

J.    Display of Permit; Stop Work, Certificate of Occupancy.

1.    Display of Permit. The tree removal permit grantee shall conspicuously display the permit on-site. The permit grantee shall display the permit continuously while trees are being removed or replaced or while activities authorized under the permit are performed. The permit grantee shall allow City representatives to enter and inspect the premises at any reasonable time, and failure to allow inspection shall constitute a violation of this Section.

2.    Stop Work; Withholding Certificate of Occupancy. The Planning Director may issue a stop work order or withhold issuance of a certificate of occupancy, permits or inspections if this section is being violated and/or until the provisions of this section, including any conditions attached to a tree removal permit, have been fully met.

K.    Violations of Woodlands Preservations Ordinance. Any person violating any provision of this ordinance shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to five hundred dollars ($500.00) or imprisonment for up to ninety (90) days, or both. Inspectors of the Community Development department or police officers may issue tickets or citations for violations of this ordinance. The Law Department may issue complaints and warrants for violations of this ordinance. The removal or damage of each protected tree shall constitute a separate offense.

L.    Variances and Rights of Appeal. Upon the application of a person denied a tree removal permit by the Planning Commission or the Planning Department, or upon the application of a person who reasonably believes that a practical difficulty exists with respect to strict compliance with this ordinance, the Zoning Board of Appeals may consider a variance if a finding of practical difficulty can be made. Refer to Article 6, Chapter 4.

4.603 Natural Features Setback.

A.    Intent. It is the intent of this section to require a minimum setback from natural features, and to regulate property within such setback in order to prevent physical harm, impairment and/or destruction of or to a natural feature. It has been determined that, in the absence of such a minimum setback, intrusions in or onto natural features would occur, resulting in harm, impairment and/or destruction of natural features contrary to the public health, safety and general welfare. This regulation is based on the police power, for the protection of the public health, safety and welfare, including the authority granted in the Zoning Enabling Act.

B.    Purpose. The purpose of this section is to establish and preserve a minimum setback from natural features to recognize and make provision for the special relationship, interrelationship and interdependency between the natural feature and the setback area. This section acknowledges the unique spatial relationship between the setback and natural feature. It also acknowledges the interdependency of these areas in terms of physical location, plant and animal species diversity, over land and subsurface hydrology, water table, water quality, and erosion of sediment deposition.

    If a greater setback or prohibition is required by other ordinance, or other provision of this ordinance, such greater setback or prohibition shall apply.

C.    Definitions. Following are definitions of terms used in this section:

1.    Natural Feature means a wetland, as defined by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment (MDNRE), or watercourse.

2.    Watercourse. Any waterway including a river, stream, creek, lake, vernal pool, pond, or any body of surface water having a boundary or edge, a bed and visible evidence of a continued flow or continued occurrence of water.

D.    Natural Feature Setback.

1.    Setback Required. A setback of 25 feet from the edge of the natural feature measured horizontally on a line perpendicular to the natural feature shall be maintained in relation to all areas defined in this Ordinance as being a "natural feature," with the following exceptions:

a.    Any land located in the C-2 district is exempt from the natural feature setback requirement.

b.    It is determined to be in the public interest not to maintain such setback in accordance with subsection 4, below.

2.    Prohibited Activities. There shall be no construction, removal, or deposit of any structures or soils, including dredging, filling or land balancing. No vegetation cutting or removal is permitted within a natural feature setback except in accordance with an approved site plan.

3.    Permitted Activities. The following activities are permitted within a natural feature setback:

a.    Fences and pervious accessory structures.

b.    Maintenance of previously established lawn areas.

c.    Grading and filling necessary in order to conform to City, County, State or Federal ordinances or requirements.

d.    Seasonal recreational structures for watercourse use.

e.    Planting of non-invasive trees and other vegetation listed in Appendix C of the LID Manual for Michigan, available at the Planning Department, but not the use of fertilization.

f.    Exceptions to the above may be granted by the City Engineer when there will be no negative impact on the natural feature.

g.    If and to the extent that the City is prohibited by its ordinances and/or law from regulating the proposed activity in or on the respective natural feature, regulation under this section shall be exempted.

4.    Determination of Public Interest. In determining whether proposed construction or operations are in the public interest, the benefit which would reasonably be expected to accrue from the proposal shall be balanced against the reasonably foreseeable detriments of the construction or other operation, taking into consideration the local, state and national concern for the protection and preservation of the natural feature in question. If, as a result of such a balancing, there remains a debatable question whether the proposed project and/or operation is clearly in the public interest, authorization for the construction and/or operation within the natural feature setback shall not be granted. The following general criteria shall be applied in undertaking this balancing test:

a.    The relative extent of the public and private need for the proposed activity;

b.    The availability of feasible and prudent alternative locations and methods to accomplish the expected benefits from the activity;

c.    The extent and permanence of the beneficial or detrimental effects which the proposed activity may have on the public and private use to which the area is suited, including the benefits the natural feature and/or natural feature setback provides;

d.    The probable impact of the proposed construction and/or operation in relation to the cumulative effect created by other existing and anticipated activities on the natural feature to be protected;

e.    The probable impact on recognized historic, cultural, scenic, ecological, or recreational values, and on fish, wildlife and the public health;

f.    The size and quantity of the natural feature setback being considered;

g.    The amount and quantity of the remaining natural feature setback;

h.    Proximity of the proposed construction and/or operation in relation to the general natural feature, taking into consideration the degree of slope, general topography in the area, soil type and the nature of the natural feature to be protected;

i.    Economic value, both public and private, of the proposed construction and/or operation, and economic value, both public and private, if the proposed construction and/or operation were not permitted; and

j.    The necessity for the proposed construction and/or operation.