Canton Admin. Building
Frequently Asked Questions
They receive royalties from the cable companies for their use of the public right-of-ways.
Comcast and Wide Open West (WOW).
The local government and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
You call your cable company, Comcast 459-7300 or WOW 1-800-848-2278 and if you cannot get it resolved, call the Township Community Services Division at 394-5190.
The opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 brought settlers from New England. Settlers were met by heavy forests and many animals, including; bear, wolf, lynx, and fox. Early settlers engaged in self sustaining farming. Farm produced food and products provided the family with sustaining food and extra goods could be sold or bartered for goods, services or cash.
The typical Canton farm family owned six or eight milk cows, hogs for marketing, chickens for eggs and meat and a few sheep.
Sheldon Corners (Michigan and Sheldon roads) was established in 1825 adjacent to the Sauk Trail (Michigan Avenue). The center spawned a small village made up of a number of homes, post office, general store, blacksmith, church and school. Today Sheldon Corners is but a remnant of its past, falling to the widening of Michigan Avenue. A few of the historic structures remain/The Inn, the school and a few homes. Canton owns the completely restored Sheldon School (built 1870). Sheldon is listed as a Michigan State historic site.
Cherry Hill Village was established at approximately the same time as Sheldon Corners. It was home to Canton’s first church, the United Methodist Church. Cherry Hill was first known as “The Ridge”. Following the construction of the Cherry Hill House (Ridge and Cherry Hill) the area became known as Cherry Hill. Cherry Hill remained very much like it was since the early 1800’s until it was reestablished as the new Cherry Hill, including; hundreds of new homes, apartments, condos and commercial buildings. Cherry Hill is also home to the Village Theater at Cherry Hill Village. Both the church and school are Michigan State historic sites.
On March 7, 1834 Canton became a Michigan township. Canton, like Nankin and Peking townships were named after cities in China. Washington D.C. had decreed that names for new townships could not use an existing name. As a result of the nation’s fascination with China a number of townships adopted Chinese provinces and city names. Canton is the only remaining community with its original Chinese name.
Canton’s first government office (township hall) was constructed in 1874 at the corner of Canton Center and Cherry Hill. It cost $700 to construct and had a capacity of 400.
Canton’s population increased to 5,300 by 1961. Resident’s were interested in enhancing services. As a result residents voted to become one of Michigan’s first charter townships. This move permitted to the township to establish a police force, make traffic rules, and adopted ordinances. It also provided additional protection from annexation.
From 1925 to 1970 Canton became known as the "Sweet Corn Capitol of Michigan". A number of local farms provided corn to the area’s major grocery stores. Because of Canton’s central location it became a dairy farming center. Locally produced milk was processed at Canton creameries and then transported to larger near-by communities.
Most of Canton’s settlers came from New England with its strong emphasis on education. Along with their convictions, the Territorial Council of 1827 ruled that any township consisting of 50 or more families must employ one or more school masters of "good standing" to teach the "three R's".
There were nine schools built in Canton, usually at a crossroad. They were located so that they wee accessible to children walking to school. Teachers were hired for a specific number of weeks to teach and often boarded with local families. Each school was a "district" and had its own school board. Families in each area worked together to build and equip the school, paying a "tax" for each child that attended and donating a cord of firewood for the school stove.
The first schools were primitive log structures, one of the first being in Cherry Hill. Later, brick or frame schools replaced them. The schools were often used as community centers for the surrounding area for religious services and non-profit shows.
Today three of the original nine schools remain: Cherry Hill (Cherry Hill and Ridge, Sheldon School (Michigan and Sheldon), Hough School (Old Haggerty and Warren).
Canton is served by three school districts, the Plymouth Canton Community School District, the Van Buren School District, and the Wayne-Westland Community School District. The vast majority of the Canton community is served by the PCCSD. In addition to the highly regarded public education institutions, Canton is also home to a number of Private institutions; All Saints Catholic School, St. Michael Lutheran School, Agape Christian Center, Crescent Academy and Plymouth Christian Academy. Canton is also home to the Heritage Charter Academy.
Canton's population remained relatively stable until the late 1960’s when Holiday Park, a new subdivision, was developed south of Joy and East of the yet to be constructed I-275. The Plymouth Community School District purchased in a 130 acre centennial farm at the corner of Canton Center and Joy. The school district envisioned constructing a campus of high schools to serve the community. The first high school to be constructed was to replace Plymouth High School which was located in downtown Plymouth. The school site lacked basic sewer and water service. An agreement between Canton Township and developer’s sewer and water lines were extended to serve the school site. Salem was the first of the High Schools to be constructed. The sewer and water extensions then opened the Eastern portion of Canton to development. The first new subdivisions were located along the East side of Sheldon Road, from Joy to Ford road. These first new subdivisions included 900 lot Windsor Park and 1000 lot Carriage Hills subdivision to the South. These subdivisions were completed in the early 70's.
In the early 1970's some new and existing Canton residents shared the desire to maintain Canton a rural atmosphere. The group met for over year before gathering enough signatures to place a "farmland preservation" millage before the electorate. The 4 mill tax increase would have permitted the township to purchase from farmers their right to develop their land for new housing. The farmer would still own their land and have a right to farm, however they would be precluded from selling their land for development. Twice "farmland preservation" was placed before the voters and twice voters rejected it. The second time the issue was defeated by a much larger percentage. It was at that point that the community’s residents understood that Canton would continue to grow.
There two major factors which led to the rapid growth of Canton, one was cross-district busing and the other was the construction of I-275.
In the early 1970's a number of school segregation court cases were filed across the Untied States. Such a case was filed in Detroit’s federal court. Judge Damon Keith was assigned the case. Over many years the court considered the establishment of a plan to move students and teachers from their schools in the suburbs to Detroit schools, while busing students and assigning students to schools in the suburbs. Many plans were considered. Each plan had as its Western boundary the Eastern edge of the Plymouth Community Schools. Some families who did not support the adoption of the plan moved west of the cross-district plan boundary and into the Plymouth school district. Canton saw its population explode. It was not unusual for Canton to see the construction of 2,000 homes in a single year. No cross-district plan was ever implemented.
Another major influence on the development of Canton was the completion of I-275. Canton's central location permitted residents to use the new I-275 North/South freeway to travel anywhere in the Detroit metropolitan area within an hour. As a result, more and more people seeking new housing and close proximity to their work selected Canton as their home. During the late 1970’s new home construction hovered around 1500 new homes.
During Michigan's difficult recession of 1981-1983 Canton's home sales reached rock bottom. Very few homes were constructed during this time period. In some cases entire platted subdivisions were claimed by banks for outstanding unpaid loans.
New housing starts picked up in the latter part of 1983 and continued strong for the balance of the 80's.
The 1980's saw a disturbing trend beginning to materialize in Canton. Most new housing was constructed on 60' X 120' lots and was fairly homogenous. Individuals wishing to buy a new home with a larger lot and more living space were forced to move from the community. They typically moved to one of the new subdivisions being constructed in Plymouth Township which offered larger lots and larger homes. Additionally, Canton was seen as two communities….those living North of Ford road living in more desirable areas than those South of Ford road.
The election of 1988 resulted in a new Board of Trustees and the adoption of a number of "community building" goals. Many of the goals dealt with taking actions which would enhance the image of the community. One of the first thrusts was to develop a family friendly community. Greater emphasis was placed on children and family activities and events. Special attention was paid to providing a respected and responsive Public Safety Department. Efforts were also made to work cooperatively with developers to achieve the best possible development plans.
In the late 80's Wayne County was experiencing a shortage in landfill capacity. Canton, along with a number of communities, possessed sites (private interests) for landfills. It was very difficult to site new landfills. Residents and elected officials made landfill development very difficult. Capacity issues became so acquit that The County Executive threatened to use his police power’s to site new landfills. Canton’s officials recognized that the site in Canton was likely to be identified as a new landfill. As a result, Canton became the first community in Michigan to utilize a host community agreement to facilitate the construction of a landfill. In exchange for not fighting the development the community would receive annual financial benefits.
The Canton Board of Trustees approved the construction of Sauk Trails, South of Michigan Av. And the vertical expansion of the land fill East of I-275 (south of Van Born). The Board also limited the expenditure of landfill royalties to capital improvement projects only (parkland purchase, park improvements, facilities, roads and recycling).
Coincidental with the construction of the landfill there was the exploration of actions that could be taken to enhance Canton’s housing stock. Initial discussions were held with developers to encourage them to build a golf course community (image enhancement and enhanced housing stock). The private sector did not respond to Canton's request.
Canton officials were successful in encouraging the development of Glengarry (East of Canton Center and South of Cherry Hill). The development plan included a full boulevard throughout the subdivision and larger lots and homes. Home buyers positively responded to this new development. This success set the stage for Pheasant Run. Three developers and Canton developed a planned golf course community. The plan featured an 18 hole upscale golf course surrounded by larger, more expensive housing.
Included in the Pheasant Run development was the first project to be constructed utilizing landfill royalties was the Summit on the Park.
In just a few short years the image and housing stock of Canton changed dramatically. Families wishing to move up no longer had to move out. By 1993 Canton offered a full range of housing options.
The success of Pheasant Run led to the development of Central Park, Cherry Hill Village, The Hamlet and a number of other projects.
Canton's commercial development beginning in the late 70's through 2000 consisted of community shopping and neighborhood retail centers. Community shopping by its very nature focuses on providing retail to support the local community. Many products and services were not available within Canton and necessitated trips to malls and shops located outside of Canton. In 2005 IKEA, the world’s largest furniture/accessory store announced that would locate its only Michigan store in Canton. Immediately the commercial world noted this change in the landscape and took another look or a first look at Canton as a regional retail center. Since the IKEA announcement new retailers have located or planned to locate on Ford road.
Michigan is one of 20 states that currently have some form of township government. There are more than 16,600 towns and townships in the United States. More than 60 million people live in US towns and townships. This represents more than 20 percent of the United States population. Townships were actually in place before most of the Midwestern states had achieved statehood. The Northwest Ordinance enacted in 1787 by Congress established townships as the initial government of territories which later became states. Townships are generally found in three regions of the United States: New England, Mid-Atlantic and the Midwest. There are regional distinctions between the responsibilities and operation of townships.
Michigan townships were established utilizing a grid pattern. A true township is six miles by six miles (total of 36 square miles). Over time some townships have lost area as villages and cities were established. Some townships are less than 36 square miles because of their proximity to one of Michigan’s Great Lakes. The cities of Livonia and Taylor were at one time a "true township" (36 square miles). Canton is a true township.
Township governmental powers in Michigan have evolved to the point where it is difficult to differentiate townships, cities and villages.
Significant differences do exist between the three types of municipalities. These differences are important to the people charged with administering township affairs and deciding township policies. Townships and Counties are statutory units of government, having only those powers expressly provided or fairly implied by state law. Cities and most villages on the other had are vested with home rule powers and can do almost anything not prohibited by law.
There are two types of townships in Michigan – general law and charter townships. In 1947 the Michigan Legislature created charter townships as a special township classification. Charter townships are provided greater protection against annexation by a city. In addition to Canton there are 127 Michigan charter townships.
There are 1,242 Michigan townships, which very in considerably in geographical size, population, location and organizations structure and services provided. Michigan townships range in size from 10 residents to 95,648.
Large townships are governed by a township board consisting of seven members – a supervisor, clerk and treasurer and four trustees. The township board may also hire a manager, assessor, police and fire chiefs, and other necessary personnel to properly and efficiently operate the township.
State law permits townships to perform mandated and permissive functions. Mandated functions are activities that townships are required to perform. These include assessment administration, elections administration and tax collection. State law details the methods to be utilized in the delivery of these services.
In addition to broad mandates, there are other, more narrowly defined state requirements. These mandates address the adoption of budgets, accounting, investments and deposits and other financial matters.
The Township Zoning Act gives townships broad powers to enact and enforce ordinances. Zoning ordinances give the township the authority to regulate land use, while many other specific ordinances control activities that infringe on citizen rights.
The Michigan constitution and state statutes limit the amount of property tax millage that townships can levy for general township operations. General Law townships (the vast majority of small Michigan townships) are allocated at least 1 mill. Charter townships created by referendum (vote of the people) may levy up to 5 mills. In either case, the 5 mill limit may be increased up to 10 mills with a vote of the electors.
Townships may also utilize other sources of revenue to support services. User fees, permits, fines and special assessments on real property are utilized most often.
As of April 2002 there were more than 2,700 government units in Michigan, and they fall into two categories.
State law gives the home-rule (charter) option to townships of 2,000 or more residents. One advantage of home rule for townships is some protection against being annexed by adjacent cities.
Intergovernmental Cooperation and Consolidations
The Michigan Legislature has enacted several statutes permitting intergovernmental cooperation. Any local government is authorized to engage in a given activity or provide a given service may do so collaboratively.
As was noted above there are two basis types of townships, general law and charter. General Law townships are limited to a maximum of 1 mill of general operating revenue. Charter townships can levy up to 5 mills. General Law townships become Charter townships for two reasons; residents desire to have increased services and to gain additional protections from annexation. General Law townships by virtue of their limited millage provide basic services, usually part paid fire service and a contract for police protection from a county. As Townships grow they experience the need for more service. Fire departments become full time and they emergency medical assistance and transport. There is also a need for a full time police department. Waste is collected from residents and recreation programs and facilities are constructed.
When 5 mills are insufficient to meet the needs of a growing community it often leads to the creation of a city. Cities, unlike townships, operate on the basis of a city charter. A charter written and approved by the residents. The charter spells out maximum millage rates, the structure of government, and the rules to modify the charter. A charter township receives it charter from the State of Michigan. All townships receive the same charter.
Sources of revenue
Property tax is a significant source of revenue for local governments. In most cases it represents the largest source of revenue. Prior to proposal A school districts derived most of their revenue from local property taxes. Post proposal A schools now receive the bulk of their revenue from the state of Michigan as a foundation grant. Other local governments continue to look to the property tax as a major revenue source.
State Revenue Sharing
Revenue sharing is made up of two parts, constitutional and statutory. The constitutional portion is based exclusively on a community’s population. Statutory revenue sharing is based upon a formula developed by the legislature. Prior to 1996 local governments received a portion of revenue from four taxes levied by the state; sales tax, income tax, intangible tax, and the single business tax. These funds were distributed to communities based upon their population (decade census) and by relative tax effort. Relative tax effort rewarded those communities with high millage rates with more state shared revenues.
In 1996 there were a number of changes made to revenue sharing. Income, intangible and the single business taxes revenues were removed from state revenue sharing (these were off set by the new sales tax revenue. Relative tax effort was phased out as one of the components of the distribution formula. Post 1996 the formula has been modified to include a hold harmless revenue level for cities, as well as, the per capita value of the unit’s total taxable property, support for low wealth communities, and a weighted population component.
Statutory and constitutional revenue sharing’s population component is based upon each decade’s census. Following the certification of the census communities gaining residents should see an increase in revenue sharing equal to its growth rate. Those losing population would like wise see a reduction in funds. Canton’s population increased from 57,000 in 1990 to 76,000 in 2000. Rather than adjusting Canton’s revenue sharing commensurate with its population increase the state capped Canton’s increase to 8%. As a result, Canton has been denied $2 million/per year of revenue sharing for the years 2001-2010.
As Canton’s population continues to increase its per capita revenue sharing declines ($ /person). It will do so throughout the decade. Meanwhile as other communities lose population their per person revenue sharing increases.
Other major sources of revenue
As a growing community Canton realizes revenue from site plan and engineering review fees, building permits and a variety of other building related activities.
The 35th District court distributes excess revenue to each of the five communities it serves. There has been a steady decline in excess revenue over the last ten years.
Revenue is also derived from cable companies who utilize the community’s rights of way. Canton also receives royalties from the operator of the landfill located south of Michigan Avenue and west of Haggerty. It is expected that the landfill will continue to operate for 8-10 years.
Additional revenues are generated by programs and service fees. Most of these revenues are generated by the Leisure Services Department.
Call Canton Planning Services at 734/394-5170. Questions about infrastructure improvements and new subdivision construction should be directed to Canton's Public Works Division at 734/394-5150. If you are interested in attending Planning Commission meetings, check the postings for dates and times or watch CCTV.
Call Canton Building & Inspection Services at 734/394-5200. Many Canton Ordinances are available on-line.
The Canton Community Mobility Transportation Services program was initiated in 1995 in order to provide transportation services to senior residents 62 years and above and disabled residents." (Updated 4/9/2007)
It would cost approximately $67 (?). Canton’s current system costs approximately $8.
The Canton Community Mobility Transportation Services program is funded through State grants and the Township General Fund.
The Transportation Advisory Committee is made up of representatives who use the system as well as representatives from the Township Board of Trustees and professionals from Canton’s senior community. There are currently ten members on the Committee. Members are appointed by the Township Supervisor with the approval of the Township Board.
The Township’s current average cost of a ride is $15.45. The rider’s one way cost is $1 for Local, $2 for other Wayne County destinations, and $4 for Washtenaw County medical trips.
A number of years ago Canton joined with the City of Plymouth, Plymouth Township, City of Northville, and Northville Township to form the 35th District Court. The court is located at 660 Plymouth Road in the City of Plymouth. The court handles all civil infractions, misdemeanors, small claims, landlord matters, general civil matters within the member communities. The five Communities make up an area of over 73 square miles and have a combined population in excess of 150,000.
Canton annually adopts a budget for its various funds. The budget is adopted by the Board of Trustees each fall. The annual budget document is quite large and fills four binders. Copies are available for public inspection at the Canton Clerk's Office and at the Canton Public Library.
The major operating funds are the General, Fire, Police, Community Center and Water & Sewer Funds.
The Township Board can approve the transfer of monies between funds for operating purposes, except water and sewer. This fund is operated as a utility. All funds, regardless of type, may transfer monies to cover costs.
Treasurer's Office is responsible for the collection, distribution and investment of funds. The Finance Department prepares the annual budget, processes invoices and purchases, manages payroll and records the Township's financial activity.
Managers submit their budget requests to their Department Director, who reviews and adjusts the budget requests as necessary. The Director submits their budget requests to the Township Supervisor, who reviews the budget requests with that Director and the Finance Director and suggests changes where necessary. Their budget requests are then compiled by fund, reviewed for completeness and compared to available revenues. When necessary, budgets are further adjusted to stay within available funding. The Township Board will review, approve comment, and approve the annual budget document at least sixty days before the start of the fiscal year.
The CAFR is the Township's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. The CAFR presents two types of statements, one focusing on the Township as a whole (government-wide) and the fund financial statements. The government wide financial statements provide both short-term and long- term information about the Township's overall financial status. The fund financials focus on individual funds and report the source, use and balance of current financial resources. This report is audited by an independent auditing firm as well as the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). In addition to financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), the CAFR provides readers with a wide variety of statistics on Canton Township.
Not all communities issue a CAFR, and even less receive the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the GFOA. The Certificate Program was established by the GFOA in 1945. It was instituted to encourage all governments to prepare and publish an easily readable and understandable CAFR. The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by the Township and its management.
Canton has issued a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report since 1991. Each of our CAFR's has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.
General Obligation Bonds may be issued with a vote of the people. Without a vote, Canton can issue Limited Tax General Obligation bonds and Revenue Bonds to finance construction projects. All bonds must be issued in compliance with state law. As a municipal corporation, Canton can also enter into lease contracts for the acquisition of equipment.
In December, 2005 Canton levied 2.366 Charter mills, 2.158 Fire Protection special assessment mills and 4.126 Police protection special assessment mills for a total of 8.650 mills on all real property. This amount represents approximately 26.3% of the taxes on real property. One mill equals one tenth of a cent.
Other taxing units are Wayne County 6.638 mills, Wayne County Jails .9381 mills, Wayne County Parks .2459 mills, Huron Clinton Metro Parks Authority .2146 mills, Wayne County RESA Intermediate School District 3.4643 mills, Schoolcraft Community College 1.7967 mills, State Education Tax 6.00 mills, Plymouth Canton Community Schools debt 3.43 mills and Canton Public Library 1.5554 mills.
Canton's total budget for 2006 is $107,580,968. This amount includes:
Enterprise funds account for business type activities such as Pheasant Run Golf Course and the Water & Sewer Utility operations. Revenues are derived from user fees while expenses are directly related to the services provided.
The Water & Sewer Utility is managed by the Municipal Services Department. An annual operating budget lists the anticipated revenues and expenditures for distribution of water and collection & disposal of sanitary sewage and the fleet maintenance operations. A multi-year Capital Improvement Program is also used to plan for system improvements.
Canton's SEV was $891,424,490 in 1990. It has grown to $4,236,220,142 in 2005
The State Revenue Sharing program distributes sales tax collected by the State of Michigan to local governments as unrestricted revenues. The distribution of funds is authorized by the State Revenue Sharing Act, Public Act 140 of 1971, as amended (MCL 141.901).
FUNDING: Funding for the State Revenue Sharing program consists of the following dedicated tax revenue:
Constitutional - 15% of the 4% gross collections of the state sales tax
Statutory - 21.3% of the 4% gross collections of the state sales
Constitutional Portion: As the name suggests, this portion is guaranteed in the Michigan Constitution. It allocates a portion of the state sales tax to local units of government and is distributed on a per capita basis using the last decennial census to determine population.
Statutory Portion: This component is provided for by legislative action. The Legislature has allocated an additional portion of the sales tax to be distributed to the local units, in lieu of the income and single business taxes no longer being collected. As of October 1, 1996, state shared revenues are distributed to local units in six bi-monthly payments.
Canton and its residents have bourn a disproportionate share of the Revenue Sharing reductions. Canton residents have arguably been hit harder than any other community by Revenue Sharing decisions made by the Governor and the Legislature.
Each decade the census is utilized by the Governor and Legislature to establish local revenue sharing for the next decade. So, in 2000 Canton's census showed dramatic growth. Unfortunately before the community could receive any benefit the State changed how revenue sharing was distributed. This change cost Canton millions of dollars. This in spite of the fact that Canton added over 17,000 new residents from 1990 to 2000 resulted in the loss of over $20,000,000 of revenue sharing funds (spread over 10 years). In addition, Canton like all other communities has seen a reduction in actual dollars or no increase in revenue sharing for the past five years.
In 2005, $30,968,620 was assessed in Township property taxes. Of that, $8,017,782 was collected for general operating, $6,920,384 for Fire, $13,231,587 for Police and $1,289,016 for special assessment debt service.
The Information Technology Services is one of the three divisions within the Finance Department. The division provides computer automation support to Township departments and groups.
The scope of IT services includes computer hardware, software, networking and connectivity, user training, and user technical support.
Using a blend of custom developed and purchased software, IT provides computer automation for financial, payroll, recreational, property management, tax collection, voting, dog license, accessing, inventory, and water billing applications.
Canton is rich with opportunities for leisure time activity, making Canton an attractive place to live, work and play. The community provides a host of facilities and organized events that promote healthy life styles and active and passive activities for the entire family. Canton Leisure Services is the only accredited recreation department in Michigan and only one of 55 in the United States.
The Leisure Services Department comprises three divisions - Parks & Facility Maintenance, Recreation & Facility Operations plus Central Services which serves as the clearinghouse for communications, accounts payable and personnel issues. The respective divisions are responsible for the administrative functions required to lead the diverse and rapidly growing operation that allows for coordination of resources which ensures effective and efficient delivery of services.
Leisure Services programs are led by the Recreation Division. Programming is developed for people of all ages, including preschool, youth and teens, adults and seniors. Specific areas include Aquatics, Athletics, the Canton Sports Center, the Senior Adults Program, Youth Development (Teens), Health/ Wellness and Special Events.
The activities and programs provide opportunities for families and friends to build relationships, create a sense of belonging in the community, and positively impact the local economy.
Leisure Services Accreditation
Nearly two hundred million people use local park, recreation and leisure services annually to enhance their physical and social well-being. These individuals seek the highest quality leisure experiences. Agency accreditation serves to ensure that:
Of the 55 accredited agencies in the in the United States, Canton Leisure Services is the only one in Michigan.
The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA), an agency sanctioned by the National Recreation and Park Association, is the governing body for agency accreditation. CAPRA has established standards that when in compliance, ensure that park, recreation and leisure services are of the highest quality.
CAPRA sites 153 accreditation standards which cover the following categories:
Steps Required to Complete Accreditation:
Canton Leisure Services hosted a site visit team January 8 - 12, 2004. The team consisted of three individuals from New Jersey, New Mexico and Maryland. Leisure Services successfully met all thirty six fundamental standards and 113 of the remaining standards. The site visit team recommended accreditation and noted strengths were; our support from the board, relationships with other departments and the community, diverse services provided to the community, maintenance and operations of parks and facilities and the Benefits Based implementation of goals, objectives and evaluations.
On February 27, 2004, Ann Conklin and Deb Bilbrey-Honsowetz appeared before the CAPRA Board, for a final review and Canton Leisure Services was awarded accreditation.
Canton Township continues to be recognized as a leader in the leisure industry. Its commitment to the community is evident through the state of the art facilities, quality programs, innovative services and its vision to create a sense of place and identity for its’ residents. The 1,000 plus acres of community park land preserves open space and makes Canton a desirable place to live.
The average household in the Canton Community invests $143.19 in tax dollars for the operation of the Leisure Services Department. A small dividend to pay for the benefits derived.
Leisure Services Budget and Expenditures
Leisure Services Advisory Committee
Through interaction with the community, this committee provides the department input and guidance as Leisure Services strives to enhance health, family and community through innovative programs, diverse services and premier facilities. As ambassadors for the department, the committee continues to promote the endless benefits of Leisure Services through the following strategic planning sub-committees:
The Strategic Plan is an administrative tool to guide the Department in the years to come. It is intended to be interactive, dynamic and viable with measurable results of progress and success. This plan, combined with the operations plan for each division, provides specific direction to position the Department as leaders with innovative programs, dynamic services and state of the art facilities that meet the needs of our changing community.
Our mission: "We shall be pro-active in our approach, creative in our thinking, innovative in our solutions, fair and honest in our actions, committed to a quality work environment thus foster pride, partnerships and a high quality of life for our community."
Leisure Services Marketing Plan is to identify the needs of the residents/customers and to encourage them to establish a long-term relationship with Leisure Services. Plans are developed to assist in achieving the Leisure Services goals of:
The Canton community has developed an enviable array of leisure service assets composed of parks, facilities and programs. In order to maintain and extend this high quality of leisure services to an ever-growing population base, the preparation of this Leisure Services Master Plan is a requirement of the Michigan DNR to be eligible for any potential grant funding available through the DNR.
This plan identifies the demand for new leisure activities, condition and location of and utilization of existing parks and facilities, and the potential opportunity to embark on a community-wide comprehensive greenways program to link subdivisions and neighborhoods, and parks and facilities together to form a cohesive recreation and leisure services complex.
Leisure Services Comprehensive Master Plan
Summit on the Park Community Center
The concept of a community center for Canton originated in the 1970’s with discussions involving the Canton Recreation Commission. A conceptual plan was created and continued to be discussed until 1988 when a millage ballot proposal was presented to Canton residents. The millage was rejected by the majority of voters. Although the issue was defeated polling and surveys indicated that many Canton residents continued to support the concept. Residents in general indicated they supported the concept and believed such a facility was needed in the community; however, they did not want to pay for its construction. When asked if they would support non-millage funding of the facility the results were universally positive.
During the 70’s and 80’s residents in a variety of Southeastern Michigan communities resisted and fought the construction of a landfill in their community. Limited disposal sites led the County Executive to consider using his police powers to site a number of new landfills in Wayne County. At the time there were 3 closed land fills and one active land fill South of Michigan Avenue and East and West of Lilley. It become obvious that because of these existing land fills, the sites close proximity to I-275 and the presence of deep clay soils that the Canton site would be identified by the County as a new regional land fill site. Utilizing a new state law Canton official’s negotiated the first host community agreement in Michigan with the Wayne Disposal Company. The host community agreement identified, through a legal binding agreement certain controls and benefits for Canton (this led to host community agreements throughout Michigan as landfills were constructed or expanded). Two important elements of that agreement included a royalty fee for each yard of waste placed in the land fill and free disposal of waste from Canton residents.
Shortly after this agreement was struck an existing landfill operator requested that Canton permit a vertical expansion of the landfill East of I-275 and South of Michigan Avenue. The same contractual elements led to a second host community agreement.
The Board of Trustees adopted at the time a policy to utilize land fill royalties exclusively for community capital projects (no funds could be used for general operations).
The Canton Township Board of Trustees held a series of public meetings to discuss using landfill royalties for the construction of a community center. There was wide spread community support for this approach.
A Community center design team was created. The team visited community centers in Michigan, Minnesota and Colorado. The Denver area at the time had 8 -10 community centers. Colorado permitted its communities to increase sales tax rates to support the construction of recreation facilities. The design team focused on providing recreation space for existing programs and facilities not available in Canton. The Township Board also directed the design team to address the cultural and social needs of the community.
The final design included indoor swim areas, a gymnasium, work out area, a banquet area, dance studios, instructional space, and a senior center. The project was given the official name of Summit on the Park (adjacent to Heritage Park), although most Canton residents refer to the community center as the Summit. The 85,200 square foot Summit was opened for business in January of 1996. The Summit is host to over 500,000 annually. In 2000 the Summit was expanded by 10,000 square feet to include a new fitness area and additional locker rooms.
The Summit on the Park is a cultural and recreational jewel in the heart of our community. The complex includes a wide array of outstanding amenities. Its unique design is topped by a 75-foot high glass tower and massive copper and glass superstructure. The Summit is open year-round and offers daily, monthly, and annual passes. This state of the art facility features: fitness center, personal training, aquatic center, full size gymnasium, banquet & conference center, racquet ball court, on-site child care, and a senior adult center.
Since the early 1970’s Canton has embraced a parks approach and philosophy that has served the community well. Canton’s philosophy has been to encourage the development of neighborhood parks through new housing project open space requirements, while the community would provide large active parks. Today many of Canton’s neighborhoods have parks to serve the needs of residents. Many of these parks contain playground equipment, tennis courts and swimming pools. These parks are owned and maintained by the neighborhood residents.
Hundreds of acres of neighborhood parks and open space dot the community. Canton has 342 acres of developed park land including seven existing parks. Canton also has 147 acres of undeveloped future park land. The future park land includes Patriot Park property (134 acres) and the Cherry Hill Village land at the Bartlett-Travis House property (13 acres).
The first large active park developed was Griffin Park located in the eastern portion of Canton. It was followed by Flodin Park, Heritage Park, Freedom Park and Independence Park.
Yet to be developed is Patriot Park (Ford and Ridge Roads). In 2000, 134 acres of land were purchased at the northwest corner of Ford and Ridge Roads with grant funds from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. The land is a mix of old farmland, wetlands and woods. In 2002, the Patriot Park Master Plan was drafted with the help of a consultant and input from community groups and township officials. The park master plan design includes a mix of active and passive recreation opportunities and protected natural areas.
The three most unique parks are Independence Park (land acquired as part of an open space requirement for a new development), a 19 field soccer complex which is host to one of the largest soccer tournaments in the midwest, Freedom Park: home of Canton’s disc course, and Heritage Park: site of Canton’s annual Liberty Fest and fireworks. The park includes lighted ball fields, a number of soccer fields, two lakes, an amphitheater, walking paths, two playscapes, a spray park and many picnic pavilions.
Victory Park began as Canton Softball Center, a privately owned primer softball complex. Year in and year out the center was identified as the nation’s best softball complex. Canton Softball Center consists of 12 enclosed lighted softball fields, each with its own players benches, electronic score board and spectator stands. The park also includes a 300 seat restaurant in the middle of the complex. The parking lot has space for over 600 cars.
Two events occurred in 1999 which would change the future of Canton Softball Center. First, the United States Postal Service was scouting Canton for a new post office location. Canton agreed to sell to the United States Postal Service a portion of Griffin Park (along Canton Center). The site consisted of two very tired softball fields. Canton was continuing to grow and the need to replace and add new ball fields was apparent. At the same time the owner of Canton Softball Center indicated that the complex would be sold and removed to make way for industrial users. After completing a financial analysis it was determined that Canton would purchase the facility. It was also determined that the complex would continue as a softball business while offering a new home for greater Canton’s junior baseball/softball league.
In 2001 and 2002 improvements were made to the softball center complex. A new boulevard entrance was constructed along with new underground utility installation and repaving of the existing parking lot. A restroom pavilion building was also built in the center area between the ball diamonds to provide bathroom facilities and a sheltered picnic area. In addition, a new reader board sign was installed at the park entrance and over 200 trees were planted throughout the site.
Along with the new infrastructure improvements at the softball center additional sports programs were established including flag football and cricket. Therefore, the center was renamed to reflect the diverse sports usage from Canton Softball Center to Canton Sports Center.
The purchase of Canton Softball Center also included 15 vacant acres along Michigan Avenue. For the better part of five years hockey parents voiced their desire for Canton to construct an indoor hockey facility. After many visits to other community facilities and estimating the cost of construction and forecasting operational costs it was determined by Canton officials not to construct a publicly owned facility. Instead the community solicited proposals from organizations interest in constructing a facility on land provided by Canton. In 2002 Artic Edge Ice Arena opened to rave reviews. The two sheet ice facility includes locker rooms, training facilities, concession areas, a pro shop and party rooms.
At approximately the same time Canton officials were approached by a group who wished to construct a state of the art indoor soccer facility. The development group suggested that they be extended the "same deal" as the ice arena operators. Canton rejected this request because of the belief that the community, over the years, had done a great deal to support soccer. The development group decided to purchase the property and construct a soccer facility. High Velocity Soccer was constructed in 2002 and includes 3 indoor soccer fields, one roller blade rink, 2 small pee wee soccer fields and a concession area.
In 1978 Canton purchased Fellows Creek Golf Club. The initial purchase included an 18 hole golf course, a home which served as a club house and a small maintenance building. Over the years the course has under gone many significant modifications; greens and tees were improved, cart path added, a new club house and maintenance building were constructed, the parking lot was expanded and the addition of 9 new golf holes. In the spring of 2005 two new golf holes replaced two poorly designed holes. The holes were constructed by Robertson Brothers Builders as part of their Links of Fellows Creek Condo project.
This golf club offers a bar and grill, along with a banquet room that can be booked for your special occasions. This golf club is owned by Canton Township, but operated under a private contract. For more information, call 734-728-1300.
During the 1980’s residents of Canton who to wished move up in housing had to leave Canton for other nearby communities. Canton’s housing stock was fairly uniform in size and style. Beginning in 1988 the Canton Township Board of Trustees established the goals of encouraging the construction of larger homes and to improve the image of Canton in general and south Canton in particular. At the time the perception existed that the only desirable homes in Canton were in the area North of Ford Road. Real Estate agents carried this message to prospective purchasers and new home builders constructed smaller homes South of Ford. During this time period a number of golf course communities with larger homes were springing up in Southeastern Michigan. Canton officials determined that a new golf course community would change Canton’s image, retain and attract new residents. Attempts were made to attract developers willing to create such a community. The development community did not initially produce a "brave soul" willing to undertake such a large, significant and risky project.
Three actions resulted in the construction of Pheasant Run. First, Canton purchased over 100 acres to the South and West of the administration building. Second, Developer Richard Lewiston developed the initial portions of Glengarry Village (East of Canton Center and South of Cherry Hill). Glengarry Village offered buyers a variety of larger more costly homes. The opening of Glengarry Village was greeted with great success. Township officials approached Mr. Lewiston and Biltmore Properties with the idea of constructing a golf course community which would include a sweeping boulevard throughout the development, a condo home development and the Summit Community Center. Pheasant Run would include over 600 acres and surround Heritage Park. Just before construction began on Pheasant Run 50 acres was sold by Canton to Robertson Brothers for construction the first phase of the Links of Pheasant Run. Next to follow was the sale of property to St. Joe Mercy for the construction of the St. Joe Urgent Care facility.
Pheasant Run and the driving range was designed by renowned golf course architect Arthur Hills and completed in 1996. In 2000 Pheasant Run was expanded by nine holes west of Beck Road. This expansion mirrored that of the original 18 holes. In both cases the developers provided the land for the golf course, detention ponds and cart paths. The West nine holes were designed to be intertwined with the 600 acre Central Park development.
Nestled in the very heart of Canton, you’ll find Pheasant Run Golf Club, featuring a scenic, challenging course proud to be part of the Arthur Hills Michigan Golf Trail. The 27-hole layout covers more than 300 acres of rolling terrain, and traverses over 10.5 miles from start to finish. It features pencross bent grass fairways and tees, complemented by smooth, fast and true greens. The golf course is both inviting to the beginner and challenging to the scratch golfer! Numerous tee boxes allow the course to play 5046 from the forward tees all the way up to 7125 from the “tips.” Pheasant Run Golf Club has the distinction of being awarded three and one-half stars from Golf Digest magazine’s "Places to Play." For further information, call 734-397-6460.
Canton is blessed to have two 27 hole golf courses which have added great value to the community. Not only was the goal to retain and attract residents realized, but significant increased home values were created as the result of the golf holes.
The homes in the developments surrounding Pheasant Run have a combined SEV total of over $800 million and the new homes in The Links at Fellows Creek have an SEV value of $86 million. The golf course communities provide recreation opportunities, serve to protect the environment and have a recognized economic impact on the community.
Canton Cultural Commission
"Ensuring high quality cultural arts that are accessible to and sustained by the Greater Canton community."
This commission serves as advocates for the enhancement of the arts in the community, promoting public awareness and participation in the cultural arts, and encouraging art education.
A strategic plan was developed to ensure that high quality cultural arts are accessible to and sustained by the greater Canton community. The Cultural Commission’s planning strategies include the following active subcommittees:
Fun Artsy Facts!
Did You Know……
Since the Village Theater at Cherry Hill celebrated its Grand Opening on Sept. 11, 2004, there have been over 50,000 visitors, 180 performances and 1,000 other events sponsored. Volunteer ushers have logged over 4,000 hours of service at the theater. This premier performing arts center is home to entertainers of all ages, hosting theater, dance, song and musicals.
"Pillars of Art" at Liberty Fest were painted by D & M Studio artists of all ages. Make sure you enjoy this refreshing public art while visiting Liberty Fest!
"Concerts in the Park" are held all summer in Heritage Park on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. Bring your blankets or folding chairs and relax on the amphitheater lawn while listening to great music!
Local Artist Eddie Kulczycki of Minds Eye Studio created the beautiful murals located in the Village Theater & the Human Resource Building at Cherry Hill Village.
Artworks by various artists and art clubs are displayed and rotated monthly at the Township Administration Building, the Village Theater & the Summit on the Park.
Canton has offered cultural activities for many years. The Canton Fine Arts Exhibition is in it’s 13th year. Back Yard Beats brings entertainment to local parks and subdivisions. The DDA will be hosting Lots of Fun this summer in parking lots along Ford Road. Over 3,200 visitors attend the Thursday Night Concerts in the Park each summer.
Cherry Hill School was originally located on the west side of Ridge Road, south of Cherry Hill. It was part of District 1 ; Canton and Superior in Wayne and Washtenaw Counties. By 1875 The school had been relocated to the northwest corner of Ridge and Cherry Hill Roads.
The school was originally a log building. It had a long low stove which provided heat. The building was 21 feet by 24 feet in size. Around the sides were two rows of slabs held up by pegs. The lower row of slabs were seats and the upper row was the desks. Slates were used instead of text books. Children brought whatever book they had a home to read. The book was usually , a Bible, or Almanac. The small children sat up front the older children in the back. In winter the temperature varied and it was often as cold as 40 degrees.
Community activity was centered around the school. Church services were held in the building when the temperature in the Church was too cold. Writing Schools and Spelling School were held in the winter. Often other schools were invited for competitive Spelldowns.
The present building was build in 1875 at the present location. There were 8 grades plus kindergarten. In 1942 Henry Ford became interested in the community and the school. He gave $22,000 to the school which added another room, a water system, bathrooms and basement. The school remained in the Henry Ford School System until the mid 1960's. Canton Township purchased the building from the Plymouth Canton School District. A rehabilitation of the building as you see it today, enables it for public use.
The historic Cherry Hill School and Bartlett-Travis House are ideal settings for wedding and family photos, wedding ceremonies, showers, rehearsal dinners and family gatherings. These facilities offer a unique setting for business or social meetings. Cherry Hill School accommodates up to 60 people. Bartlett-Travis House accommodates up to 40 people.
When you decide to host your event at the Bartlett-Travis House or Cherry Hill School, a Leisure Services staff member will remain on hand for the duration of your event to ensure your complete satisfaction. These buildings are booked upon availability. Please call the Summit on the Park Banquet & Conference Center at 734-394-5487 to make your reservation. A nonrefundable deposit shall be required at the time of signing the contract. Reservations cannot be confirmed without a deposit. For rental information, please call 734/394-5140.
After School Program for Middle School Students
Lock-In for Middle School Students
Youth Advisory Council
Canton's Special Events
Bring out your family and friends to enjoy these great Family First annual special events:
Canton Youth Sports Organizations
Greater Canton Youth Baseball & Softball Association
Teams are offered for baseball and softball players from ages 4-18 years old. Players that are residents of Plymouth, Canton and/or students in the Plymouth-Canton school district are eligible to participate on teams in the spring and fall seasons. Games are held in Township Parks and School fields. For more information visit csc.canton-mi.org or call (734) 394-5489.
Community Ed Basketball
Teams available for boys and girls in grades 3-8. Registration dates are Wed., August 24 & Tue., September 13 at Pioner Middle School. For more information email email@example.com or call (734) 416-2937.
Canton Soccer Club
Players interested in outdoor soccer, ages 5 to adult, are welcome to join the Canton Soccer Club. Two full seasons are offered, in Spring, April through June and Fall, September through November. Registrations are offered typically four months prior to the start of a new season. Registration forms are available at the club office located inside High Velocity Sports on Michigan Av. or at the Summit and are available on line at www.cantonsoccerclub.com. Try outs for the Select and Premier travel teams begin mid June, please see the web site for updated information. Adult Teams are always looking for additional players 30, 40, and 50+. The CSC will also be offering a U23 Premier team for the first time in club history, please contact the club office for more information regarding U23. For all questions regarding outdoor soccer, please contact the club office at 734-480-7046 or email us. Non residents are welcome.
Canton Amateur Hockey Association
Teams of all ages/ abilities including recreation and travel, are encouraged to check out the outstanding facilities and great practice times. Enjoy our knowledgeable and friendly staff of coaches. New player registration begins in March. For more information, go to www.cantonhockey.org or phone us at 734-544-4460. The fall hockey season runs from September through March. The spring season runs in April and May. The Learn to Play program is accepting registrations for ages 5-9 and clinics are held throughout the summer.
Plymouth-Canton Steelers Football
Football players and cheerleaders from ages 8-14 living in the Plymouth-Canton Communities are eligible to participate in the football program. Check out www.plymouthcantonsteelers.com for current information or contact Lew Stewart at 734-673-9631.
Canton Lions Football Club
Football players and cheerleaders from ages 8-14 years old are eligible to join the Canton Lions Football Club. Registration for the 2007 season occurs first week of April. For information on the upcoming season please contact Ed Hollingsworth, Unit Director at (313)595-8386 or 47205 Sherwood Ct., Canton, MI 48187 between January and March. Check out the web site at www.eteamz.com/cantonlions.
Pride Girls Fastpitch The Pride is a community and competitive travel girls fastpitch softball organization. The Pride organization and teams are located in the adjoining communities of Plymouth, Michigan, and Canton, Michigan.
The Pride is community based organization, part of the Greater Canton Youth Baseball and Softball Association (GCYBSA). Girls that live within the Plymouth-Canton communities or attend ANY school in Plymouth-Canton including Public, Private, Charter and Home Schools are eligible to play for the Pride. The Pride offers 3 levels of play designed to offer fastpitch opportunities for girls to participate from community competition to travel teams that compete at a national level.
In 2006-2007 the Pride will host teams in the 10U, 12U, and 14U and 16-U Elite divisions. For more information, please contact visit their PC Pride Website.
Canton Little League
Recreational League Baseball Divisions
Any player who will reach the proper age before August 1, of the year in question shall be eligible to compete in Little League Baseball. Must have proof of residency, attend Plymouth-Canton School District and present a birth certificate . Tryouts to place all players on a team are held in March.
Recreational League Baseball divisions:
Seniors 14-16 yrs. Juniors 13-14 yrs.
Majors 11-12 yrs. Minors 7 - 10 yrs.
League practices start in April with the league complete at the end of June followed by the All-Star tournaments in July. Teams will play a 18 to 26 game schedule within their own league and Belleville. (This is not a travel league) All games played in Canton, Plymouth and Belleville area.
For more information call: Ray Waack (734)397-0147 John Wolski (734)397-5084
A processing fee is charged by the host site to process on line registrations, however an on-line discount is provided when you register so the total cost does not increase.
Complete On-line User Name and Password request form available at the Summit front desk. You will be notified by phone of your username and password.
Active.com is part of the Active Network which hosts on-line registration for Parks, Recreation and Leisure Services Departments throughout the United States.
A "forget your password?" prompt is located in the upper left hand corner of the Active.com web page. Click on this prompt and you will be directed to enter your e-mail address. Your password will be e-mailed to you.
Not at this time. Credit vouchers and Account Credit must be redeemed in person at the Summit front desk.
A Canton resident is defined as anyone who lives in Canton Township. A valid Michigan Driver's License or State Issued Identification card is required for proof of residency. Valid identification must be presented if requested.
A confirmation page can be printed when the transaction is completed. The page serves as your receipt.
Visa and Mastercard
You may email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
No, but requests to transfer will be honored if there is space available in the desired program/activity. To request a transfer, contact Leisure Services at 734/394-5460.
No, full payment with a credit card (Visa or Mastercard) must be made at the time of registration.
Once Leisure Services has established your user name and password, enter the Change Information screen on the Active.com page to change personal information.
Bring your receipt and be prepared to show your driver’s license or State ID. If you are attending an aquatics class or need to lock items in a locker, please bring a lock.
You may come in to the Summit and register in person using cash or a personal check. You will also need to bring your driver’s license or State ID to receive the resident rate.
Enter the payment screen on the Actice.com page which allows the participant to view all payments made.
At this time only Canton residents and resident Summit members may experience the benefits of the on-line registration system.
No, a refund request form must be completed in person at the Summit.
For programs/activities with no available spaces, contact Leisure Services at 734-394-5460 to inquire about being placed on a waiting list.
Enter the Account Detail screen on the Active.com page to view all programs/activities that each person in the family has registered for.
Yes, Canton has six meeting rooms in the lower level of the Township’s Administration Building available for Community groups to meet at no cost.
Rooms are intended to be used by Canton sponsored groups, non-profit organizations, homeowner associations, and groups that provide a service to the Canton Community.
Available Monday through Thursday until 10 pm and until 4:30 pm on Friday on days the offices are open to the public. There is a four hour time limit on room use.
Food and non-alcoholic beverages are allowed – no red beverages.
Yes, as long as someone else does not have a permit for that day.
There are 5 pavilions at Heritage Park, 1 at Freedom Park. The amphitheater and gazebo is in Heritage Park.
Yes, as long the dog is kept on a leash at all times.
Sorry skateboarding is not allowed in Canton parks for safety's sake. Rollerblading is allowed.
For rental reservations call 734/394-5310 for pavilion or amphitheater. For rental reservations for the gazebo please call 734/394-5487.
Alcohol is not allowed in Canton parks.
No, you are welcome to fish in the ponds, however those ponds are not stocked regularly. Two ponds are stocked annually for the Kids Fishing Derby held the first Saturday in May.
The Planning Services Division is located on the second floor of Canton's Administration Building. This division is responsible for long-range planning for the community, administers the Zoning Ordinance and other land development ordinances, and acts as the technical staff to the Planning Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals. Planning Services also administers the community's Geographic Information System and has many map products available.
Canton Township receives its authority to regulate land development from the State of Michigan. Townships are statutory creatures and have only limited powers. Townships are granted, by the State, specific powers through the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act. The Michigan law authorizes the townships to provide zoning ordinances for the regulation of the use of the land and structures. These ordinances must be reasonable in nature.
There are limited tools provided by the State of Michigan to control growth. Community zoning and planning is the most effective method to control both growth and development. Since the historic 1926 United States Supreme Court decision of Euclid v Ambler Realty Co., it has been held that zoning ordinances do not, in principle, offend the United States Constitution. Courts have held that the power to regulate human conduct and promote public welfare through zoning ordinances is a valid exercise of police power when the communities have been authorized to enact such ordinances by the legislature. In Michigan, with the enactment of the original Township Zoning Act in 1973, Michigan Townships were given specific authority to regulate land development and over crowding of land and congestion of population through zoning ordinances. However, communities are not given unlimited authority to control private property. The zoning ordinances must be reasonable to pass the test of its legality. Generally speaking, zoning ordinances which destroy the value of property or which are labeled” confiscatory” have been found to be unreasonable and thereby unenforceable. This rule of reason applies to all zoning ordinances and municipality efforts to control growth and development. For instances, courts have prohibited some municipalities’ efforts to frustrate growth by unreasonably refusing to expand water and sewer systems. Also, the courts have overturned zoning ordinances which attempt to restrict population densities when there is no showing of good reason for the restrictions.
In general, the control of growth and development is best achieved through a well reasoned master land use plan in combination with a zoning ordinance which reflects the objectives of the master plan. The courts are not hesitant to overturn any ordinance which is unreasonable in its application or confiscatory in its effect.
The Planning Commission is an appointed body that reviews proposed development projects and makes recommendations to the Township Board of Trustees. The commission generally meets on the first and third Monday every month, in either a study session or regular meeting.
All new projects in Canton must undergo a rigorous approval process. Except for industrial projects, this includes review by the Planning Commission. The Commission has authority to grant final approval to projects located in the Office District, planning staff has the authority to review and approve Industrial projects. The approval process ensures that each project meets all local and state zoning regulations, and that the community receives the best development possible. The commission can recommend approval of a project to the Board of Trustees, ask for revisions to be made, table any action on a project, or recommend denial of a project to the Board.
The Planning Commission is also responsible for final approval of and amendments to the township’s Comprehensive Plan and Future Land Use Map.
A comprehensive or future land use plan is a long-range plan that focuses on land use in a community. The FLUP may also specify guidelines for transportation, utilities, recreation and public services. The FLUP provides a legal basis for all land development regulation. One of its basic building blocks is the Future Land Use Map, which designates the location and maximum intensity of future development.
The FLUP is fundamental in establishing goals and objectives for a community’s growth and development (or re-development), because it provides a vision of the community in the future. By establishing parameters for types and locations of land use, density of residential use and compatibility between adjacent uses, a sense of order is maintained.
The planning staff evaluates base data, such as existing land use patterns, development trends, population and housing data, utilities, natural features and environmental constraints. Community leaders hold several goal-setting meetings to provide direction to the planning staff; these meetings identify problems, issues and opportunities that the plan should address. Likewise, the Planning Commission holds public workshops to gather input from residents and affected property owners.
Next, the planning staff develops strategies aimed at implementing the community’s goals and objectives. These strategies may include suggested amendments to the Zoning Ordinance, small area studies, economic development plans, evaluation of the effectiveness of current standards, etc. The process is complete once public hearings are held, all issues are resolved and the plan is adopted by the Planning Commission. The plan and any amendments must also be transmitted to the township board for acceptance.
Zoning is a set of regulations that set forth the basic parameters for development and land use in a community. Zoning Ordinances define the land uses permitted in each district by specifying zoning districts, parking requirements, landscaping, signage, site development standards, procedures and the zoning map. The Zoning Ordinance implements the goals and objectives of the MLUP, and provides a much greater level of detailing regulating the different land uses.
Zoning protects property values and promotes the community’s general safety and welfare by preventing incompatibilities and nuisances, maintain stability and implementing the FLUP.
The process for establishing zoning is similar to establishing the MLUP, but on a more detailed scale. A public hearing process is necessary prior to adoption of the Zoning Ordinance by the Planning Commission, which reviews the ordinance and makes its recommendation to the Board of Trustees. The Board then reviews, adopts and publishes the ordinance pursuant to state law.
Owners or authorized representatives may petition the township to amend the zoning map, or the township may rezone property on its own action. A public hearing is held before the Planning Commission, in which staff members analyze compatibility with surrounding land uses and whether the request is consistent with the Future Land Use Map. The Planning Commission takes comments from surrounding property owners before considering the staff’s recommendation and making recommendation to the Board for a final decision.
Zoning districts are districts designating specific uses of land and buildings that may be permitted, and the yard setbacks, open spaces, lot areas and other basic development standards that must be met.
Generally, this is determined by projections of population and development trends, which are taken into consideration and reflected in the Future Land Use Element of the Comprehensive Plan. Market conditions also play a big role in the detailed mix and proportion of land on the zoning map. Likewise, the FLUP and community goals may encourage or discourage certain types or intensities of land use.
It provides general setback and height limitations, design standards (such as parking and loading, landscaping and buffering requirements, and exterior material standards), standards for non-conforming (grandfathered) uses, and standards/procedures for appeal of special land uses and for appeals and variances.
The Subdivision Control Ordinance governs how property is divided into smaller lots or individual building sites. These regulations provide detailed procedures and design standards for the division of land for residential and non-residential development.
First, the Planning Commission and the Board review and grant tentative approval of a preliminary plat – a conceptual plan with schematic utility, lot and road layouts. Next the Board reviews and grants final approval of a preliminary plat – detailed plan that has completed engineering plans and outside agency permits for utilities, wetlands, soil conservation and roads. (This allows construction of utilities and roads to proceed). Once construction is complete, or securities for the proposed improvements have been provided to the township and the county, the Board may approve the final plat, which is then reviewed by the County and State Plat Board, and recorded. This permits the sale of lots and, in the case of residential subdivisions, construction of homes to begin.
Site condominiums are a form of land subdivision in which the project is developed under a master deed rather than a plat. Site condominiums include private roads instead of public roads. Also, the land is sold under condominium ownership, meaning an individual owns the house and usually the land under the foundation, with an exclusive right to use the “site” around the home. Some developers sell off the ‘site”, similar to a platted subdivision, but the roads, parks and other common areas are owned in common by all property owners.
A PUD or PDD generally consists of a large tract of land, governed by a Master Development Plan. This plan generally incorporates a mix of land uses (single family homes, apartments, condominiums, commercial uses), in addition to parks, schools and other common elements. This flexibility in design standards encourages design creativity and preservation of natural amenities. Examples include Pheasant Run, Central Park, and Cherry Hill Village.
Planned Unit Developments are optional and discretionary methods of development designed to permit flexibility in the regulation of land development. PUDs encourage innovation in land use and variety in design, layout and type of structures to achieve economy and efficiency in the use of land and the utilization of unique characteristics and the natural resources found on specific sites.
Planned Unit Developments were utilized in Canton during the 1970’s through the early 1990’s. A PUD was a contract entered into by the developer and the community. It specified a variety of elements, including; density, set backs, landscaping, land uses, etc. PUD’s did not include a sunset provision in the agreements. In many cases the land uses agreed to when the agreement was struck no longer make sense. However, because these agreements run with the land and have no sun set provision the owners have a right to develop the projects today as envisioned 30 years ago.
The community adopted a new Planned Development District ordinance in the early 1990’s. The new ordinance addressed the flaws in the early PUD ordinance. PDD’s sun set after 6 years and must include design excellence and community benefit.
PDDs permit flexibility in design, resulting in a more creative approach to resolving design issues. They are generally more economical and efficient in providing public services and utilities. They require a minimum of 25% open space, which encourages neighborhood parks and preservation of natural features. They may provide a variety of housing types and in some cases, commercial uses. Finally, they provide opportunities to negotiate, giving the developer some flexibility while providing amenities that benefit the entire community.
An alternative form of residential development that allows flexible design concepts and smaller lots, where the site has significant natural or environmental features, or where the developer wishes to provide unique amenities that would enhance the area. A "cluster" is intended to be used in more rural areas to preserve scenic vistas and open space. It can be used in conjunction with the Planned Development option. A cluster development requires special approval from the Planning Commission and Board, must meet very specific design criteria, and is not as flexible as a PDD.
Generally, townships do not have the discretionary authority to deny valid applications for building permits. Michigan courts have consistently compelled municipalities to issue building permits if all building code and land use regulations have been satisfied.
Townships do not have the general legal authority to impose building moratoriums, absent emergency situations. Municipalities are without power to restrict growth in this manner. Moratoriums for growth control have been viewed as a deprivation of property without just compensations, and the courts have quite consistently found that such acts are invalid, without any statutory authority, and are discriminatory in nature.
In the early years of zoning and planning, certain communities attempted to totally exclude certain lawful uses from its boundaries. For instance, since multifamily dwellings sometimes have a disproportionate impact upon the infrastructure of a community, some communities have attempted to restrict their ordinances to single-family detached homes only. This type of exclusionary zoning has been prohibited. Townships do not have the authority to totally exclude from the township any specific lawful use. While apartment complexes, condominiums, industrial uses and commercial establishments might have a disparate impact upon a community, townships are without authority to totally exclude these uses.
The Township Zoning Act has a specific statutory provision which prohibits exclusionary zoning. Michigan courts have interpreted this statutory provision against municipalities by ruling that local government entities may not use its zoning ordinance to totally prohibit an otherwise lawful land use from the land contained within its boundaries where there is a demonstrated need for the land use in the municipality or surrounding area.
Accordingly, most communities adopt well reasoned master land use plans and zoning ordinances which provide for these uses in a manner that has the most positive effect on the community.
When the legislature gave municipalities the power to adopt zoning ordinances, it placed some limitations and restrictions on this power intended to protect property owners from excessive hardship. The State provides that existing uses and structures might continue to be maintained despite any provision in the zoning ordinance to which they did not conform. These are called lawful non-conforming uses or structures. Most communities have quite a number of these non-conforming uses, because it is practically impossible to avoid creating some when preparing a zoning ordinance and map in a rational fashion.
Most zoning ordinances prohibit the expansion of a non-conforming use and the Michigan courts have generally approved such prohibitions against expansion of non-conforming uses, but the courts have protected property owners by allowing the original non-conforming use to continue in its operation.
1. The concept or pre-application meeting…In the earliest stages of a project’s development, the project sponsor meets informally with various township staff members to review matters such as zoning and preliminary design issues. This lets the sponsor know if the project is headed in the right direction, and brings any areas of concern to light.
Once these issues are discussed, the application process can begin.
2. The Development Review Committee…Once an application for a new development is accepted, it is reviewed by the Development Review Committee (DRC), which includes representatives from Planning, Fire, Building and Engineering. The DRC meets weekly to review site plans and help the developer fine-tune them to meet all of Canton’s requirements. Industrial projects may be approved by Planning Services; all others proceed to the Planning Commission.
3. Public Hearing…Many projects require a public hearing by the Planning Commission before they can proceed with the approval process. Situations that require a public hearing include rezoning requests, special land use. Requests (in which the proposed use for the site is only allowed with special conditions form the community), creation of a Planned Development District, or requests to change the Comprehensive Plan.
As part of this process, all property owners within 300 feet of the site are notified. In addition, a notice is published in the local newspaper and (for rezoning) a sign is posted on the site. During the hearing, the Planning Commission considers the request to be acceptable; it is then forwarded to the Board of Trustees with a recommendation for final approval.
4. Planning Commission Review…Once the DRC completes final review of a site plan, the recommendation is forwarded to the Planning Commission for review. The Planning Commission can recommend approval of the project, ask for revisions to be made, table any action on the project, or recommend denial of the site plan. If the project is located in the Office district, the Commission has authority to grant final approval. Any other project is recommended to the Board of Trustees for final approval.
5. Board of Trustees…By the time a project reaches the Board of Trustees for approval it has been thoroughly reviewed and modified by the planning staff and the Planning Commission. If the project meets all requirements set down in the community’s zoning ordinances, the Board will approve the plan.
6. Next Steps…Once the Board offers final approval to a site plan, the developer can begin the engineering review and building permit process. This involves receiving a variety of permits from Canton’s Public Works Division, and possibly from Wayne County and the State of Michigan as well. Once these permits are in order, Canton’s Building and Inspection Services Division reviews and issues a building permit that allows construction to begin.
During construction, Public Works and Building Services oversee the project and conduct a series of inspections to make sure the approved work is actually carried out (Public Works focuses on site and infrastructure work, while Building tracks construction of the actual structure).
When all of the final inspections are complete, including a site inspection by Planning Services, Building Services issues a "Certificate of Occupancy" which allows the facility to be occupied.
Residents are asked to call Detroit Edison at 800/477-4747. Residents may also use that number to report downed power lines.
To report a natural gas leak or emergency, please call DTE at 800/947-5000. The only utility Canton Township is responsible for is water and sewer.
The Public Works Division is located at three different facilities: on the second floor of Canton's Administration Building, the Public Works building on Sheldon Road, south of Michigan Avenue and the Fleet Service Center behind Fire Station One. The Public Works Division is responsible for reviewing the engineering design and conducting construction inspections on all private and public water, sewer, and road projects. Public Works staff also coordinates the sidewalk replacement program, and handles operation and maintenance of Canton's water, sewer, and stormwater systems. Mechanics in Public Works maintain all township-owned vehicles and equipment.
There are three levels of road jurisdiction:
State highways fall under the jurisdiction of the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). Included under this heading are all highways with letters in their names, such as “M”,”US”, or I. state highways in Canton include Ford Road, Michigan Avenue, and Interstate 275.
County road commissions, including the Wayne County Department of Public Services, have jurisdiction over all roads, except state highways in all townships in the state. County road commissions also have jurisdiction over some of the primary roads in Michigan cities and villages.
All county road commissions in Michigan receive the majority of their funding from two primary sources: state-collected road funds and federal road funds. Road commissions have no taxing authority and do not receive any revenues directly from property taxes. However, 13 Michigan county general governments and some townships levy millages dedicated to road maintenance.
Over the years, Michigan cities and villages have taken jurisdiction over some, or in some cases, all of the roads within their boundaries. When a township or part of a township incorporates and becomes a city or village, the road commission has one year in which to turn over jurisdiction of county roads to the new city or village. After that first year, jurisdiction of any road may be transferred either way, if agreed upon by both parties.
The cities and villages have jurisdiction over all neighborhood or subdivision streets within their boundaries. Whether a city or village or the road commission has jurisdiction over major streets within the community depends upon a variety of factors and differs from community to community.
Michigan charges a 19-cents-per-gallon tax on gasoline and a 21-cents-per gallon tax on diesel fuel (however, diesel fuel users receive a refund of 6 percent, equivalent to the 6 percent sales tax, so they pay the equivalent of 15 cents-per-gallon in fuel tax). Motorists also pay license and registration fees to the state. Revenues from these sources, as other fees make up the Michigan Transportation Fund.
According to state law, trust funds are divided between the three levels of government in Michigan with jurisdiction over roads: The Michigan Department of Transportation, the 83 county road agencies, and the 500-plus cities and villages (city and villages streets).
Here’s how the funds are divided:
Note: Michigan has the eighth largest public road system in the nation, and the sixth largest local (county, city and village roads) system. Michigan’s state highway system however is the 33rd largest in the nation.
Federal dollars are used mainly for road improvements, such as widening, reconstructing, adding turn lanes etc. and cannot be used for routine maintenance such as pothole patching. Nationally, federal funds can only be used on roads that are designated as part of the federal road system. These funds are available to road commissions through a variety of programs. None of these funds go directly to Michigan’s 83 county road agencies. In rural counties, each county road agency competes with its neighboring counties for federal funds. In the urban areas, the county road agencies compete with the cities and villages in the county.
While county road agencies have no taxing authority and cannot raise additional tax dollars themselves, many receive contributions from their county general government (with the exception of Wayne County) and/or cities, villages or townships in the county. Some communities, including Canton, contribute funds to their county road agency on a project-by-project basis.
In recent years, Canton government has used a variety of approaches to improve the community’s road system. The development community has been responsible for improving a great many Canton roads, including:
Call Canton Public Works at 734/394-5150 to report a streetlight outage. Public Works can be reached Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
When reporting an outage, please have the following information ready: a specific streetlight location (i.e., the nearest cross roads, nearby business, etc.), whether the pole is wooden or metal, the streetlight pole number (for metal poles it’s located at the base of the streetlight. For wood poles it’s located approximately eight feet up the pole), and details about the outage (i.e. light off during the night, light turns on and off at night, light stays on during the day, ect.).
Please note, only Detroit Edison streetlight outages will be taken by Public Works. Decorative streetlights are the responsibility of the neighborhood Homeowner’s Association. To report a downed pole or other emergency please call Detroit Edison at 800/477-4747.
In the fall of 2004 the Board of Trustees approved the dedication of 0.336 mills over the next ten years for intersection improvements. A committee made up of professionals and residents was created by the Board of Trustees to establish a method to evaluate more than 25 intersections. The committee developed an evaluation matrix which included the cost of the improvement, congestion, accident data, right of way acquisition, detour routes and the likelihood of developer required improvements. Each intersection was scored and a priority list of improvements generated.
View the Canton Township Recommended Intersection Safety Improvement Overview of Future Projects and Costs
Providing a potable water source is the main priority of the community’s Public Works Division. Public water within the Canton community is provided by the Detroit Water Treatment plants located along the Detroit River. The treatment system is governed by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD). The DWSD services over 3 million customers in 126 communities.
The Sanitary sewer system within Canton is continuously changing as development progresses. The sanitary flow from the community flows to a regional collection and pumping system operated by the Western Township’s Utilities Authority (WTUA). From this facility, the flows are directed accordingly to the DWSD waste water treatment facility and to the Ypsilanti communities waste water treatment facility. Design considerations must be examined when a modification to the existing system is proposed. The sanitary sewer master plan and future land use map serve as a guidance tool to determine what design factors must be addressed. By using these two guides, a correct design can be established which will ensure proper transport of the community’s sanitary waste.
The Lower Rouge River runs through the southern portion of Canton and all of the creeks and streams within our community lead to this watercourse. Downstream, the Lower Rouge River eventually flows into the main Branch of the Rouge River in Dearborn. Canton is part of the Rouge River Watershed because all of the land in Canton ultimately drains to the Rouge River.
The Canton community continuously demonstrates environmental excellence by taking great strides to improve the quality of the Rouge River and its tributaries. The creation of the Canton Watershed Management Strategy has been used to provide the framework for implementing activities that address storm water quality in the community. Components of this strategy include storm water management requirements for new developments, the adoption or ordinances that protect natural features and promote water quality, and information for the residents encompassing general water quality issues. The Canton community is continuously evolving and so is this strategy.
ARC stands for the Alliance of Rouge Communities. On October 11, 2005 Canton became a member when they adopted the by-laws. Before ARC, the Assembly of Rouge Communities existed as an interim organization that allowed communities to work together in meeting state and federal regulations regarding storm water permit requirements, and restoring the river. The Assembly was created in 2002 when federal funding to assist Rouge Watershed communities in management of the river was substantially reduced. Although the Assembly provided means to keep the collective efforts underway, it depended heavily upon Wayne County to handle the business of the Assembly. Wayne County was responsible for handling the funds to hire contractors to perform monitoring, prepare the public information materials, and provide administrative and technical support for the Assembly, its committees, and the subwatershed management groups that prepare and help implement required watershed management plans. State legislation was introduced by Senator Patterson in 2004 to assist with the transition from the Assembly of Rouge Communities to the ARC. Under the adopted by-laws that established ARC, members are allowed to develop and implement watershed plans, receive grants, gifts and contributions, hire staff, issue contracts for services needed to implement water plans, and obtain state and federal permits on behalf of members.
The three primary purposes of ARC are:
Detention basins are engineered structures that are used primarily to control downstream flooding. They also have a secondary function to improve stormwater quality.
Detention basins require regular inspection and maintenance to ensure that they are functioning properly to protect private property and improve water quality. At a minimum, the Homeowners’ Association or business owner should conduct an annual inspection and an inspection after major storms.
Detention basins require regular inspection and maintenance to ensure that they are functioning properly to protect private property and improve water quality. At a minimum, the Homeowners’ Association or business owner should conduct an annual inspection and an inspection after major storms.
Subdivision roads are constructed at the expense of the developer. The cost of roads and other subdivision infrastructure (sewer, water, sidewalks, pools and parks) is passed along to builders who purchase the lots, and then finally to homebuyers. So, in essence, a new home purchaser has paid for the infrastructure necessary to service their home and subdivision..
The developer makes that decision. In either case, the roads are constructed to Wayne County standards. If the developer wants to make the roads public, Wayne County has to accept them (by law they must do so if the roads are created as part of a platted subdivision and meet their standards).
They are always private.
Private subdivision roads typically are maintained by homeowner associations utilizing yearly association fees. These funds are also used for winter maintenance (snow removal).
Do homeowners in private road subdivisions pay twice for road maintenance .... once through County taxes and a second time through association fees?
County property tax revenue is not utilized for road maintenance. Wayne County utilizes its share of the State of Michigan gas tax to maintain the County road system. Homeowner associations with private roads assess their homeowners a fee to maintain the subdivision’s roads.
Very little. Wayne County receives very little revenue from the State of Michigan gas tax to maintain subdivision roads. Wayne County’s efforts are limited, for the most part, to the County primary and secondary road system.
In extremely rare situations does Wayne County provide any winter maintenance on public subdivision roads? The County provides winter maintenance on a priority basis…first I-275 (state contract), Michigan roads (state contract), County primary roads, County secondary roads, and then subdivisions. Wayne County recently reduced the number of road employees and indicated that service levels may change in the event of back-to-back snowfalls. Canton pays Wayne County approximately $50,000 per year to receive winter road maintenance on 17 miles of Canton secondary roads.
Yes, it is true. For over 30 years, Canton homeowner associations have assessed their members, through their annual association fee, for snow removal. This approach was embraced when it became obvious that Wayne County was not going to provide timely snow removal from public subdivision streets. There are three benefits to this approach; (1) The association provides this service (through contractors) for less than what government would charge (2) If the service is unsatisfactory, the contractor can be fired (3) If government provided the service, a limited amount of equipment and manpower would be available to address any snow situation. Some subdivisions would have to wait an extended period of time before snow would be removed. By utilizing small private snow removal contractors, scores of them can be working simultaneously throughout the community.
All items must be at curbside by 6:30 a.m. on your scheduled pick up day, regardless of the time it is usually picked up. If your collection day falls on or after a holiday, your rubbish pickup will be delayed one day that week. See the Refuse CollectionGuidelines and Rules for more information.
The trash hauler is selected through a competitive bid process.
Canton offers curbside solid waste, recycling, and composting (from April through November) pick up services. Additionally, the contractor will pick up two large items (appliances or furniture) per week.
Residents can pick up a recycling bin at the Community Services’ office on the first floor of the Administration Building, 1150 S. Canton Center Road during business hours of 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Recycling on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Canton Cleanup on scheduled Fridays (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and Saturdays (8 to 11 a.m.). The schedule is printed in the monthly Focus newsletter mailed to residents. Details of the program are in the 2006 Resource Guide under Refuse Collection Guidelines and Rules in the Hours section and on Canton’s website under Quick Links Trash Guidelines
Trash pick up is currently $5.86 per stop, recycling is $1.62 per stop, and composting yard waste is $1.35 per stop. This will increase approximately three percent (3%) each year.
Canton generates approximately 40,000 tons of trash annually.
Canton has a landfill located in the Township and receives free disposal services under a Host Agreement that the landfill operator entered into which outlines their responsibilities for locating in the Township.
Acceptable containers and content weight, preparation of cardboard boxes, preparation of carpeting and padding, odd items not collected at the curb, time of set out, and Holiday delays. Details of the program are in the 2006 Resource Guide under Refuse Collection Guidelines and Rules in the Hours section and on Canton’s website under Quick Links Trash Guidelines
Call the Township waste contractor, Canton Waste Recycling, at 734/397-5801.
The Tree Planting Partnership Program provides Canton residents with the opportunity to apply for “rebate” vouchers to replace street trees in front of their homes that have died or to purchase a tree is they’ve never had a street tree.
Applications for Tree Program vouchers are processed on a first come, first served basis. Applications are available from the Planning Services office or can be printed off of the Canton website from the “Forms and Publications” menu under Planning Services.
Any lot or parcel will be eligible for a maximum of one voucher per program year for trees planted between the sidewalk and the curb line of the street.
Homeowner and condominium associations will be eligible for a maximum of 10 vouchers per program year for trees planted in the bermed park areas adjacent to a public street.
If an association is coordinating tree planting for street trees for individual lots or units, a combined application may be submitted with a detailed list of addresses and number of trees requested in accordance with the above limitations per lot or unit. In this case, the vouchers will be issued to the association.
Once Planning Services receives an application, an approved voucher will be sent to the applicant in the mail if funds are still available. The program participants will also receive a list of approved tree species and planting specifications with the approved voucher. Trees must be purchased after the issuance of the voucher to be eligible for reimbursement.
Its purpose is to promote an increased quality of life through the regulation, maintenance and protection of trees, forests and other natural resources.
The Tree Fund was established for maintenance and preservation of forest areas and the planting and maintenance of trees within Canton. If a developer is required to replace trees removed from a site and does not replace on the site, he may elect to pay into the found in-lieu of replanting on the site.
Yes, the removal or relocation of any tree with a diameter at breast height (D.B.H.) of six inches or greater requires a permit.
The removal, damage or destruction of any landmark tree or tree located within a forest is also prohibited without a permit.
You must also obtain a permit for clear cutting or grubbing within the drip line of a forest.
Yes, all agricultural/farming operations, commercial nursery/tree farm operations and occupied lots of less than two acres in size, including utility companies and public tree trimming agencies, are exempt from all permit requirements.
You can obtain a permit by submitting a Tree Removal Permit Application. The application contains the following information:
Whenever a Tree Removal Permit is issued for the removal of trees, other than landmark/historic tree, with a D.B.H. of six inches or greater, trees must be relocated or replaced by the permit grantee if more than twenty percent of the total drip line area is removed.
Tree replacement needs to be done in accordance with the following:
Whenever a Tree Removal Permit is issued for the removal of any landmark tree with a D.B.H. of six inches or greater, trees must be relocated or replaced by the permit grantee. Every landmark/historic tree that is removed needs to be replaced by three trees with a minimum D.B.H. of four inches.
According to the ordinance, all replacement trees must:
Summer property taxes are due in the Treasurer's Office by 4:30 p.m. on September 14. There is also a 24-hour drop box located to the right of the Canton Center Road entrance to the Administration Building. However, drop box payments received after 4:30 p.m. on September 14 will be considered received on the 15th.
Yes. Credit and debit cards can be used at the Treasurer's Office counter. Convenience fees will apply to every transaction.
The Treasurer’s office can provide you with a copy of your paid tax bill. There is a fee of $1 per page.
The summer tax bill is remitted to the school districts and the county. Canton Township does not retain any of the funds from the summer collection. For an explanation of the different line items on your summer tax bill, click here.
What do the terms Assessed Value, State Equalized Value and Taxable Value mean on my Notice of Assessment?
A basic knowledge of these terms will help you better understand Michigan property tax law.
To insure properties are assessed uniformly and at 50% of market value, the assessor uses a one year sales study that is provided by the Wayne County Equalization Department. A sales study is an analysis of the sales price of the property compared to its SEV. The sales study for assessments runs one year from October 1st of the prior year through September 30th of the current year. The sales are then organized by economic neighborhoods by the assessor. An economic neighborhood can be a single subdivision or a grouping of subdivisions with similar characteristics. If the sales in a certain economic neighborhood indicate an increase or decrease then all of the properties in that economic neighborhood will be changed by what the sales have indicated. This insures all properties are assessed at 50% of market value as of December 31.
On March 15, 1994 Michigan voters approved the constitutional amendment known as Proposal A. The Taxable Value was created as a part of this legislation. Taxable Value, or the figure which millage would be multiplied against, can only increase each year by the rate of inflation or 5%, whichever is lower. The Taxable Value on the property is said to be “Capped” if the property owner has not had any additions or losses on the property or did not purchase it in the preceding year. The legislators who wrote and put Proposal A on the ballot intended to put a cap on the value of the property so that taxpayers wouldn’t be as affected by a robust housing market and a significant increase in valuation. The intention was to tie the increase in valuation to the inflation rate so that it would be more affordable for and would benefit those residents who intended to remain at their properties for longer periods of time.
Property values in my neighborhood have been decreasing. Will my property valuation be decreasing as well?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a yes or no answer to that question. If you’ve owned your property for a significant amount of time, more than likely your State Equalized Value (SEV) far exceeds your Taxable Value. If this is the case, a decrease in valuation, caused by a cooling real estate market, will be reflected in the SEV. The Taxable Value is required by the Michigan Constitution to increase each year by the rate of inflation or 5%, whichever is lower. In the case of a longtime property owner, the SEV could decrease, while the Taxable Value will increase.
In the previous scenario, yes you would. The Taxable Value will rise by the inflationary increase (unless there is negative inflation, which has happened only once since 1994). This figure multiplied by the local unit's millage rate will determine your new property tax liability.
Proposal A allowed many residents to pay property taxes on less than half of their market value by “capping” the Taxable Value, while still allowing the assessor to determine the market value by adjusting the SEV. This has caused, for many property owners, a great disparity between the SEV figure and the Taxable Value figure. The assessor can reduce the SEV to reflect the change in property value, but if the Taxable Value is still well below the SEV, it will keep increasing until the two figures meet. Taxes are based on Taxable Value; therefore, you will end up with a tax increase.
If a property’s value decreases each year, the SEV will eventually meet the Taxable Value. The Taxable Value cannot exceed the SEV. When this happens, decreases in SEV will cause decreases in Taxable Value, which will then lower your property tax liability. Due to the gap between the SEV and Taxable Value figures, it would take several years of depressed market conditions to make the SEV and Taxable Value equal. If you happen to be a property owner who purchased a property in the last few years and you have decreasing property value, the SEV and Taxable Value figures could meet sooner than someone who has owned the property for a long period of time.
Unfortunately, there have been a few downfalls. Two big downfalls that we hear regularly are:
If you own and occupy a home on your property before May 1st last year, you are entitled to a Principal Residence Exemption. This will result in a credit on your summer tax statement. On the Assessment notice, the exemption will be illustrated by a 100.00% if you are eligible or a 0.00% if you are not. You are only entitled to one Principal Residence exemption in or out of Michigan.
Every property owner has the right to appeal their assessments. However, the opportunity only comes once a year and if the opportunity is missed, there isn't another opportunity that year. Your Assessment change notice will provide you with the dates and times for the March Board of Review. If you wish to contest your assessments, you must either appear or send your appeal to the March Board of Review. Protest at the March Board of Review is necessary to protect your right to further appeals to the Michigan Tax Tribunal for valuation and exemption appeals. In other words, the Michigan Tax Tribunal will not hear cases that have not first been before the local March Board of Review.
Please visit the Treasurer’s Home Page to utilize the Estimated Property Tax Calculator. Simply fill in the tax period (summer, winter or total), your school district and your Taxable Value from your Assessment Change notice. Select calculate and get an estimate of your upcoming tax liability. If you recently purchased your home, use half the purchase price for your taxable value estimate.
Payments made using your checking or savings account, commonly referred to as ACH payments, will be free of charge to the taxpayer. Payments made using your credit or debit card are subject to a convenience fee of 2.49% added to the amount of the payment.
The cost to process an ACH payment is actually less than processing a paper check, therefore there is no need to recover additional costs. Credit and debit transactions are processed through Visa or Mastercard. Visa and Mastercard charge a fee to the merchant (Canton Township) for using their product. This fee, called an interchange fee, plus a handling fee for Chase Bank, makes up the 2.49% convenience charge.
If Canton Township were to assume the cost of the fees, the funds would have to come from general fund operations and this is not viewed as an appropriate use of township funds as it benefits only some, not all, of the residents.
That’s a decision you will have to make. In many cases the rewards program on your credit card will have a greater benefit than the amount of money being charged. Credit/debit card transactions are just one more option for payment that is now available to you.
Yes. Tax payments can be made using your debit or credit card at the Treasurer's Office. For debit transactions a convenience fee of $3.95 will be charged. The fee will be a separate transaction and will be remitted to Chase Bank. For credit transactions a convenience fee of 2.5% will be charged. The fee will be a separate transaction on your credit card and will be remitted to Chase Bank.
Yes. Payments can be scheduled in advance up until the due date.
No. Due to the infrequency of tax payments, we elected not to allow registered users, but rather only unregistered users. The system will ask you for your information each time you make a payment.
No. They are different programs. You can register as a user on the water program, but you are an unregistered user on the tax program.
On ACH payments (checking or savings) a payment can be canceled before 5:00 p.m. That is when our batch settles. A customer can return to the payment page and click on the Payment Inquiry button at the bottom of the page. They’ll need to enter their confirmation number and email address. They’ll then have the option to cancel the transaction if the batch hasn’t settled. On credit and debit card transactions the settlement process is real time. They automatically settle. Therefore there is no way to cancel the transaction.
Frequently Asked Questions
Village Theater is community arts center owned and operated by Canton Township and is open to public on a daily basis.
Visit www.canton-mi.org/villagetheater for a full schedule and online tickets.
The Village Theater main auditorium has 400 seats and Biltmore Studio seats 80.
Numerous performances have a special rate for seniors/students and groups.
No, you do not – everyone is welcome.
I'm an artist or performer, how can I get to show my work or perform at the theater or in other Canton venues?
Send us your press kit and non-returnable samples of your work to: Village Theater, 50400 Cherry Hill Road, Canton, MI 48187. We will contact you upon receipt and review. Please allow 30 days for the process.
It is free to visit during these hours to find out more about programs, take a tour, buy tickets and see the art exhibition in the gallery. Monday - Friday, 10am-2pm; Friday and Saturday, 7-9pm and Sundays from 5:30-7:30pm.
Please visit the Human Resource area of the Canton Township website for employment information.
There will be several parking lots within a few blocks of the Theater, there will be street parking and valet will be available for most functions. Cherry Hill Village has been designed as a neo-traditional walkable community. Download the Village Theater parking map for more detailed information.
Please contact Jennifer Tobin, Canton Arts Coordinator at 734/394-5484.
To promote volunteerism throughout the community. The Volunteer Events Coordinator organizes various volunteer activities for community members and develops programs to train, place, and recognize volunteers. Also, volunteers are needed to reduce the cost of local programming. Every organization lacks the resources, both in people and finances, to do everything they would like. Many programs would not exist if it were not for the volunteers. This holds true for the local service agencies that we assist with volunteer placement.
The Volunteer Events Coordinator was created as a part-time Township position in 1994. In 1998 the position was made full time. This position is partially reimbursed with Community Development Block Grant Funds each year.
The Volunteer Coordinator places volunteers in numerous Township activities including the Liberty Fest, River Day, Christmas in Action, Make a Difference Day, The Village Theater Usher Program, Big Chill, Easter Egg Hunt, Corn Roast, Special Olympics, October Fest, Village Faire, Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony, etc. Additionally, volunteers are placed with human service agencies throughout the community.
Our relationship with the local schools is very strong. We work closely with the high school counselors and teachers to insure that many of the Community Service requirements are met by providing the students with placement in local events and with local agencies. Beginning with the 2007 graduating class, 40 hours of community service are needed to comply with graduation requirements. We are one of the largest volunteer resources for the local schools. Additionally, the Canton Township Youth Volunteer Corps has been developed in conjunction with the schools to provide students with a volunteer experience which includes a comprehensive student training program.
In 2005 a total of 4,040 volunteers served 23,088 hours in Canton.
Water Rates (download the Water Rate FAQ's brochure now)
Canton Township purchases its water from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD). The DWSD operates the largest water system in the State of Michigan and supplies water to roughly four million people. The primary water sources are Lake Huron and the Detroit River.
Raw water, that eventually makes it way to Canton, is drawn from a deep intake near Belle Isle, then filtered and treated at the Springwells water treatment plant in Detroit. DWSD then pumps the water 128 feet uphill to Canton and our neighboring communities using huge pumps and large diameter transmission lines.
The water rates set by DWSD are based on an annual forecast determined by historical data for water usage and estimated costs for water production and delivery services. DWSD uses the forecast to set a rate for each of its customers. By law, DWSD can only recover the cost of service, it cannot make a profit. If more water is sold than forecasted, the extra funds received must be used for the system and offset the need to increase wholesale water rates in the future.
The water rate formula that DWSD uses has three primary components:
In addition to the cost to purchase water from DWSD, Canton has costs to operate, maintain and replace the 380 miles of local water distribution system piping. Canton also has fixed costs to cover such as administration, water billing staff, meter reading and meter replacements.
The annual revenue requirements of the water system must be sufficient to cover both our costs and DWSD costs. The annual water rate increase needs to be passed through to the end customer, the Canton Township water and sewer user, in order that the water funds remain financially stable year-to-year.
The revenue generating capacity of DWSD is somewhat dependent upon the weather. Hot, dry weather generally results in more water sales to the suburban wholesale customers that produce extra revenue to be used by DWSD in a future year. Cool, damp weather can have the opposite effect, generally resulting in an annual revenue shortfall. In addition, there are costs involved in operating and maintaining existing system facilities and capital improvement programs necessary to meet existing and future customer demands.
DWSD charges Canton $2.31 per thousand gallons of water used. The consumption charge to our customers is $2.87 per thousand gallons. As such, the DWSD cost is roughly 80% of the total consumption charged.
The rates are approved annually by the Township Board with an ordinance amendment, based on staff recommendations.
In addition to the fixed charges on the customer’s bill, the current rates for water/sewer usage can be found here:
Residences with footing drains tied to the sanitary sewer system pay a slightly higher fixed charge to offset the increased usage of the sanitary sewer system during rain events.
Water and sewer rates are computed separately based on the true cost-of-service.
Sewage treatment costs are based on the operation, maintenance and replacement of the sewage treatment plants & the sanitary sewer collection system necessary to get the sanitary sewage flow to the plants. Unlike water purchased, the sewage flows are not metered for each community, but DWSD and YCUA does meter the total incoming sewage flow at the treatment plants.
The most commonly used system is to distribute the costs amongst the communities for sewage treated based upon the water volume purchased as adjusted for several factors: deductions for water only customers (i.e. has a septic tank), industrial process water exemptions, and adding sewer only customers (i.e. has a well).
The cost to operate, maintain and replace the sanitary sewer collection & treatment system is almost always higher than the public water system. This is the case for Canton.
A residential water meter is read once each quarter. This reading is obtained from outside the home by one of three methods: numeric remote, touchpad or radio read unit. The touchpad and radio read devices are able to electronically transmit a meter reading outside the building identical to that of the inside water meter. The older style numeric remote is also wired to the meter but becomes defective due to age, weather conditions or insects inside the hardware causing damage to the wiring. In this type of system, there can be a difference between the “inside” meter reading and the “outside” remote. If you have this type of system, it is important to make sure your inside and outside readings agree. The inside meter registers the correct reading and you are responsible for any discrepancy. If you notice a variance, or are aware that your home still has the old style meter, please contact the Water Billing staff in the Treasurer’s Office at 734/394-5240 and schedule an appointment to update the meter. There are no charges for this service.
The typical useful life cycle of a water meter is 10 to 15 years. After this time, the meter may develop problems providing accurate readings. We are currently upgrading our meters in the older areas of the township.
Canton has an Automated Meter Reading (AMR) Program, which upon completion, will allow us to read all water meters in the community via radio frequency which is more accurate and more efficient.
The outside meter you are referring to is probably your gas meter, electric meter or remote water meter reading device unit. Water meters must be housed in an enclosed area, where heat is available throughout the winter months; otherwise, the meter can be damaged by frost. It is most common to find water meters in a basement; however, it might be in a crawlspace, cellar, storage room or first floor closet (if the home has been built on a slab). Wherever the meter is located, it must be accessible to our Division of Public Works (DPW) servicemen if our equipment needs repair or inspection.
Often, when Canton residents receive their bills, they wonder why it is so high. Residents are billed once each quarter for water and sewer usage. One thing to keep in mind is that the bill reflects usage for the previous three (3) months. In other words, a bill received in the fall will have summer usage on it. By this time we find that many residents forget how frequently they may have watered over the summer, and are shocked at their bill.
Irrigation systems are the biggest source of high water bills. An average sprinkler head can use two gallons per minute. If your system has 20 heads, and runs for 20 minutes each day, the result would be 24,000 gallons in a month or 72,000 gallons during a quarterly bill. One thing that you can do to monitor your watering is to take a reading at the start of a water cycle and again at the end. By performing this check, you will know exactly how much water is being used by your system. Based on this information, you can adjust your watering accordingly.
For information on ways you can conserve water and reduce your costs, please contact one of our Engineering staff in the DPW at 394-5150.
Following an extensive water and sewer rate study in 2004, it was determined that fixed charges were necessary to recover fixed costs that do not vary with the amount of water consumed or sewer usage. This includes the cost for system operation and maintenance, certain customer distribution related expenses, meter reading, billing and collections. The new true cost-of-service rate structure separates usage costs from these fixed costs.
The fixed charges vary based on the size of water meter in your home or business. For most residential customers, the fixed charge (based on a one-inch meter or less) is $9.81 per quarterly billing.
The fixed charges vary based on the size of water meter in your home or business. The fixed charge for residential customers (based on a one-inch meter or less) is $6.24 per quarterly billing, if you have a separate sump pump system. For customers who do not have a separate sump pump system, a fixed charge of $19.03 will be assessed quarterly. This additional charge reflects the rainwater that enters the sanitary sewer system from the footing drain system that requires treatment at the wastewater treatment plants. If you are unsure whether you have a separate sump pump system, or not, please contact the Water Billing staff in the Treasurer’s Office at 734/394-5240 and schedule an appointment to have an inspection by the DPW staff.
A fixed rate schedule for customers with larger meters can be located under the download section of the Water Billing page.
Under the new 2008 Water Billing System, all minimum bills and sewer caps have been eliminated. Customers are now billed strictly on usage.
Residential water and sewer bills are mailed quarterly. You will receive four per year. Businesses, apartments and condominium complexes are billed bi-monthly or six per year.
Canton Township offers many options for paying your water and sewer bill. Payments can be made by cash or check at the Treasurer’s Office located on the first floor of the Administration Building at 1150 South Canton Center Road. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. For your convenience, a 24 hour drop box is located at the southeast corner of the Administration Building. Payments can also be mailed for processing. Electronic payments can be made through your checking or savings account, credit card or debit card at the Canton Township website— www.canton-mi.org/water
There is no fee for an online payment if the money is taken directly out of your checking or savings account. However, a fee of $3.95 will be added to any payment made on a debit or credit card. Please note, the $3.95 fee passed onto residents by the Bank and NOT Canton Township.
You can make additional payments or partial payments on your account using any of the options described above. Be sure to include your account number to ensure correct posting of your payment.
A 5% penalty is charged on the current water and sewer charges after the specified due date. Postmarks will not be honored.
If you are planning to move, a final water reading should be performed on your residence. Please schedule a final reading, at least 48 hours in advance, by contacting the Water Billing staff in the Treasurer’s Office at 394-5240.
No, the township ordinance does not allow a second meter for outdoor water use. Sewer charges are based on 100 percent of the water consumption, and this is how Canton Township is charged for sewage treatment in the DWSD system.
A leak can occur in several different places in your home or business. The following tips will help you determine where the leak could be.
Outdoors and elsewhere
The following chart illustrates how much water is wasted from a continuous leak over a three month period.
A toilet running continuously amounts to the following amount of wasted water:
210 gallons per hour
5,040 gallons per day
35,280 gallons per week
141,120 gallons per month
423,360 gallons per quarter
These facts about water usage will help illustrate how much water you’re actually using and where. We’re also offering some suggestions on how to limit your usage.
ShowersTake shorter showers!
BathsDon’t fill the tub full!
ToiletsReplace older toilets with new more efficient models!
FaucetsTurn off the water while brushing teeth, shaving & washing your hands!
LawnsManage your outdoor water use!
GardensAdd mulch to landscaped beds & trees!