Campground Construction Permit

Agency: Environmental Quality

The Campgrounds and Pools Unit (CPU) within the Water Bureau, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), issues the permit required to construct a new campground or to alter an existing campground or campground facilities.


Campground Construction Permit


Public Health Code, Public Act 368 of 1978, as amended

Section 12505, Campground Construction Permits, Public Health Code, Public Act 368 of 1978, as amended (MCL 333.12505).


The requirements set forth in Michigan's Public Health Code, 1978 PA 368, as amended, and the administrative rules adopted pursuant to the act apply to this permit


 1. Applicability (activities that require the permit)

A campground construction permit is required for additions or alterations of existing campground facilities or for new campground facilities. Campground facilities typically include campground sites, campground roads, water outlets, site water connections, water distribution system, well or well house, wastewater collection system, wastewater pumping facilities, wastewater treatment and disposal system, campground service buildings, and other site improvements within the campground.

 2. Pre-Application Requirements

There are no conditions that must be met before a campground construction permit can be acquired. However, the DEQ suggests that contact be made with the local municipality where the campground is or will be located to ensure the proposal complies with all issues regarding zoning and land use control. In addition, the DEQ suggests that the applicant contact the DEQ and the local health department while the project is still in the planning stages to arrange for a site evaluation that would identify any major limitations for development or expansion of a campground with an on-site water supply or on-site wastewater system.

 3. Application Submission Requirements

The applicant shall submit 3 sets of plans and specifications along with a campground construction permit application and required fee to the MDEQ at the address provided on the application, and one set of the plans and specifications with a copy of the campground construction permit application to the local health department where the campground is located. Campground construction permit applications are available from the MDEQ, or at the campground program website.

 4. Procedures and Time-Frame for Obtaining Permit or Approval

The plans submitted with the campground construction permit application (EQP 1716) shall be drawn to scale in a neat and legible fashion acceptable for public record, shall show all proposed site improvements (such as sites, roads, utilities, and buildings) or changes to existing site improvements, shall show all easements, and shall include a legal description of the campground property. If the total cost of the project is more than $15,000, the plans and specifications shall be prepared by an engineer who is licensed in Michigan. There are no provisions for public notice or comment to the DEQ on campground proposals, although written comments regarding any public health issues are welcome. Concerns with campground proposals should be brought to the attention of the local municipality when zoning and land use permits for a campground project are discussed. The MDEQ provides a copy of all campground construction permits to the local municipality to assure they are aware of any proposed campground development. The goal of the MDEQ is to process all proposals for campground development within 5 weeks from receipt of a completed application and plans, although this time frame may be exceeded during the busy fall and spring time periods.

 5. Operational Requirements

Following the completion of construction and prior to occupancy of a campground, the applicant shall submit an application for a campground license. This application shall be accompanied by an affidavit from the engineer or owner, as appropriate, indicating all construction was completed in accord with the approved plans and specifications, the final approval for any electrical installations, the final approval for any plumbing installations, and approval for occupancy of any buildings. Upon receipt of this information, an opening inspection will be conducted by the MDEQ or the local health department prior to issuance of the license to operate the campground.

 6. Fees

The fee for a campground construction permit changes every three years in accord with the Consumer Price Index. For the years 2008 through 2010, the construction permit fee for a new campground is $650 and the construction permit fee for modification of an existing campground is $244. The local health department may also have plan review fees, site evaluation fees, and fees for water supply and wastewater facilities related to campground projects.

 7. Appeal Process

Decisions concerning construction permit approval/denial made by the MDEQ may be challenged by requesting a hearing under the Administrative Procedures Act, 1969 PA 306, as amended, or by appeal to the court of proper jurisdiction.

 8. Public Input Opportunities

The public typically learns about the proposed development of a campground through newspaper notices posted by the local municipality under zoning and land use ordinances, and this venue provides the best opportunity for public input. The public may also offer comments to the MDEQ regarding campground proposals, although there is no legislative mandate establishing a procedure for public comments.


Office of Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance, Environmental Health Section, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 30241, Lansing, Michigan 48909-7741

  • Program Phone: 517-284-6520

Creation/Revision Date:

July 2016