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Permits and Licenses

Obtaining a construction permit and applying for a license

Step 1:
Complete the application and pay a fee

Complete the Application for Campground Construction Permit and pay one fee (either the “New” fee for a proposed, never permanently licensed campground or the “Modification” fee for any modification(s) to an existing, licensed campground).

For information on fees, please view the fee schedule.

Step 2:
Upload application, plans, and payment receipt to MiEHDWIS and LHD

Upload your application, online payment receipt and one (1) copy of digital plans to MiEHDWIS. For instructions on how to upload to MiEHDWIS, please visit “How do I upload a construction permit application?” on our website. In addition, submit a copy of the application and one set of plans to the local health department (LHD). Upon construction permit issuance, the permit and approved/stamped plans will be emailed to the applicant, LHD, and local municipality.

Plans are required for every construction permit application. All plans shall contain the information and detail necessary to allow EGLE to conduct an independent engineering review to determine compliance with the Campground Rules. Plans must be prepared and sealed by an engineer or architect registered in Michigan for all projects where the total cost is $15,000 or more. Plans for projects less than $15,000 are not required to be sealed.

Step 3:
Contact the local municipality

Contact the local unit of government to inquire about zoning ordinances and any other necessary approvals. Tentative zoning approval will be required to be submitted as part of our plan review process.

Step 4:
Additional information to consider


  • Campground sites are defined as modern if the site depends on flush toilets at a service building and/or if the sites have sewer connections. A campground site is defined as primitive when flush toilets are not available and sewer connections are not provided. Primitive sites are required to have privies. Campground sites with water and/or electrical connections can be considered primitive or modern.
  • Group camping areas do not have defined boundaries but are determined based on the maximum number of equivalent campsites in a group area. One camping unit is allowed per 1,200 square feet. For example: a 12,000 square foot group area divided by 1,200 square feet per campsite = 10 campsites.
  • Camping cabin means a recreational unit that is a hard-sided tent or shelter that is less than 400 square feet in area, is designed to facilitate relocation (i.e., is moveable /has no footings or permanent foundation) and does not have a direct connection to a source of water. A camping cabin is considered a camping unit and shall be located on a licensed campsite. If electrified, local electrical approval is required prior to occupancy. Check with your local Building Department to determine if they will require a Building Permit. 

Plan Submittal

  • A scaled site plan of the entire project showing the project location and adjacent roads is required. The plans must show the total number of sites, type of sites (group, modern, or primitive), and location. Each site is required to have not less than 15 feet of road frontage width and a minimum of 1,200 square feet area. Each site must have an unobstructed 4-foot space between recreational vehicles.
  • The plans or information must include numbering or other identification for each site. Each campsite shall indicate if it has electrical, water, and/or sewer connections. Each site must be well drained.
  • The water well location/locations and sewer location/locations must be indicated. Obtain all LHD permits and approvals for the water supply and wastewater disposal systems. If there are primitive sites, show the number and location of privies.

Water Supply

  • Designate the type of water supply: municipal or onsite water well system.
  • For onsite water well systems, obtain a LHD permit and/or approval of the water well. Show the water well location/locations and isolation distances to potential sources of contamination. The water supply shall be of an approved design, above-ground, allow access to the pump for maintenance and repair, provide equipment for the disinfection of the entire water system, provide sample taps, and provide pump-to-waste facilities for all wells.
  • All site water connections shall adhere to the required pipe sizes, material specifications, and proper isolation distances. Plans must show the waterlines for new sites. Local plumbing permits may be needed.

Wastewater System

  • Designate the type of wastewater disposal system: municipal or onsite (i.e., sewage system, septic tank/tile field, lagoons), and/or privies (and their design).
  • All site sewer connections shall adhere to the required pipe sizes, material specifications, and proper isolation distances. Plans must show the sewer lines for new sites. Local plumbing permits may be needed.
  • For onsite wastewater systems, obtain a LHD permit (or EGLE permit, where applicable) and/or approval of the systems. Show the system location/locations, size and type, and proper isolation distances.
  • Privies, outhouses, or portable privies must be properly constructed, have a watertight vault with a minimum storage capacity of 500 gallons, and be vented above the roof. Provide the adequate number of privies (two all-gender or 1 male/1 female) for every 25 sites. Assure compliance with proper isolation distance (>50 feet from campsites). A LHD permit will be required. Portable privies are allowed with a copy of the annual contract for pumping service.
  • Sanitary stations (dump stations) must be properly designed and constructed. Sanitary stations are required when RVs cannot connect directly to the campground’s water and sewer systems and in primitive campgrounds if the campground is served by water under pressure (see Campground Rule 26 for more details).

Service Buildings

  • Service buildings shall be constructed in accordance with applicable state or local building codes; building details and specifications shall be included on the plans.
  • Provide the required number of toilets, urinals, and lavatory facilities in accordance with the fixture schedule in Campground Rule 21.
Step 5:
After EGLE issues the permit

It is unlawful to occupy the campground before the license has been issued. The annual license fee must be paid prior to opening the campground and before the initial inspection. Contact EGLE for an invoice and campground license application.

The owner must obtain all electrical and plumbing approvals and a construction affidavit from the engineer or owner indicating that the campground was constructed in accordance with the approved plans. Approvals and affidavit must be submitted to EGLE before a license can be issued.

The owner must obtain water well, wastewater disposal system, electric approvals, and plumbing approvals, including compliance with any water supply sampling requirements.

After the construction has been completed and before campsites can be offered for camping, please refer to your Construction Permit under “The Following Conditions Apply” and submit the required items to the EGLE Campground Program. Please send one email that contains all of the items required to be submitted. Submitting one item at a time will slow down the Construction Permit close out/license process. LHDs are entitled to and may collect additional fees for services provided, such as inspections. Contact your LHD for their fee information.