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WHEREAS, Article V, Section 4 of the Michigan Constitution of 1963 authorizes the establishment of temporary commissions or agencies for special purposes;

WHEREAS, the State of Michigan is experiencing the outward migration of population and economic activity from Michigan’s urban areas resulting in land use change in rural and urban areas;

WHEREAS, outward migration and land use change has significantly impacted development patterns; traffic, air, and water resources; historic, cultural, and scenic resources; open space, wetlands, and agriculture; the availability of affordable housing; and the ability of this State and its local governments to finance public facilities and service improvements;

WHEREAS, Michigan’s sprawling low-density growth pattern is projected to consume additional land at a rate that exceeds six to eight times the rate of population growth, creating a strain on the efficient provision of public services;

WHEREAS, Michigan’s land-based industries are important to the economy of this State including agriculture, Michigan’s second largest industry, which annually generates nearly $40 billion in economic activity, tourism, which generates nearly $12 billion in economic activity annually, and forestry, which annually generates nearly $9 billion in economic activity;

WHEREAS, between 1982 and 1997, Michigan lost over 1 million acres of farmland;

WHEREAS, Michigan’s vital natural resources, which are an important economic, environmental, and social aspect of this State, continue to be fragmented and impacted by encroaching development;

WHEREAS, the unplanned, uncontrolled consumption of open space not only impairs the quality of Michigan’s land, water, and ecosystems, but will also threaten Michigan’s social and economic well-being if not met with strong leadership and vision;

WHEREAS, state-initiated land use coordination efforts will result in cost savings; better prioritization of limited state resources spent on public infrastructure; better stewardship of Michigan’s agricultural, natural, historic, scenic, and cultural resources; an increased supply of affordable housing; orderly, safe, and well-planned urban and rural communities; preservation of important historic and scenic resources; and an expansion in private economic development activities;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Jennifer M. Granholm, Governor of the State of Michigan, pursuant to the powers vested in me by the Michigan Constitution of 1963 and the laws of the State of Michigan, order the following:


A. The Michigan Land Use Leadership Council (“Council”) is created within the Department of Environmental Quality.

B. The Council shall have 26 members.

C. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, the House Minority Leader, the Senate Majority Leader, and the Senate Minority Leader each may designate one member of the Michigan Legislature to participate as members of the Council.

D. From a list of candidates recommended by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Senate Majority Leader, the Governor shall appoint 11 members of the Council.

E. After consultation with the House Minority Leader and the Senate Minority Leader, the Governor shall appoint 11 additional members of the Council.

F. The Directors of the Departments of Agriculture, Consumer and Industry Services, Environmental Quality, History, Arts and Libraries, Natural Resources, and Transportation, or their designees, shall serve as ex officio, non-voting participants at meetings of the Council.

G. Members of the Council appointed by the Governor shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.

H. A vacancy on the Council shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.


B. The Council is advisory in nature and shall:

1. Identify the trends, causes, and consequences of unmanaged growth and development.
2. Provide recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature designed to minimize the negative economic, environmental, and social impacts of current land use trends; promote urban revitalization and reinvestment; foster intergovernmental and public-private land use partnerships; identify new growth and development opportunities; and protect Michigan’s natural resources, including farmland and open space, and better manage the cost of public investments in infrastructure to support growth.

B. In exercising its duties the Council may:

1. Evaluate the effectiveness of current state, regional, and local land use laws, including but not limited to zoning and planning laws, housing laws, building codes, and annexation laws.
2. Survey developers, builders, contractors, farmers, planners, engineers, surveyors, environmentalists, historic preservationists, attorneys, academics, citizen groups, others in the private sector, state agencies, and local governmental agencies about problems associated with current land use trends and current policies and suggested policy changes.
3. Stimulate statewide discussion on problems related to current land use trends, identifying best development practices and alternative land use and capital investment solutions.
4. Review model legislation and studies on land use techniques and collect information on states that have developed innovative solutions to similar land use challenges.
5. Identify any state programs or regulations that directly or indirectly encourage or subsidize low-density development and outward migration from urban areas.
6. Identify public information, training, and technical assistance related to land use needed by state, regional, and local agencies.
7. Identify incentives or techniques for sharing the benefits of economic growth and eliminating or reducing fiscal competition among local units of government and for fostering intergovernmental cooperation.
8. Propose innovative and cooperative land use approaches that will accommodate and guide growth and development through cooperation and partnerships on a local and regional basis; ensure the construction of adequate supporting services and infrastructure, including utilities, storm water management systems, and transportation; provide opportunities for or eliminate barriers to affordable housing; protect the environment and historic and scenic resources; enhance community livability; preserve farmland; and minimize negative impacts on natural resources.

C. The Council shall complete its work and issue a final report and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the Governor, the Clerk of the Michigan House of Representatives, and the Secretary of the Michigan Senate by August 15, 2003.


A. The Governor shall designate two members of the Council appointed by the Governor as Co-Chairpersons who shall share equally the powers of directing the Council. The Co-Chairpersons shall serve as Co-Chairpersons at the pleasure of the Governor.

B. The Council shall be staffed by personnel within the Department of Environmental Quality, as designated by the Director. The Directors of the Departments of Agriculture, Consumer and Industry Services, History, Arts, and Libraries, Natural Resources, and Transportation shall provide personnel assistance to the Council at the request of the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality.

C. The Co-chairpersons shall appoint an executive coordinator for the Council.

D. The Council may adopt procedures, not inconsistent with Michigan law and this Order, governing its organization and operations. The Council may establish subcommittees as it deems advisable.

E. The Council shall meet at the call of the Co-chairpersons and as may be provided in procedures adopted by the Council.

F. A majority of the serving members constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business of the Council at a meeting, notwithstanding the existence of one or more vacancies. The Council shall act by a majority vote of its serving members.

G. In developing recommendations, the Council may, as appropriate, make inquiries, studies, investigations, hold hearings, and receive comments from the public. The Council may consult with outside experts in order to perform its duties.

H. Members of the Council shall serve without compensation. Members of the Council may receive reimbursement for necessary travel and expenses according to relevant statutes and the rules and procedures of the Department of Management and Budget and the Civil Service Commission, subject to available appropriations.

I. The Council may hire or retain such contractors, sub-contractors, advisors, consultants and agents, and may make and enter into contracts necessary or incidental to the exercise of the powers of the Council and the performance of its duties as the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality deems advisable and necessary, in accordance with the relevant statutes, rules, and procedures of the Civil Service Commission and the Department of Management and Budget.

J. The Council may accept donations of labor, services, or other things of value from any public or private agency or person.

K. Members of the Council appointed by the Governor shall refer all legal, legislative, and media contacts to the Department of Environmental Quality.


A. All departments, committees, commissioners, or officers of this State or of any political subdivision of this State shall give to the Council, or to any member or representative of the Council, any necessary assistance required by the Council, or any member or representative of the Council, in the performance of the duties of the Council so far as is compatible with its, his, or her duties. Free access shall also be given to any books, records or documents in its, his, or her custody, relating to matters within the scope of inquiry, study, or investigation of the Council

B. The invalidity of any portion of this Order shall not affect the validity of the remainder the Order

This Executive Order is effective upon filing.

Given under my hand and the Great Seal of the State of Michigan this 27th day of February, 2003.

Jennifer M. Granholm