Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Bierlein introduces bill to help local farmers and small businesses
RELEASE|May 25, 2023

State Rep. Matthew Bierlein has introduced legislation giving farmers more freedom as they seek to generate additional income and make a living.

House Bill 4680 addresses zoning ordinances. It states that zoning ordinances can’t prohibit barns or other facilities located on agricultural land from being used as commercial venues for weddings or similar events.

The legislation doesn’t prohibit regulation for noise, advertising, traffic, hours of operation or other conditions that may accompany different uses.

Bierlein, of Vassar, said he proposed the plan after speaking with individuals who own property zoned for agriculture in his district that spans portions of Bay, Genesee, Saginaw and Tuscola counties.

“Many people throughout Michigan and in other states who own these properties have facilities that can double as event venues in the summer and fall months,” said Bierlein, who also serves on the House Agriculture Committee. “But they are faced with growing regulation regarding how these properties should be used and that’s not right. This is about livelihoods. People are feeling the sting of inflation every day across Michigan and these are opportunities that help agricultural land owners make ends meet. Government overreach shouldn’t be getting in the way of that.”

Bierlein also said the legislation protects property rights and provides clarity going forward for both communities and property owners, as some land owners in Michigan have used ambiguous language in existing ordinances to operate commercial venues – such as declaring it seasonal agri-tourism.

HB 4680 has been referred to the House Agriculture Committee for consideration.

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