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What is the Charter Database?

The charter database is a glimpse into the unique governing documents of Michigan’s cities. This database is a one-of-a-kind compilation of 40 variables in 272 city charters.

How do I use the Charter Database?

Search for charter provisions by region, population range, or county. For example, if you are amending your charter and want to know what other cities in Michigan have a provision you are looking for (method of filling council vacancies, purchasing limits, fiscal year, nepotism, etc.) you can choose your criteria from a drop down menu and find the data in the charter database. We have also included digital pdfs of charters (when available) so you can also search a specific city’s charter to pinpoint the text of a provision you are interested in.

Take me to the charter database

Residency requirements

1. City Council/Commission
Residency requirements for candidates running for elective office longer than two years have been ruled unconstitutional. Green v. McKeon, 335 F Supp 630 (ED Mich 1971), aff'd 468 F2d 883 (invalidated two-year residency requirement on equal protection grounds).   

2. Employee
In December 1999, the Michigan Legislature passed the Residency Act which restricts public employers from requiring that certain employees reside within certain geographic boundaries as a condition of employment or promotion. A public employer may require that the person live no greater than 20 miles from the nearest city boundary.


The database was created and updated through careful examination of city charters. However, since charters are changed through the amendment and revision process, data could have changed from the time it was entered. If you see data in need of updating, please contact

Special thanks

This database was created in 1999 by Professor Susan Hannah and students from Western Michigan University, and maintained by League staff. In 2011, Michigan State University Professor Josh Sapotichne and MSU students performed a comprehensive update.


Contact: Member Services
Phone: 734.662.3246 or E-mail:



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