Land Use Definitions

The Oakland County annual land use data uses these definitions.
Agricultural: Parcels used as cultivated farm land, orchards, nurseries, or for livestock or equestrian activity, with or without related farm structures.

Single Family: Improved parcels having three or less units per building in predominately residential use.  There are eight classifications of Single Family that are based on the parcel size (density).  These classifications are shown below:
  • Less than 8,000 sq. ft.
  • 8,000 to 13,000 sq. ft.
  • 14,000 to 43,599 sq. ft.
  • 1 to 2.4 acres
  • 2.5 to 4.9 acres
  • 10 to 9.9 acres
  • Ten acres and greater
  • More than one unit per parcel​
Multiple Family: Improved parcels having four or more units per building in predominately residential use, including apartments, condominiums, row houses, senior living facilities without skilled nursing care, and terraces plus any streets, service drives, and community areas such as yards, clubhouses, and pools.  Hotels, motels, campgrounds, and mobile home parks are not included in this category.
Mobile Home Park: Improved parcels having multiple mobile home structures that are in the nature of a community or "mobile home park" plus any streets, service drives, and community areas such as yards, clubhouses, and pools.  A single mobile home structure on a parcel is not classified as a mobile home, but "Single Family Residential."
Commercial/Office: Improved parcels used for wholesale, retail, office, entertainment, or services, including those uses predominately at street level on multi-functional structures, plus related contiguous accessory uses such as parking areas and service drives.
Industrial: Improved parcels used predominately for manufacturing or on which materials or articles are processed or semi-processed, but not retailed, including related storage areas, and warehousing.  Commercial waste disposal sites, land fill operations, and junk yards are also shown as industrial.
Public/Institutional: Improved parcels and facilities that are held in the public interest and are usually exempt from real property taxation plus any service drives or roads inside the actual parcel.  Examples of this category are churches, educational facilities, governmental offices, hospitals, assisted living and skilled nursing care facilities, municipal parking facilities, day care centers, and cemeteries.
Recreation/Conservation: Parcels for which the primary purpose is for outdoor recreation or natural area conservation.  This may include public or private-owned parks, outdoor sporting clubs, hunt clubs, golf courses, marinas, campgrounds, or areas for which the primary purpose is preservation and conservation of undeveloped natural areas.
Transportation, Utility & Communication: Improved parcels containing above or below-ground utility or communication facilities, including electric and gas generating plants, transmission lines, booster and transformer stations, related storage yards, county drains, detention/retention basins etc.  In addition, airports, railroad yards, buildings related to utility companies, such as Detroit Edison, Consumer's Energy, and telecommunications companies, plus Waste Water Treatment Plants and Water Works, are also included in this category.
Extractive:  Parcels that are primarily used for surface mining and extraction of materials such as gravel, stone, minerals, ore, soil, or peat.
Vacant: All parcels not included in one of the above definitions.  These are unimproved areas that are not in a committed use and not in a use that is accessory to an adjacent parcel with a use described above.
Water: Areas that are ordinarily covered by water as depicted in the Oakland County Waterbody feature class.
Road Right-Of-Way: Areas that are predominately used for vehicular transportation.  These areas may also contain pedestrian walkway, utility easements, railroad crossings, and/or on-street parking areas.
Railroad Right-Of-Way: Areas improved with a rail system and predominately used for train traffic.