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Firepit & Open Burning Rules

Section 3.1 in the Michiana Shores Municipal code covers rules and exemptions for open fires within our town. You can find all the town ordinances and the full code here. Excerpts related to open burning are listed below.

Section 3-1-6-1. Definitions

  • Clean wood Products – means dry wood products that are not coated with stain, paint, glue, or other coating material.
  • Open burning – the burning of any materials wherein air contaminants resulting from combustion are emitted directly into the air, without passing through a stack or chimney from an enclosed chamber.

Section 3-1-6-2. Open Burning Prohibited

It shall be unlawful for any person to burn, kindle, or incinerate any type of garbage, refuse, waste, yard waste or other like materials.

Section 3-1-6-3. Exemptions –

A. Recreational or ceremonial fires, such as camp fires, subject to the following conditions:

  • Only clean wood products:
  • Burning shall not be conducted for the purpose of disposal.
  • A person who Open Burns shall extinguish the fire if the fire creates a nuisance or fire hazard.
  • Burning may not be conducted during unfavorable meteorological conditions such as: high winds, temperature inversions, air stagnation or when a pollution alert or ozone action day has been declared.
  • All fires must be attended at all times during burning until completely extinguished.
  • All burning shall comply with other federal, state, and local laws, rules, and ordinances.
  • Adequate firefighting equipment shall be on-site for extinguishing purposes during burning times.

B. Burning, for the purpose of heating, using Clean Wood Products in a noncombustible container that is sufficiently vented to induce adequate primary combustion, and has enclosed sides and a bottom. Burning shall not be conducted for the purpose of disposal.

Section 3-1-6-4. Enforcement

This section shall be enforced by the Police Department or the Chief of the Fire Department.

Section 3-1-6-5. Penalty and Fines

Any person violating this section shall pay a fine of fifty dollars ($50.00) for each violation. Each day a violation exists or continues shall constitute a separate offense

Section 3-1-6-6. Service fee

Violators shall pay the Fire Department a service fee of $50.00 for responding to or for extinguishing any illegal open burning.

A Nasty Invasive Plant in our woods – Garlic Mustard

Scientific Name: Alliaria petiolata

Common Name: Garlic mustard, hedge garlic, sauce-alone, jack-by-the-hedge, poor man’s mustard, jack-in-the-bush, garlic root, garlicwort, mustard root


  • An herbaceous, flowering plant that smells like garlic when crushed.
  • Heart-shaped basal rosettes (leaves) appear in year one at ground level.
  • In the second year, stems shoot up (1-4 feet) and develop flowers and seeds.
  • Leaves become more toothed and triangular in shape.
  • Clusters of tiny, white, 4-petaled flowers bloom in early spring.
  • Seed pods are green, long and narrow and look like stems – turning brown in fall.

Native to: Europe

First introduced: to the US in the 1860s (Long Island), and has spread throughout the Northeast and Midwest. Garlic mustard thrives in wooded areas and can tolerate deep shade, partly because it emerges and blooms before trees develop leaves in spring. It is toxic or unpalatable to many native herbivores, as well as to some native butterflies and pollinators.

Some speculate that an overabundance of deer help garlic mustard thrive as they don’t like it, and they’ll eat the other competing plants around it. In any event, while it’s easy to pull up – must pull up the entire root – it can take a couple of years to completely clear an area of this nasty plant. Pull them when you see them and then put them in your garbage bins or bags – DO NOT COMPOST or they will spread. It’s toxic to other plants and tree seedlings, and depletes the soil of the nutrients that our native flora and fauna prefer. When you see it – pull it!

Noise Ordinance Updates & New Quiet Hours

Town of Michiana Shores Noise Regulations

For full details see Town of Michiana Shores Ordinance 2022-07, Noise Abatement and
Quiet Hours.
(Note: all times listed are Central Time)

  • Construction Noise (including landscaping work requiring noise-generating equipment)
    • Monday – Saturday allowed 8am – 7pm
    • Sunday – Prohibited
    • Legal Holidays (see below) – Prohibited
  • Yard Maintenance (using noise-generating equipment such as but not limited to, lawnmowers, leaf-blowers, chainsaws)
    • Monday – Saturday allowed 8am – 7pm
    • Sunday – allowed 10am – 7pm
  • Quiet Hours (no discernible noise beyond the residence or lot)
    • Sunday – Thursday 10pm – 8am the following day
    • Friday – 11pm to 8am the following day
    • Saturday – 11pm to 10am the following day
  • Legal Holidays
    • New Year’s Day
    • Good Friday
    • Memorial Day
    • Independence Day
    • Labor Day
    • Thanksgiving Day
    • Christmas Day
  • STR update regarding fireworks
    • No use of fireworks by Short-Term Rental guest at any time

Noise generated by snow removal or emergency responses are exempt from the regulations

A New Little Free Library in Kincaid Park

There’s a new addition in Kincaid Park – our own Little Free Library! Thanks to Andy & Karen Finn for the donation to make this possible, and to Steve Fetzer and Skip Moffo for the installation in the park in the classic, Michiana Shores fieldstone style. Stop by and share a book or take a book!

Read more about another Little Free Library that we have in our town thanks to Lydia Gallas, over on Dreamwold, in this September 2022 article in The Beacher about the various little libraries in our area.

Landscaping Guides for Living in the Dunes

The dunes are to the Midwest what the Grand Canyon is to Arizona and the Yosemite is to California. They constitute a signature of time and eternity. Once lost, the loss would be irrevocable.

Carl Sandburg

Our town of Michiana Shores lies within the Tolleston Shoreline region of southern Lake Michigan. If you’re interested in learning more about how the shoreline of Lake Michigan has shifted throughout the centuries, start here with this short overview from IU/Indiana Geological and Water Survey about the formation of Lake Michigan. The wetlands, woodlands and savannahs that formed behind the sand dunes in this part of the state present a unique ecosystem of sandy, acidic soil, that doesn’t support the type of landscaping that one might find in typical America lawns in the Midwest. The folks at Save the Dunes have put together some handy landscaping guides for those of us living within the dunes of Southern Lake Michigan – check them out to help you with a landscape plan for your Michiana Shores home that utilizes the native flora and fauna around us.

How to apply for a short-term rental permit


*Note: STR permit Moratorium goes into effect 10/9/2022 and was extended 2/14/2023

STEP 1 – Read and review the zoning variance details in the STR Ordinance of the Town Code, which includes all the requirements you will need in order to apply for a BZA hearing to gain a variance to allow for short-term rental business in a single-family residential neighborhood.  Once you have an approved zoning variance, then you can proceed to next step.

STEP 2 – You must obtain a Merchant Certificate through the Indiana Secretary of State’s office and Indiana Department of Revenue to ensure that you are collecting and submitting sales and innkeepers’ tax to the State.

STEP 3 – Have a thorough inspection of your home completed by a licensed home inspector. Be sure that all the items mentioned in Ordinance 2020-02 are addressed in the inspection. 

STEP 4 – The completed BZA Application to Request a Special Use and all required attachments should be sent to the Building Commissioner at The filing fee (check made out to, “Town of Michiana Shores”), must be mailed or delivered to Town Hall at 601 El Portal Road, Michiana Shores, IN 46360. The Building Commissioner will contact you to verify that the application packet is complete and to let you know when your Request will be heard by the BZA. You must be present to answer questions from the BZA.

STEP 5If the BZA approves the Special Use request, the written decision along with the attachments must be submitted to the Building Commissioner with a completed STR Permit Application (found in the STR ordinance) and a filing fee of $150.  The Building Commissioner will contact you to let you know when your application will be heard by the Town Council.  You must be present to answer questions from the Town Council..

STEP 6 – If the Town Council approves the permit you will be issued a signed window placard that must be displayed in a street facing window and fully visible from the roadway, designating the property as an Approved Short-Term rental establishment.

STEP 7 – Ensure that all guests follow the Short-Term rental requirements to avoid future citations at the property.  Any Short-Term rental receiving 3 citations will have their permit revoked for 12 months.  Any illegal activity at the Short-Term rental will result in immediate permit revocation.

STEP 8Permit renewals are needed on an annual basis and consist of filing a new application (no fee is required) to update any changes to property.  Note, no new inspection is required unless the property has undergone substantial changes. 

Parking rules to be mindful of

There is NO PARKING allowed on the roads of Michiana Shores. Due to our narrow streets, cars must be parked completely off of the roadways for safety purposes. Fire trucks and other emergency vehicles have difficulty navigating the narrow roads. This means that cars must be completely off the roadway – 2 wheels on the roadway is not sufficient. This is an enforced ordinance.

Dogs rules on and off the beaches

  • When out walking your dog, it must be controlled by a leash (not to exceed 8 feet).
  • Owner of person in control of any domestic animal must remove all animal waste or feces.

Rules for Dogs on Michiana Michigan Beaches

  • No person shall permit any domestic animal whether under restraint or not, on any public beach in Michiana Michigan between the hours of 11:00 am to 6:00 pm(EST) from May 1st thru October 1st.
  • All dogs must be controlled by a leash (not to exceed ten feet).
  • Owner or person in control of any domestic animal must remove all animal waste or feces or other public property.

Beach bonfire rules – Michiana beaches

  • If you are going to have a bonfire on the beach at Stop 37 or any Michiana beach, you must acquire a permit from the Village of Michiana MI.

It shall be unlawful to light or maintain any fire anywhere upon the public beaches of the Village of Michiana; provided, however, this section shall not apply to persons maintaining fires authorized and approved by permit issued by the Village of Michiana.

You must complete this form in order to request a fire permit from the Village of Michiana.

Fireworks rules & regulations

Michiana Shores

  • It is YOUR responsibility to become aware of what fireworks (IC 22-11-14-1) are permitted. All times listed here are Central Time.
  • The approved fireworks are permitted ONLY from June 29 to July 3 between 5 pm and (2) hours after sunset.
  • The approved fireworks are permitted ONLY on July 4 from 10 am til midnight.
  • The approved fireworks are permitted ONLY from July 5 to July 9 between 5 pm and (2) hours after sunset.
  • ANY VIOLATION of this ordinance shall be subject to a $100 fine. A second occurrence will be fined $250. A fine of $2500 will be imposed for a third occurrence. 
  • All fines to be paid to the Town Clerk as an Ordinance Violation

Michiana, Michigan

  • Fireworks Rules in Michiana per Code chapter 159
    • Fireworks are legal only on the following days and times:
    • December 31st 11:00 AM ET through January 1st 1:00 AM ET
    • Following dates run 11:00 AM ET – 11:45 PM ET:
      • The Saturday and Sunday immediately preceding Memorial Day
      • June 29th through July 4th
      • July 5th, IF the date is a Friday or Saturday
      • The Saturday and Sunday immediately preceding Labor Day
    • Fines are $1,000 per occurrence.
    • Fireworks are NOT allowed on any public property like the beaches.