Need-to-Know Ordinances

The City of East Lansing has compiled highlights from a number of need-to-know ordinances for residents and visitors. These ordinances are enforced by the East Lansing Police Department and Parking and Code Enforcement (PACE).

This is not an all-encompassing list of City ordinances. View the East Lansing City Code and recently adopted and non-codified ordinances for additional information.  

Disorderly Conduct

(section 26-52)

  • Do not be intoxicated in a public place and be endangering directly the safety of another person or property.
  • Do not urinate, defecate or spit on any street, sidewalk, alley, park, parkway, parking lot or structure, public carrier or upon any public property.
  • Do not engage in a riot, assemble or act in concert with four or more other persons for the purpose of engaging in conduct constituting the crime of riot, including the destruction of public or private property, throwing objects, starting a fire.
  • Do not knowingly remain on a street, sidewalk or other public property after a public announcement has been made over a loud speaker that an assembly on that street, sidewalk or that public property is an unlawful assembly or returning to a street or sidewalk or other public property within two hours after such an announcement has been made other than to directly traverse the area to get to a destination outside of the area.

Open Alcohol

 (section 26-54)
Do not be in possession of any alcoholic beverage in an open container or container with a broken seal in any public place or private area open to the public except a licensed liquor establishment or elsewhere as provided by ordinance.
Biased Crime Reporting (section 22-36a)
No person shall knowingly and intentionally report to a City of East Lansing Police Officer, the City of East Lansing Police Department, a City of East Lansing Official or report to Ingham County 911, a complaint that a person has committed, or that the person may or will commit a crime or is otherwise acting suspiciously when such a report is not based on a reasonable suspicion or fear of criminal activity, but is rather based, in significant part, on the person's race, color or national origin.

Bulk Rubbish Items

 (ordinance 1300)


 (section 26-66)
The City’s new fireworks ordinance will permit fireworks to be used:
  • From 11 a.m. on New Year’s Eve to 1 a.m. on New Year’s Day.
  • The Saturday and Sunday before Labor Day and Memorial Day from 11 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. each day (none on the day itself).
  • For the Fourth of July, fireworks will be permitted from June 29-July 4 from 11 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. each day and then on July 5 if it falls on the weekend.
  • From 11 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. on Juneteenth (June 19).
Learn more about the Fireworks Ordinance (One-Pager Plus) (PDF) online.


Storage of Trash and Recycling Containers 

(section 36-86)
  • Trash and recycling containers should be stored inside the home; inside an accessory structure, garage or shed; or behind or at the side (back from the street at least one-half the length of the structure) of a home during intervals between collection days.

Snow & Ice Removal

 (section 38-127)
  • Snow that accumulates before noon on a sidewalk must be cleared by midnight the same day.
  • Snow that accumulates after noon on a sidewalk must be cleared by midnight of the following day.
  • Ice should be cleared or an abrasive (salt, sand, ect.) should be applied within 12 hours of formation.
  • Learn more about Snow Removal Ordinance (One-Pager Plus) (PDF) online.


 (section 26-81)
  • Do not create noise that would disturb your neighbors, including loud stereos, shouting.
  • After 11 p.m., noise violations are misdemeanor offenses.
  • An enhanced party noise violation will occur if two or more of the following conditions apply: 1) a common source of alcohol to serve the guests, such as a keg; 2) live entertainment; 3) a charge to gain entrance into the residence or to consume alcohol; 4) amplified sound heard outside of the building; and 5) outdoor drinking games where alcohol is involved.


 (section 50-814)
Parking in designated parking areas only. (section 44-543)
No parking on any street from 2-6 a.m. (section 44-298)
No parking or driving on lawn. (section 44-303)
Parked vehicles must be operable (no flat tires) and have a current license plate. (section 14-36)


Keep your lawn neat and trimmed. Grass should be no higher than six inches. Learn more about appropriate lawn height
Keep trees and shrubs trimmed so sidewalks and street corners are not physically or visually obstructed.

Outdoor Furniture

 (section 301.10)
Do not leave indoor furniture outdoors.


 (ordinance 1320)
No pool, swimming pool, hot tub or spa of any depth - permanent or temporary - shall be placed in the front yard or side yard (unless enclosed) of any one-family, two-family or multiple-family dwelling.