We help guide public and private development efforts. We're committed to protecting public health, safety and welfare and carry out our responsibilities under the direction of the City Commission, three appointed boards and commissions and the City Master Plan while keeping the public interest at the forefront.

We staff three appointed boards and commissions. Click the links below to learn more about each, including public meeting information.

Grand Rapids is split into zone districts. The Zoning Ordinance is the set of laws for these zones. Learn more about he Zoning Ordinance below.

Zoning Ordinance

Working closely with the community, we plan for Grand Rapids' future. The City's Master Plan spans 20 years, but we reassess and update it regularly focusing on specific topics such as:

  • Green infrastructure
  • Parks
  • Special considerations for elderly adults
  • Downtown
  • The Grand River
  • Specific corridors or neighborhoods through Area Specific Plans

Check these out below.

Master Plan

We partner with the community and other City departments for projects that facilitate change. 

Affordable Housing Initiatives

We're focused on the future of housing in Grand Rapids. We've provided staff support to the following projects:

Bicycle Safety Education Campaign

Grand Rapids has one of the highest rates of crashes involving bikes in Michigan. The fatal bike crash rate here is nearly three times the state average. We partnered with the Michigan Department of Transportation to fund a $600,000 campaign, Driving Change, to address bike safety on the roads. 

Driving Change


Our Master Plan and Zoning Ordinance promote sustainable development practices. 

Vital Streets

We're improving our transportation network. This includes how streets should be used and designed, and made accessible for all users. See our progress, where we're making improvements and how the program works below.

Vital Streets

The Vital Streets initiative intends to build on the Street Classification Policy

Age Friendly Grand Rapids

We're part of a global initiative to make Grand Rapids happier and healthier for people of all ages.

Age Friendly Grand Rapids

GR Forward

GR Forward is a community plan and investment strategy. We're envisioning the City's future with Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) and Grand Rpaids Public Schools (GRPS). 

GR Forward