Planning

Overview

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.

Medical Marihuana

The City Commission adopted an ordinance to legalize medical marihuana facilities on Tuesday, July 24. Those facilities would follow the State's 2016 "Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act."

Adopted Ordinance Language


One-Room Rentals (such as AirBnB)

The City code permits "shared room" or "private room"-type rentals, but not "entire apartment"-type. If you see those advertised, the City Clerk may not have licensed them.

Fact Sheet and More Information


Housing NOW!

The Housing NOW! Initiative recommended several amendments to the Zoning Ordinance. We've outlined those amendments on the Housing NOW! page (recommendations #3, 6, 8, and 9). 

At their meeting on March 27, 2018, the City Commission decided to delay a decision on the amendments. They did this so the community could have more time to discuss the amendments. In May, they also hired an outside firm, Public Agency, to help with those discussions.

Planning Boards and Commissions

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

Zone Districts

Grand Rapids is split into zone districts. The Zoning Ordinance is the set of laws for these zones. For a brief overview of what zoning is and how it works in the City, please watch our Zoning 101 and Zoning 102 videos below.


Zoning 101


Zoning 102


Zoning Ordinance

Learn more about the Zoning Ordinance below.

Zoning Ordinance

Where We're Going

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

Affordable Housing Initiatives

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


Better Neighborhood Engagement & Development Information

We've modified our public notice postcards and put information and all application attachments online for the Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, and Historic Preservation Commission. We're also working with groups such as the Urban Core Collective (UCC) and several neighborhood associations to improve our engagement practices. One particular focus area is the "Development With Us" model, which we are creating to help better get out the word about proposed development projects. We're also bringing forward several Zoning Ordinance amendments to help provide guidance for better neighborhood meetings and Good Neighbor Plans.


Medical Marijuana

The City Commission adopted an ordinance to legalize medical marijuana facilities on Tuesday, July 24 and amended it in December 2018. Those facilities will also be subject to the State's 2016 "Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act."

The City Commission has not yet considered whether or not to allow recreational marijuana uses.


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


Sustainability

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 Rapids Public Schools (GRPS). 

GR Forward

Zoning Map

Want to look up zoning or other aspects of a property? An online public mapping system is available for looking up the zoning or other aspects of a particular property.

Planning Map 

PDF Versions


Individual Zone District Maps


Overlay District Maps

OD-EBL (East Beltline) Overlay


Historic District Maps


2002 Master Plan Maps


Downtown


Permits

If you would like to see current and upcoming developments in the City. Please visit our BuildingEye website by clicking the link below.