Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)


Crime Prevention through Environmental Design, known as CPTED (pronounced “sep-ted”), is a philosophy of crime prevention that utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to the built environment that is intended to deter criminal behavior, foster improved quality of life, assist in achieving community-policing goals, and facilitate self-policing by the community. CPTED draws on passive strategies incorporated into the normal planning, design, and management of the built environment. This ordinance focuses on goals that relate to the physical built environment and generally addresses the following key elements of CPTED philosophy:

1. Natural access management for the physical guidance of people and vehicles; and

2. Natural surveillance to promote and maximize visibility; and

3. Territorial reinforcement to delineate space and express a positive sense of ownership; and

4. Physical maintenance and management for the general upkeep of a building or area.


The requirements of this ordinance apply to a place of business that is licensed by the State of Michigan for tobacco, alcohol (off-premises consumption) and marijuana; provides “bodyworks” personal services; and businesses engaged in retail sales and assembly uses that have hours that extend past midnight. Businesses where repeated zoning, nuisance, building and other public safety issues arise that meet this Chapter’s criteria of a chronic nuisance and where the public would benefit from the application of this Ordinance for reasons of health, safety and welfare shall also be considered eligible.

All businesses that meet the use requirement of the CPTED ordinance will need to go through a certification process. These CPTED certifications are good for two years and then will need to be recertified. Currently there is no cost for the certification. There is also a registration form that will need to be updated annually.

The Certification process involves having a CPTED specialist from the City of Grand Rapids complete an inspection of the property. After the inspection has been completed you will receive an inspection report detailing any changes or repairs that are needed in order to comply with the ordinance. The property will then need to be re-inspected to verify all changes and repairs have been made and the property is compliant. If all repairs are completed, you will receive a Certificate of Compliance that is valid for two years. If changes and repairs have not been completed, then there are enforcement steps in place that do include fees and the property will need to be inspected again until all repairs have been completed.