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's Community Master Plan while keeping the public interest at the forefront.  

City Housing Policy Amendments

In the spring of 2023, an update to the 2020 Housing Needs Assessment was presented by the City’s Housing Practice Leader, Ryan Kilpatrick of Housing Next. The update determined that by 2027, approximately 34,700 dwelling units are needed countywide, with 14,106 of the units in the City of Grand Rapids, to accommodate household growth and older home replacement. In response to the Assessment, the City Commission expressed a desire to evaluate the City’s housing policies and requested that the Planning Commission provide them with recommendations.

City Housing Policy Text Amendments Information


Cannabis

Cannabis Information


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


Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

Zoning FAQs for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

Planning Staff

Supplemental Checklists


Planning Commission


Board of Zoning Appeals


Historic Preservation Commission


Sign Permit


Administrative


Questions

Not seeing what you're looking for? Give us a call or email us using the information in the Contact Us section of this page.

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 Community 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.

Community Master Plan

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. 


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

Downtown/Wayfinding Map


Permits

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

Development Permits Map