Zoning Ordinance

Grand Rapids is split into zone districts. The Zoning Ordinance is the set of laws we have for these zones. We review land uses based on the location and other factors. In each zone district land uses are:

  • Permitted by right - allowed in this zone district with staff review
  • Special Land Use - Planning Commission review
  • Prohibited

The common zone types are residential, commercial and industrial. The intent of zoning to keep our neighborhoods and businesses strong. Check out the Zoning Ordinance below.

Zoning Ordinance(PDF, 5MB)

Prefer to save or print a copy? Download the Zoning Ordinance PDF(PDF, 5MB).

Unsure where to start? Check out how to use the zoning ordinance.

The Planning Commission recently approved several Zoning Ordinance amendments regarding affordable housing. Want to take a closer look at these? Check out the Housing NOW! page.

Housing NOW!

Review our staff report for the Planning Commission on January 25, 2018 here. Want to watch a video of that Planning Commission meeting? Watch here.

January 25, 2018 Planning Commission Draft Meeting Minutes

City Commission reviewed these recommendations at the February 20, 2018 Commission meeting. They've set a public hearing for March 27, 2018.

The Planning Commission recommended an amendment to allow two-familiy and multi-family residential by right within a 500' buffer from certain commercial zone districts. We mapped out this area in the maps below:

Citywide 500' buffer map

Citywide 500' buffer map with parcel lines and more information

Neighborhood level maps

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. Check out our Planning Map here


We also have print versions of this map:

Zoning Overview Map

Zoning Detailed Map Set


Zone District maps

CC (City Center)

TCC (Transitional City Center)

TBA (Traditional Business Area)

C (Commercial)

SD-NOS (Special Districts - Neighborhood Office Service)

SD-IT (Special Districts - Industrial Transportation)

LDR (Low-Density Residential)

MDR (Mixed-Density Residential)

Is there a property being used in a way that doesn't match the neighborhood? Common examples include:

  • Illegal business
  • Improperly installed fence
  • Illegal or improperly installed sign

Report a complaint about a zoning violation here

Current zoning may not always reflect the legal use of a particular property. The property may have non-conforming rights for a particular use (grandfathered¬Ě). Also, in some cases, a previous variance or previous Special Land Use approval may be in effect. Determine the legal use of a particular property by submitting a Property Use Verification form here

Interested in how we determine Zoning Fee refunds? Review our City Commission Policy below.

Zoning Fee Refunds Policy