Community Development


Jennifer Howland, Community Development Manager

*All applications should be emailed to Jennifer Howland for quickest response. Otherwise, please mail your paperwork to 519 Washington Ave, Grand Haven, MI 49417*

The Community Development Department is responsible for administering the City’s planning and zoning programs.

Development Inquiries

Interested in developing or redeveloping a property within the city limits?  Do you have a concept plan for a project that is unique and may require special approvals?  Please contact Jennifer Howland for a confidential pre-application discussion. 

Grand Haven Zoning Map 
Master Plan Future Land Use Map
Planned Development Pre-Application Conference Checklist (Sec. 40-421.04.C)

Short-Term Rental Inquiries

Are you looking for an investment property or want to share your beautiful home with visitors from time to time?  Please contact Jennifer Howland to find out if your property is eligible to be rented out on a short-term basis.

Definition: A Short-term rental means a dwelling unit providing transient accommodations for periods of less than one month, more than three (3) times per year.

Short-term Rental Eligibility Map     Contact Jennifer for specific property inquiries
Short-term Rental Special Land Use Regulations
Rental Registration Form

Planning Documents

The Planning aspect provides information and advisory services regarding growth and development; and responds to public inquiries regarding zoning, land use, and development standards. The department also processes current and long-range development applications in accordance with the City’s Master Plan and zoning regulations.

Alley Study 2011
Beyond the Pier Waterfront Master Plan
Building Coastal Resiliency in Grand Haven
Centertown Vision Plan 2014
Central Business District Tax Increment Financing & Development Plan
Central Business District Area Boundaries
Chinook Pier Area Land Use Plan 2009
Downtown Design Guidelines
Downtown Parking Study Report 2017
Downtown Vision Plan 2004
Economic Development Strategic Plan
Grand Haven Master Plan 2016 – Part 1
Grand Haven Master Plan 2016 – Part 2
Joint Robbins Road Corridor Plan (adopted 2011)
Living in Sensitive Areas – A Homeowners Guide
Master Plan Future Land Use Map
Northwest Ottawa Recreation Authority – Recreation Plan 2010
Parking Ramp Location Report
Parks & Recreation Plan: Introduction | Recreation Inventory | Goals | Recreation Survey
Planning Processes
Priority Redevelopment Sites: 224-226 Washington Ave21 N Beacon | 300 & 320 N Beacon
Strategic Marketing Plan
Waterfront Strategic Plan 2005


There are many zoning districts within the City that have different requirements for front and side yard setbacks, building height, lot size, etc. Before you decide to add a garage or addition to your home, you will want to check on the zoning requirements for your property.

Zoning Ordinance (Chapter 40, Code of Ordinances)
Grand Haven Zoning Map

New Business Notification

The City of Grand Haven requires all NEW or RELOCATED businesses to notify the City of its plans. Notifying the city has several benefits to the business owner, property owner, and the city including safety, communication, and investment benefits.

For more information, please visit the New Business Notification page for the proper form and step-by-step instructions of the process.

Forms & Permit Applications

Forms and permit applications are available on the forms and permits page. Please download pdf file, print, complete, and return to the Community Development Department.