Community Development


Jennifer Howland, Community Development Manager
Mary Ann Poel, Administrative Assistant

*All applications should be emailed to Mary Ann Poel 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, neighborhood development, and construction regulation programs.

2020 Draft Zoning Ordinance Update

The City of Grand Haven has been working on an update to the Zoning Ordinance. Following public engagement during the second half of 2019, the City’s consultant has been putting together proposed changes to reflect the interests of the community and implement the goals of the City’s master plan. As draft chapters become available, they will be posted here. The Planning Commission will be reviewing the drafts during the months of March and April, and they will be planning ways to collect feedback from the public this spring. If you would like to give the City feedback, please click here to send the Planning & Community Development Department your comments.

Article I. Administration
Article II. Interpretation and Definitions
Article III. General Provisions
Article IV. Zoning Districts       | Zoning Map (SFR was renamed to LDR, and new colors are proposed.  No properties were rezoned)
Article V. Standards and Requirements for Special Uses
Article VI. Parking
Article VII. Signage – no changes proposed with this update
Article VIII. Landscaping
Community Input Report
Interactive Zoning Map (SFR was renamed to LDR, and new colors are proposed.  No properties were rezoned)

Building & Inspection

Andy Cannon, Code Enforcement Officer
Tom Bruursema, Building Official

The Building and Inspection Division enforces the minimum standards for the protection of life, health, environment, public safety, and general welfare. The Building and Inspection division is responsible for building, mechanical, and electrical plan reviews and inspection. The City contracts with the State of Michigan for plumbing inspections. The following permits are reviewed and issued by the

Community Development Department: Building (remodeling, additions, siding, etc.), Mechanical (furnace, A/C units, etc.), Electrical (new service and changing of service, etc.), Signage, Driveways, Sheds, Fencing, Sidewalk Cafés, and Temporary Use Permits. Please contact the Department at 616-847-3490 for additional information and fees.

Residential Wood Deck Construction Guide

Rental Housing Program
Pursuant to City Code of Ordinance Chapter 9 (Sections 201-204) all rental property and units thereof must be registered on an annual basis.

Property Improvement Program (PIP) – The City of Grand Haven currently serves as a Community Agent for the MSHDA program which offers long term, low-interest home improvement loans for both owner-occupied and rental property here in the City. To learn more about (PIP) please click on the following link PIP Brochure.

Neighborhood Development

The Neighborhood Development component is designed to assist neighborhoods in maintaining property values and quality housing options for diverse populations.

Housing Grants & Home Buyer Education


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
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
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)
Zoning Ordinance Amendment List
Grand Haven Zoning Map (Illustrates what zoning district each property within the City is zoned)

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.