Brian Urquhart, City Planner

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

Pay Development Fees Here

City of Grand Haven Development Guide


Pre-Development Meeting – Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Pre-Development meeting?

A pre-development meeting allows interested parties to learn more about the development process. This includes timeframes, applications, permits, fees, and what can be approved administratively in comparison to what projects requires board action. These factor into the cost and timeframe for approval. Furthermore, it helps in determining whether the development is compatible with the zoning ordinance and master plan.

A pre-development meeting, helps the applicant understand the logistics making the development process more streamlined and knowledgeable of the requirements. Additionally, the applicant can also become familiar about what financial incentives may be available and the process to obtain them.

What information is helpful to have prior to a Pre-Development Meeting?

A site should be identified. Preliminary sketches, preferred use and current or past uses are very helpful to lead the discussion.

Pre-Development Review Checklist

How does the Pre-Development Meeting Work?

Staff references zoning requirements and the master plan to assist in determining what information is necessary. They utilize checklists to determine the completeness of an application. The Site Plan Application and Checklist details types of items that need to be addressed for a development to be approved, whereas the Site Plan (Sec. 40-115) application is the instrument that achieves the cooperation between the applicant and the Planning Commission, in order for the applicant to accomplish their objectives of a proposed project that complies with the regulations of the zoning ordinance and vision in the Master Plan.

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 Brian Urquhart 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 Brian 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
Fee Schedule 2023-24
Grand Haven Master Plan 2023
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
Priority Redevelopment Sites: 300 N 7th Street
Public Participation Plan *UPDATED*
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 Planning Department.