The city’s Planning team wants to hear from anyone with city properties, about how well the draft zoning ordinance works for them, and for the entire city.

The draft zoning ordinance and map are now available to view on the city’s website, Scroll down to Zoning Ordinance and Map Update. You can also learn more by watching our latest episode of Keeping You Informed, airing on AccessVision channels at 6 p.m. Wednesdays in September, or online here:

Please review the draft items, considering anything that might affect your own city property, like a shed, fence, addition, and the ability to add a specific use to your property; then provide us feedback on the following:

  • Ease of use – How easy was it to find the zoning of your property, and understand the standards for use and development?
  • Allowable use – Do you have the ability to use your property in a way that suits you best? Will the ordinance prevent you from making improvements to your property?
  • How do the draft ordinance and map address your neighborhood?

Reach out to, or call the Planning Division directly at 269-966-3320. Also, watch for upcoming (virtual) Planning Commission and City Commission meetings. Watch live on the city’s Facebook page, or go back to see the videos later, at Meeting notices are posted at City Hall and on our website.

Zoning is an important tool for the city’s master plan – a development guide for the city – which we updated in 2018. The zoning ordinance and map are based in the mid-1970s and require an update to best meet the city’s needs.

Some decisions in the previous ordinance never developed; there are some legal nonconforming issues we must correct – like residential homes in residential areas that are currently zoned commercial, and some of our existing districts are overly restrictive. A major goal of the update is to correct these issues, building flexibility into how the city regulates uses, especially along older commercial corridors.

The update includes few regulatory changes, and the important result that the ordinance is easier to understand for staff, citizens, businesses, and anyone who wants to invest in our community.

Planning staff kicked off this project last fall with various engagement efforts, including a three-day public workshop used to diagnose issues with the existing plan, and introduce update ideas. The project was on hold this summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the staff anticipates final approval by late October.

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