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Planning & Zoning

Step 1: Pre-Development Meeting:
Prior to beginning any development process in the City, applicants are encouraged to meet with City staff for a conceptual review meeting. This meeting can help promote a smooth approval process once a formal application is submitted. In order to request a conceptual review meeting, Please call (269) 685-6821, or via e-mail at

For more information, check out our Guide to Development
Download the zoning permit application and bring with you to the meeting.
In order to make the best use, the following should be known/available:

  • Location
  • Existing use/Zoning District
  • Intended development (residential, office, retail, manufacturing, and so forth)
  • Preliminary sketches (hand-drawn are sufficient)
  • Surrounding land uses
Any other additional information such as professional service providers, flood zone status, expected parking, and so forth are helpful but not required.
At the meeting, City staff will cover the following:
  • Review the proposed use for general conformance with existing zoning
  • Provide initial feedback on design (if applicable)
  • Identify the correct process (site plan review, special land use, variance and so forth) and walk the applicant through what to expect
  • Cover potential options for incentives through local, county or state programs
  • Answer any additional questions you may have pertaining to development in Plainwell

Please refer to our:
Guide to Development for questions, flow charts, timelines and contacts.
Economic Development Strategy, which supports and embraces policies and practices to improve the overall economic welfare of the city.

Master Plan 2023-2027

  •     Fence Permit
  •     New Building Construction
  •     Existing Building Addition/Alteration
  •     Address Ordinance Questions
  •     Building Demolition10-9-23-zoning-map-pic.JPG
  •     Moving a Building
  •     Signs

Criteria for Submitting a Site Plan

  1. Schedule meeting with city staff for preliminary review
  2. Determine zoning of property: zoning map
  3. Review ordinance district regulations. Download zoning district files C1C2 I, R1C, R2, CBD, R1A & B, Subdivision.
  4. Planning and Zoning Fees
  5. Create site plan: Site Plan Review requirements
  6. Submit a Zoning Permit application to City: Zoning Permit
  7. Submit site plan to Community Development Manager for Departmental review and submission to the Planning Commission.
  8. Site Plan goes to City Council with recommendation from Planning Commission: View commission meeting minutes.
  9. E-mail any questions to