Certain natural areas in the city of Kalamazoo are protected by the Natural Features Protection (NFP) Overlay. Construction and development in these areas must be done thoughtfully to protect our community's natural features as much as possible. The NFP Overlay standards include things like requiring new buildings to be set back from lakes and rivers, limiting land clearing, prohibiting planting invasive plants, and protecting steep slopes to prevent erosion. The Natural Features Protection Review Board reviews proposed projects, site plans, and requests for variances that are located in the NFP Overlay.
For homeowners or projects that only require building permits, city staff will review permit applications after they are submitted to make sure they are within NFP guidelines. These projects are most often approved administratively and there is nothing special that you need to do when applying for permits in the NFP Overlay area. This includes all single-family and duplex housing projects.
You can view the NFP overlay using the City's GIS system. Just click the layers icon on the top right of the GIS map window and enable the "Natural Features Overlay" located under "Planning & Zoning."