Apply for Natural Features Protection Review

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 (NFP) Review Board reviews proposed projects, site plans, and request 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.

Request a Variance from NFP

Step 1.Request a Variance

If you are unable to meet a requirement of the NFP Ordinance, you can apply for a variance from that aspect of the code. You should request a hearing from the Zoning Board of Appeals for a dimensional variance from the NFP ordinance. 

Request a ZBA Hearing

Step 2.Natural Features Protection Review Board

When you request a variance from the NFP Ordinance, your request will first be heard by the Natural Features Protection Review Board. They will review the case and make a recommendation to the Zoning Board of Appeals.  

Step 3.ZBA & City Commission Approval

With a recommendation from the NFP Review Board, your variance will be considered by the Zoning Board of Appeals. If the ZBA approves of the variance, they will vote to recommend it to the City Commission for final approval. 

Step 4.Site Plan Review

With your variance approved, you can continue with Site Plan Review. You will need to include supplemental information related to NFP with your site plan application and your site plan will be reviewed by the NFP Review Board before its approved. Our team will let you what will be required during your Pre-Application Meeting.

Apply for Site Plan Review

Site Plan Review

If your project does not require a variance from the NFP Ordinance, you can proceed to the Site Plan Review Process. You will need to include supplemental information related to NFP with your site plan application and your site plan will be reviewed by the NFP Review Board before its approved. Our team will let you what will be required during your Pre-Application Meeting.

Supplemental Checklist for Projects in Natural Features Protection Areas(PDF, 340KB)

Apply for Site Plan Review