Kalamazoo's planning staff directs future growth and redevelopment in the City through land use planning and zoning to help create a better, more sustainable community. The work of the Planning Division is guided by the strategic vision and master plan for the city, which is reflected and implemented through the Zoning Ordinance.
The Michigan Planning Enabling Act requires local governments in Michigan to prepare a Master Plan (sometimes referred to as a comprehensive plan or land use plan) and specifies what must be included, how it's approved, and who has authority over the plan. The plan must be assessed every five years to determine if updates are necessary. The basic elements of a master plan include a community background & description, goals and objectives, recommendations to reach the established goals, a future land use map, and a zoning plan. The goals set forth in the master plan are put into practice through zoning, budget allocation, community partnerships, and city ordinances.
Kalamazoo is currently in the process of updating its master plan. City staff are working with neighborhoods, community groups, businesses, residents, students, and visitors in this process to get a plan that is reflective of our communities goals, vision, and values. The new master plan, Imagine Kalamazoo 2025, is expected to be completed in 2017.
The City often collaborates with community organizations, neighborhoods, and the private sector on more focused plans for a specific area or to address certain issues in the community. A collection of all plans and studies is available here.
Neighborhood Enterprise Zones
The Neighborhood Enterprise Zone (NEZ) Program was established by Public Act 147 of 1992 to spur the development and rehabilitation of residential housing in communities. The program provides a tax incentive for the development and rehabilitation of residential housing and encourages owner-occupied housing and new investment in communities. More information about Michigan's NEZ program is available in the Fact Sheet or by contacting the Community Planning & Development Office at (269) 337-8044. Applications for Neighborhood Enterprise Zone Certificates are available on the State of Michigan website here.
Zoning & Land Use
Zoning and land use planning help promote growth and redevelopment in the City in a sustainable and orderly way. Kalamazoo's pdf Zoning Map (640 KB) identifies the current zoning districts within the city limits. Descriptions of zoning districts, use regulations, and other detailed information is available in the Zoning Ordinance.
The pdf Future Land Use Map (2.39 MB) assigns each parcel within the city limits with a recommended land use. This recommended use often corresponds to the parcels current use, but this is not necessarily the case. In situations where the uses differ, this is not meant to deter or negatively impact a particular use of the property. Rather, it is to provide potential purchasers and developers with the City's long-term view of how properties could be most optimally configured, should the opportunity arise.