Long Range Planning

The City Planning Office is responsible for providing technical assistance on creation, adoption, and amendments to long range planning documents such as the Master Plan and Park and Recreation Master Plan in accordance with relevant state laws and common practice.Long range planning is necessary to establish future goals, objectives, and policies pertaining to future growth and development, ensure appropriate capital improvements, and serve as the basis for appropriate land use regulations such as zoning.


The city's first zoning ordinance was first enacted in 1941 and a subsequent ordinance went into effect in 1978. There have been a number of revisions to certain various sections of the zoning code over time, which are annotated in the ordinance by referencing the ordinance number and date of passage. The purpose of the zoning ordinance is to: 

  • Prevent overcrowding
  • Promote orderly development of the city
  • Protect property rights
  • Protect public health, safety, and welfare
  • Provide for adequate light, drainage, access, and transportation

The City Planning Office is responsible for administration and enforcement of the zoning ordinance. City Zoning Administrator issues zoning and sign permits, investigates zoning violations, and assists the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals with the following:

  • Planning Commission: Recommends map and text amendments to City Council, Development Plan Reviews, and Special Use Permits. (See detailed information below.)
  • Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA): Interpretations of the zoning ordinance, variances, and appeals of decisions made by the Zoning Administrator. (See detailed information below.)

Economic Development

The City of Charlevoix encourages retention of existing businesses and promotes new business to our area. The City and surrounding area is a wonderful community to live and do business on a year round basis. The business services page at the top has valuable information for new and existing businesses. The City Planning Office works with new and existing businesses on finding an appropriate locations, the review process for any structural alterations or additions, and sign permits. Our office is happy to help in any way we can.