Planning & Zoning


The Planning and Zoning Division maintains and provides information relative to land use regulations, including allowable uses and development regulations. Staff performs review of building and zoning (fence/signs) permit applications, various licensing applications, and site plans for all multi-family residential, commercial, and industrial expansions and new projects to ensure compliance with the zoning ordinance.


The department assists petitioners with the process for applications, including subdivisions, rezoning requests, special use permits, variances, site plans, and other applicable requests, and provides staff support to the Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, and the Historic District Commission. Applications and/or petitions relative to these boards, including members and meeting dates, may be found in the Boards and Commissions section.

Zoning Ordinances


(click links below)
  Zoning Ordinances - Available Online under Part Twelve
  Permitted Uses for each Zoning District Summary Sheet
  Key to Zoning District Codes and Directions to Web Site Ordinances

Current Projects

McCamly/Van Buren parking lot
City and state representatives are collecting feedback on the city-owned parking lot at the southwest corner of this intersection, downtown. There are no pending redevelopment plans for this property, and the study will analyze possible opportunities at the site. Information from a previous public meeting, and a new survey, will help ongoing development efforts in and around downtown. Please take the survey here.

Non-Motorized Transportation Plan update
The city is updating the 2006 Non-Motorized Transportation Plan in 2019 to ensure bicyclists, walkers, kayakers/canoers, joggers, and others continue to have safe, accessible, and well-maintained routes around town and beyond. Over the last 13 years, new routes and infrastructure have been established. Additional routes, signage, and community needs have been discussed, but need a formal plan for implementation. We hope to accomplish this with the update. Learn more by clicking here.

Master Plan
Planning staff is responsible for the preparation and maintenance of the City Master Plan, a long-range plan used to guide the growth and development of a community or region. The most recent plan was adopted by the Planning Commission on Feb. 28, and by the City Commission on March 6, 2018. Before that, the most recent plan was adopted in 1997. Staff reviews projects from the public as well as from other departments to ensure they are consistent with goals/objectives established in the plan. Staff is also charged with development, interpretation, administration, and enforcement of the zoning ordinance. Link: Master Plan

Downtown Plan
The Downtown Plan is a sub-area plan of the Master Plan, building on the community's vision and acting as a guiding framework for the ongoing development of Downtown Battle Creek.  This plan defines a direction for future development and redevelopment of the downtown area of Battle Creek, and provides detailed, area-specific recommendations for land use and development, parking, circulation, and placemaking for Downtown.  This plan was adopted by the Planning Commission on Feb. 28, and the City Commission on March 6, 2018.  Click this link for Downtown Plan

Sustainability Plan
Adopted Feb. 5, 2019, the city's Sustainability Plan recognizes the city's responsibility to protect the quality of the air, water, land, and all natural resources, and to conserve these resources in its daily operations. The plan was developed by the city's Sustainable BC Committee, comprised of city staff, community partners and others, who were given the task to increase the city's efforts to incorporate environmentally-responsible and cost-effective policy related to built infrastructure and natural resources.
Read the plan by clicking the cover image below.
2019 Sustainability Plan cover image
Medical Marihuana
Based on the approved 2016 State Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) and a recent city survey, which showed support for allowing medical marihuana businesses, city staff have drafted new regulations to allow medical marihuana to be 1) grown, 2) processed, 3) tested, 4) transported, and 5) sold for medical purposes only. Learn more by clicking here.

Urban Agriculture

The City Commission on May 1, 2018, adopted a revision to the city's Chapter 608 Animals, that allows 20 hen licenses throughout the city.

Applications for one of the 20 licenses can be submitted starting at 8 a.m. Monday, May 14, 2018, at the Planning and Zoning Office, Room 117 at City Hall, 10 N. Division St. 

Staff will accept applications on a first-come, first-served basis. Those who submit applications beyond the first 20 received will be placed on a waiting list.

Approval of a license is subject to a property inspection. Along with the hen license application, those interested must obtain a fence/shed permit for the chicken coop and enclosure. The total cost of the initial, three-year permit is $100.

See the adopted ordinance, license application, and other related documents at right.

See also the Police Department's related web page. (BCPD's Animal Control handles enforcement of much of the animal ordinance.)

Annual Report

The 2016 Planning Department Annual Report (PDF): Outlines the activities of the department as well as the boards and commissions listed.

Contact Us

Prior to starting any project on your property, please call 269-966-3320 to determine the applicable regulations specific to your property and project, as well as the appropriate review process that may be necessary.

General Questions:

Site Plans, Zoning Variances, Zoning Ordinance and Wireless Towers:
Glenn Perian, Senior Planner

Historic Districts, Flood Zone, Site Plans and Zoning Ordinance: 
Eric Feldt, AICP, CFM,  Planner

Department Manager:
Christine Zuzga, AICP, Planning Manager