Kalamazoo's Community Planning & Economic Development Department (often referred to as CPED) works to create a healthy, safe, and sustainable community of choice through leadership, education, partnerships, and stewardship of resources and assets. The department has several areas of focus including land use and planning, the investment of federal, state, and local grant funds into neighborhoods, rental housing and building inspections, historic preservation, economic development, and the enforcement of codes and ordinances.
Building and Trades staff are guided by the Building Code (Chapter 9 of the City's Code of Ordinances). They inspect buildings to ensure compliance with the code to protect public health, safety, and the general welfare of Kalamazoo as it relates to buildings, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, and fire prevention. Applications for building permits, information about Board of Appeals hearings, and other information is available here.
Kalamazoo's Code Compliance Program coordinates inspections and enforcement of codes related to dangerous or dilapidated structures, structures open to casual entry, trash or garbage on private property or in the curb lawn, zoning violations, tall grass or weeds, and graffiti. Staff encourage property owners to remain in compliance with city ordinances or promptly address any violations.
The Community Development Division invests federal, state and local funds in programs and services that benefit neighborhoods, business development, and low-income households to address critical needs in our community. This division works closely with neighborhood associations, nonprofit organizations, foundations, and others community groups to build strong and sustainable neighborhoods.
Different development projects demand different approaches, from rehabilitating single-family homes or expanding a small-business to launching the next hot start-up. What all projects share is a need for customized guidance to grow your dream into reality. The City of Kalamazoo has a dedicated team that makes the development process easier, faster, and more equitable in Kalamazoo. Wherever you are in the process, our team is here to help you navigate all aspects of development, things like permitting, site selection, site plan review, and financial incentives. Learn more about how the City of Kalamazoo and support your vision here.
Kalamazoo is the smallest of the four cities in Michigan that employ a full time Historic Preservation Coordinator. Kalamazoo's Historic Preservation Coordinator advises and assists in a variety of projects from neighborhood planning to regulation of projects in historic districts to helping property owners identify available tax credits and assistance. Kalamazoo is also one of twenty-three certified local governments in the state of Michigan, which makes the city eligible for grants to assist historic preservation related planning activities. The Historic Preservation Coordinator supports the Historic Preservation Commission and Historic District Commission, as well as the Downtown Design Review Committee. More information about Historic Preservation in the Kalamazoo is available here.
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 Planning Division supports the work of the Planning Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals, as well as the Site Plan Review Committee and the Downtown Design Review Committee. More information about planning & zoning is available here.
The Community Planning & Development Department oversees the Rental Registration & Certification Program to help ensure safe and sanitary rental housing within the City of Kalamazoo. The program requires all rental property to be registered as such and pass periodic inspections. Upon a satisfactory inspection, a Certificate of Compliance will be issued (compliance with the City of Kalamazoo Housing Code, Chapter 17 of the Code of Ordinances). Every rental property is subject to inspection including single family homes, multi-unit apartments, and hotels/motels renting rooms on a nightly basis. A standard Certificate of Compliance is good for 28 months; however property owners who meet certain criteria can be eligible for a 40 month certificate. In addition to the periodic inspections, Housing Inspectors also respond to tenant complaints as needed.