Your Voice Needed! Potential Zoning Changes

Attention Residents:

We would like to get your feedback on proposed changes to zoning on the Westside. Currently the City of Grand Rapids is considering changing the zoning from a Traditional City Center to a City Center. This could affect building height and parking. There is a questionnaire at the bottom of this page! Thank you for your time!

To give a short summary on the proposed zoning:

Map of proposed zoning changes. Click on the image to make it larger.

Map of proposed zoning changes. Click on the image to make it larger.

CURRENT - Two (2) overlay districts

  • Overlay A:
    • 85’ max height (6-8 stories) by right
    • Additional stories (up to 7 stories) allowed as bonus
    • Bonuses for:
      • Urban open space (up to 4 stories)
      • Ground floor retail (up to 7 stories)
      • Residential space (up to 7 stories)
  • Overlay B:
    • Unlimited height

    Below are the definitions and sources so you may review to be able to provide feedback. Below this information is the questionnaire!


    Transitional City Center - The Transitional City Center is the buffer district between downtown and its surrounding neighborhoods. This zone district provides a transition from downtown's intense development patterns to less intense residential and commercial areas. Unique features of TCC's such as large warehouse buildings, provide opportunities for innovative re-use.

    City Center - The intent of this District is to maintain and enhance the vitality of downtown, reinforce its intense development pattern, provide compatible services near one another, allow diverse uses, and keep older, often historic, buildings in viable use. The compact development pattern of downtown establishes a pedestrian-oriented and transit-friendly environment. The City Center Zone District stresses pedestrian circulation, urban and civic design, protection of natural features, and encourages the reuse of existing buildings.

    Complete Description of these terms start on Page 20 starting under Sec. 5.6.02. - Traditional Neighborhood Mixed-Use Commercial Zone Districts: Purpose and Intent. Here


    PROPOSED - Maintain two overlay districts

    • DH-1:
      • Unlimited height
    • DH-2:
      • 10 stories max height by right
      • 16 stories max with bonuses
        • Bonuses for:
          • Public art
          • Mixed income
          • Green infrastructure



      It is important to note that at the time the GR Forward Public Engagement Meetings were done, the top concerns by residents and stakeholders of the WGNO/JBAN/SWAN neighborhoods were:

      1. Parking
      2. Zoning (Specifically building height).

      Please take a moment and let us know what you think!

      After reviewing the information provided please take the questionnaire to let us know what you think about the proposed changes.
      Name *
      Address *
      Please enter your address so we know which neighborhood you reside in.
      Phone Number
      Phone Number
      if you would like to discuss this subject further, please enter your phone number.
      Choose an answer of Yes, No or Undecided in the Drop-down menu below.
      If you have any additional comments, questions or concerns on the proposed zoning changes please let us know.

      Additionally we would like to let you know that there will be a community meeting with City Commissioners Dave Shaffer & Jon O'Conner about the proposed zoning changes on February 28th, 2017 at 6:00 PM. Currently the meeting location is planned at West Grand Neighborhood Organization. 

      Please RSVP to let us know if you plan to attend and if there will be any additional people with you by calling 616-451-0150 or emailing your RSVP to

      You can also follow the event on Facebook to get updates and other information: