Planning Programs in Region 8
Each of the seven counties
in Region 8 address planning differently. The following is a summary of
planning resources and efforts in the seven-county region. It is not a
complete list, but lists some of the more major efforts and programs – as well
as the general "flavor" of planning in each county.
Allegan County has a countywide plan that was adopted in 1999 and has had
several opportunities for updates since 1999. The County has an active
Planning Commission and is currently determining the best way to administer
planning in the future. Most of the individual communities in Allegan
County also have planning commissions and fairly up-to-date plans. There are no
individual planning departments in any of the County’s communities (except
Holland). Plan-updates are underway in the City of Allegan, the
Saugatuck-Douglas Area, and Holland.
County has an active Planning Commission and a countywide land use plan that was
adopted in 2002. The County does not have a planning department and voted
against countywide zoning in 2004. Most of the larger communities in Ionia
County have active planning commissions and up-to-date plans, but there are
several townships in the County that have no planning or zoning. There are
no individual planning departments in any of the County’s communities, but the
three cities have a lot of capacity for planning efforts. No plan updates
are currently underway.
County does not have a countywide plan, planning commission, or department, but
performs most related tasks through other county departments, individual
communities, or the Grand Valley Metro Council. Most communities have
up-to-date plans and active planning commissions. There are numerous
updates and efforts underway or planned including the City of Grand Rapids
Zoning Ordinance and the City of Wyoming’s Master Plan. Many individual
communities in Kent County have planning departments, including the cities of
Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Wyoming, Walker; and the townships of Ada, Alpine,
Cascade, Gaines, and Plainfield.
Mecosta County has a countywide plan that was adopted in 2001. The County
also has an active planning commission and countywide zoning. The County
has a Building and Zoning Department. The City of Big Rapids has an active
Planning Department and up-to-date plan. Currently, Big Rapids Township is
developing a land use plan. Many of the townships do not have current
plans – but are covered by countywide zoning.
Montcalm County formed a countywide Planning Commission in 2004 and started its
first countywide plan, which is expected to be finished by early 2006. The
County does not have a planning department, but has many people that are very
knowledgeable in planning issues and serve many functions of a planning
department. The City of Greenville has an up-to-date Master Plan, with
amendments just completed in March 2005. Many of the communities in
Montcalm County currently do not have active planning commissions or plans in
Osceola County has an active County Planning Commission and a countywide plan
that was adopted in 2002. The larger communities in the County have
up-to-date plans, but many of the smaller, more rural communities lack planning
resources. The County does not have a planning department, but does have
people that perform many planning functions. We are not aware of any
communities that are currently updating plans.
County has the most complete county planning department in the Region and has an
up-to-date plan and active planning commission. Additionally, the County
is involved in many other planning projects including transportation and
corridor studies, grant applications, and other planning efforts related to
smart growth and education (they are the ones that created the scratch-n-sniff
farm brochure). Most individual communities in Ottawa County have
up-to-date community plans and many have active planning departments.
Currently the City of Holland, the Village of Spring Lake, the City of
Ferrysburg, and the City of Grand Haven have ongoing planning efforts.