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Gaines Charter Township Planning and Zoning


The Planning and Zoning Department provides a variety of services to preserve and enhance the uniquely high quality of life offered to those who live or work in Gaines Charter Township. These departments are responsible for the Township’s current land use and development issues, long-range planning strategies, and enforcement of regulations. They serve as support staff to the Planning Commission, the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Parks and Recreation Committee, the Township Board, and other committees, task forces, and associations. 

Department activities are generally divided into three sections; Current Planning, Long-Range Planning and Code Enforcement. Current Planning activities include Site Plan Review, the processing of Land Divisions, and the processing of Zoning Board of Appeal applications.  Long-Range Planning activities include directing the orderly development and growth of the community by overseeing implementation of the Township’s “Master Plan", preparation of sub-area or neighborhood plans, overseeing the creation and adoption of new ordinances, and providing staff support to such entities as the Division Avenue Corridor Improvement Authority (DACIA). The Department also conducts enforcement efforts for most Township ordinances.


Mark Sisson, AICP
   Township Planner
616-698-6640 Ext. 119

Matt McKernan

  Assistant Planner
616-698-6640 Ext. 120

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Current Items


Annual Reports


Work Programs

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Zoning Ordinance

Disclaimer:  The Gaines Charter Township Zoning Ordinance is provided online for informational purposes only. The formatting of the document may vary from the official hard copy of the zoning ordinance. In the case of any discrepancy between this version and the official hard copy, the official hard copy will prevail. The Web version of the zoning ordinance may not reflect all of, or the most current, legislation passed by Gaines Charter Township. Updates are incorporated on a periodic basis. For questions regarding the zoning ordinance, contact the Planning & Zoning Department.

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Application Forms and Permits


Planning Commission

  • Current Planning Commissioners:

Connie Giarmo (Chair), Ronnie Rober (Vice Chair), Loni Thomas (Secretary), Tim Haagsma, Brad Waayenberg, Brad Burns, and Talimma Billips

The Planning Commission meets on the fourth Thursday of every month at 7:00 PM. The Agenda and Minutes are in PDF Format gr smallpdf


Zoning Board of Appeals

  • Current Zoning Board of Appeals Members:
Tom Werkema (Chair), Ruth Ringnalda (Vice Chair), Michael Alex Brex (Secretary), Don Hilton, Connie Giarmo, and Phil Tietz (Alternate Member)

The Zoning Board meetings are scheduled as needed for the second Wednesday of the month at 7:00 PM. The Agenda and Minutes are in PDF Format gr smallpdf


Master Plan


Code Enforcement

Most people would agree; Gaines Charter Township is a great place to live. It's suburban lifestyle, combined with urban amenities and careful planning for growth contribute to its high quality of life.

In order to maintain that high quality of life, Township ordinances are put in place to balance the rights of the individual with the needs and rights of other citizens. Citizens typically become aware of code requirements when they feel something is negatively affecting their own home or neighborhood and they seek to change it. 

Please either stop by, call (616-698-6640), or email the Gaines Charter Township Office with any questions and or concerns you may have.


Most application forms and permits are in PDF Format  gr smallpdf  and require the FREE Adobe® Acrobat® Reader available from the Adobe website.

Gaines Charter Township maintains this web-site to enhance public access to information.  Content is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as certified, unless so stated.

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