Planning & Zoning

New Development and Businesses


The City of Manistee welcomes the development of new businesses in our community. Whether you want to locate in Historic Downtown Manistee (on the National Register of Historical Places) or on U.S. 31 we are here to help you. While zoning does not allow a business to be located in every building in the community, we will assist you in finding a location for your needs. 
RRC Certification Award
On January 20, 2017 the Michigan Economic Development Corporation recognized the City of Manistee for its certification as a Redevelopment Ready Community. Pictured (from left to right) are Sarah Rainero, MEDC Regional Director; Denise Blakeslee, Manistee Planning and Zoning Administrator; Mayor James Smith; City Manager Thad Taylor; and Michelle Parkkonen, MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities Manager. 

If you are looking at starting a business in your home or in one of the commercial districts, expand your existing business or relocate to beautiful Manistee please contact us for assistance. While not every building allows every type of business, staff in the Planning and Zoning Department are here to assist the customer. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you.

The city has prepared some helpful materials for prospective developers and business owners.

Economic Incentives

There are a variety of local, state and federal programs that may be helpful to prospective business owners looking to relocate or start a venture in Manistee.

These programs are constantly evolving and changing. Please contact us for assistance in sorting through the various options, as it can be difficult to get your arms around the programs. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you.


A Land Use Permit is needed for any new buildings, additions or alterations to existing buildings. Driveway permits are required when new driveways are installed on a parcel. If you are expanding the width of an existing curb cut you need to verify if a permit is needed.

Most signs in the city require permits. Before ordering a sign verify if it is permitted and if a sign permit application is required. It is recommended that you verify with the Planning and Zoning Department prior to ordering any materials for projects, they are happy to assist applicants with their requests and explain the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance. The city does not want the customer to assume the cost for materials or pre-manufactured items that are not allowed.


Requests for the Planning Commission, Historic District Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals are processed in the Planning and Zoning Department. In an effort to improve our procedure and processes a survey has been developed that looks for feedback from customers who have experienced the site plan review process.

Applications and Useful Documents