June 13, 2024

How Do I ...

Planning & Zoning

How do I develop property in the City of Marshall?



First Steps to Development within the City of Marshall




First, thank you for considering our community for your development.   We have a trained staff of professionals to help you work through City processes.  Your connections include:

·          Marguerite Davenport, Director of Public Services

Phone:   269.781.5183        Fax:  269.789.4628     Email:  

·         Jim Durian, CEO, Marshall Area Economic Development Alliance (MAEDA)


Phone:  269.781.5163         Email:  James@choosemarshall.com


·         Trisha Nelson, Planning & Zoning Administrator


Phone:  269.781.5183        Fax:  269.781.2878     Email:Tnelson@cityofmarshall.com


·         Environmental Coordinator

Phone:  269.781.3985         Fax:  269.789.4628     



The first step in considering a new development should be the district in which you wish to locate.   You can view our zoning map to determine the property’s zoning district.   Then, by viewing that district’s description in theCity’s Zoning Ordinance, you can determine if your use would be a permitted or special land use.   


If it is determined that your use would fall under special land use requirements, then you will need to submit theSpecial Land Use form, fees, and materials to the Planning & Zoning Department.  The process for approval will involve 2 meetings at Planning Commission; one for receiving of the application and one for public hearing and recommendation to City Council.   City Council will then decide upon final approval of the special land use permit.


All new developments require site plan review before the Planning Commission.  A site plan review will require submittal of the Site Plan Application.  CLICK HERE to download the Site Plan Application. Two large size plans should be submitted for staff review along with the application.  The various department heads within the city will review the plans.   A representative of the project may be called in for this review or a letter may be sent to the applicant with any suggested staff revisions.   When the plan is ready for Planning Commission review, and electronic copy is sent to: Tnelson@cityofmarshall.com and 14 size 11x17 plans and 2 full size plans are submitted within the appropriate Planning Commission meeting deadline.

At least 2 meetings at the Planning Commission are required; One meeting to “receive” the plan and at least one meeting to vote on approval of the plan.  Depending upon the complexity of the plan, the Planning Commission may wish to work with the developer to achieve certain community goals such as the best flow for traffic, the most advantageous parking, and especially those items which pertain to the health, safety, and welfare of the community.

Special land use or rezoning processes can be achieved simultaneously with site plan review.


If the property requires rezoning, this constitutes a formal amendment to zoning map.   You will need to submit a formal application for rezoning and support materials to the Planning & Zoning Department.  The process for a formal rezoning will involve 2 meetings at Planning Commission; one for receiving of the application and one for public hearing and recommendation to City Council.   City Council will then also receive the documents at one meeting and hold a public hearing at the second meeting.

Rezoning a property should happen prior to site plan review, special land use, or variance hearings.


Should the proposed development involve the need for variances (ie. structure can’t meet setbacks, height exceeds ordinance requirements, etc.) , this is accomplished through the ZBA.  A variance request form is submitted with the appropriate materials within the submission deadline date found on the form.   The ZBA notices the case to properties within 300 feet of the subject property and a public hearing is held.    The majority of the time, the ZBA will decide on the case the same night.  



If you are locating a business within an existing building in Marshall, the first step will be checking the zoning on the property .  You can check the zoning by calling:  269.781.3985.  Once you know the zoning, then refer to the zoning ordinance to see if your use is permitted or a special land use.  If it is a permitted use, you will need to find out if you need a site plan review before the Planning Commission.  The office of Planning & Zoning will be able to tell you whether or not a site plan review is necessary.   The site plan process is listed above.    If the use falls under Special Land Use, this process is also listed above.



All proceedings at Planning Commission, ZBA, and the City Council require a representative of the project to be present.


posted 08-23-2022 [Planning & Zoning]