Planning & Zoning
The City of Ionia is a zoned community. On this page, you will find documents and links to learn about the City's land use plans and zoning regulations.
If you have questions, email Jonathan Bowman, Assistant to the City Manager, or call directly at 616-523-0147.
The administration and enforcement of the building, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing codes are handled by the Ionia County Building Department. Visit the Building Department website for more information.
The City of Ionia Master Plan 2019 (PDF) has been prepared by the Planning Commission under the provisions of the Michigan Planning Enabling Act, Public Act 33 of 2008, as amended. This document includes the 2015 amendment to the 2012 Master Plan.
The City of Ionia regulates all food trucks as Mobile Food Vending Units (MFVUs) in Chapter 1293 of the City Codified Ordinances. A permit is required to operate anywhere within the City's corporate boundary. Food trucks associated with a public event/street closure will need to be included on the Parade and Street Closure permit application.
All regulations related to food trucks can be found in the attached Chapter 1293. The permit applications associated with food trucks are available for download.
The City of Ionia has created a Guide to Development to provide a detailed look at the development process in Ionia. Any questions can be emailed to Assistant to the City Manager Jonathan Bowman.
To view the full guide, download the Guide to Development (PDF).
Planning and Zoning Fees
- Accessory Structure Permit Application (PDF)
- Fence Permit Application (PDF)
- Home Construction-Addition Permit Application (PDF)
- Land Division Application (PDF)
- Open Space Neighborhoods Application (PDF)
- Planned Unit Development Application (PDF)
- Rezoning Application (PDF)
- Site Condominium Application (PDF)
- Site Plan and Special Land Use Permit Application (PDF)
- Site Plan Review Application (PDF)
- Site Plan Review Document Package - Flowchart (PDF)
- Subdivision Platting Application (PDF)
- Zoning Variance Application (PDF)
Qualifications for Application: An applicant for approval of a Medical Marihuana Facility shall be a person who is also an applicant for a state operating license issued pursuant to the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, MCL 333.27101 et seq. An applicant for approval of a Marihuana Establishment shall be a person who is also an applicant for a state operating license issued pursuant to the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act, MCL 333.27951 et seq. as amended. An application for a Medical Marihuana Facility or a Marihuana Establishment must include an application for a Special Land Use as required by Chapter 1274 of the City of Ionia Zoning Ordinance and an application for Site Plan Approval as required by Chapter 1276 of the City of Ionia Zoning Ordinance.
For more information, download the Municipal Standards, Design, and Construction for Land Development (PDF).
View ordinances that have been passed by City Council but have not been codified.
View ordinances that have been proposed and are being considered within the City of Ionia.
To learn more about the City of Ionia Planning Commission, please visit our Boards and Commissions page.
The Planning Commission's regular meeting schedule (2nd Wednesday of the month) can be found on our City Calendar page. The public is welcome to attend Planning Commission meetings.
In addition, you may also download the Planning Commission's monthly meetings schedule: 2023 Planning Commission Meeting Schedule (PDF)
- Sign Fee Schedule (PDF)
- Permanent Sign Permit Application (PDF)
- Vertical Pole Banner Application (PDF)
On January 4, 2022, the Ionia City Council adopted an updated sign ordinance in Part Twelve, Title Six, Chapter 1284 of the City Code of Ordinances. Please view the link below to see the new sign regulations as adopted.
For more information, download Ordinance No. 558 - Chapter 1284 - Signs (PDF).
The City of Ionia last updated its Zoning Map in March of 2023.
View the City of Ionia Zoning Map (PDF) for more details.
- How do I pay development-related permit and application fees?
All fees associated with a permit or application should be indicated on the application. Payments can be submitted using cash, check, or a credit card with the application at City Hall. If you would like to pay the associated fee online, an invoice can be requested. Once an invoice has been made, the applicant would use the Online Payment portal on the City's website and search for the invoice under miscellaneous receivables.
- I am going to resurface my driveway. Are there any standards that I need to follow?
The City's Zoning Ordinance does not have a specified distance that your driveway must be from your property line. It is always a good idea to discuss your plans with your neighbor so that you agree on the actual location of the shared property line.
- I would like to construct a fence on my property. What are the rules and what is the process that I need to follow?
The City's Zoning Ordinance establishes different rules for fences in side/rear yards and front yards.
- Shall not block the view of traffic.
- Shall consist of split rail, decorative iron, wood, engineered wood or plastic products, or similar material.
- Shall not be chain link, snow fence, woven fence, or rubber of any kind.
- Shall not exceed 50% in opacity.
- Shall not be installed within the street right-of-way.
- The finished side shall face the exterior of the property.
- Fence posts may not be taller than 48 inches with the fence no higher than 42 inches.
Side / Rear Yard
- Shall not exceed 6 feet in height
- Shall not extend toward the front of the lot nearer than the front of the house or the required minimum front yard, whichever is greater.
- May be placed on the property line (be sure to consult with your neighbor to be sure that you agree on the location of the shared property line).
- The finished side shall face the exterior of the property.
A zoning permit is required from the city before construction. In order to secure a permit a plot plan (sketch) illustrating your property and the location where the fence is to be constructed must be submitted. A description or illustration of the type of fence that you propose to construct must also be submitted.
Please note: A few of the neighborhoods in the City have specific neighborhood rules (deed restrictions). If you reside in one of the neighborhoods with specific rules, be sure to consult those rules as well.
- I would like to build a detached garage or storage shed. What are the rules and what is the process that I need to follow?
It depends on the size of your lot. Additionally, standards vary from zoning district to zoning district. Standards that apply to all residential zoning districts include the following:
- Shall only be located on a lot where there is an existing primary structure (residence).
- Shall only be located in the rear yard. Special standards apply to corner lots.
- Shall be setback a minimum of 6 feet from any lot line and shall not be placed closer than 10 feet to any building on the same lot.
- Structures that are at least 200 square, but less than 600 square feet, in size shall be securely attached to a foundation, footing, or concrete slab.
- Structures that are more than 600 square feet in size shall be securely attached to a frost-free footing meeting building code requirements.
- Shall not be constructed of cloth, canvas, plastic film, nylon, or similar pliable material. The portable garages (sometimes referred to as car canopies or temporary carports) that are sold at the home improvement stores are not permitted.
The number, size, and height of the garage or storage shed that may be constructed must meet specifications. Contact the planning and zoning department for specifications.
A zoning permit, and in some instances a building permit, is required before you begin construction. In order to secure a permit a plot plan (sketch) illustrating your property and the location where the garage or shed is to be constructed must be submitted. The plot plan should also illustrate the size and setbacks of the existing buildings on the property. A sketch of the garage or shed to be constructed must also be submitted. More detailed construction plans may be necessary if a building permit is required.
- I would like to construct an addition to my home. How large can I build it and how far must it be from the property line?
The answer to both parts of this question depends on the zoning district in which your property is located. The setback requirements and the total area that a lot may be covered by buildings will vary from zoning district to zoning district.
Please consult with City Hall about information for your specific situation.