Development Guide

Open for Business

City of Kentwood Development Guide

Certified Logo for Kentwood as a Redevelopment Ready Community

Welcome and thank you for your interest in the City of Kentwood! 

As a Redevelopment Ready Community, Kentwood is committed to partnering with new investors, businesses and community members to create a vibrant community. 

This page is structured to put important resources for development projects in a convenient location. Please explore this guide and feel free to contact us with any questions.

Starting and Operating a Business

Congratulations! Owning your own business is an exciting adventure, and we are thrilled that you are considering Kentwood as a potential home for your workplace. Whether you're just getting started or looking to relocate or expand in Kentwood, please explore our online guide to starting and operating a business in our community. We also welcome you to view our Economic Development Corporation brochure to learn more about what the City of Kentwood has to offer.

Community Development Review Process/Procedures

Once a concept is developed, we encourage a pre-application meeting to help answer questions and ensure the idea fits within planning and zoning requirements. Please review the Pre-Application Meeting Checklist to see if you are ready for a pre-application meeting and then contact Lisa Golder at

Flowcharts outlining the process for different development projects are below:

  • Planning Department - General Development and Approval (site plan, special land use, PUD, etc.)
  • Engineering/Inspections - General Building (industrial, commercial and homes more than 3,500 square feet)
  • Engineering/Inspections - Single Family Residential (single family or duplex home less than 3,500 square feet)
  • Engineering/Inspections - Development (project involving site work, earth moving, a parking lot, utilities, etc.)

When you’re ready for next steps, explore our Planning Department Forms and Applications. This webpage includes a robust list of relevant forms and applications for businesses, including fee schedules and permits.

In addition, you can visit our Zoning Ordinance webpage, which includes a guide to help property owners navigate the City of Kentwood Zoning Ordinance.

Additional Resources

The following list includes direct links to more helpful information, forms and applications for businesses:

We hope you find this information helpful to bring your idea from concept to reality. Feel free to reach out to us if we can help along the way:

Kentwood is a Redevelopment Ready Community 

We are honored to share the City of Kentwood has received the Redevelopment Ready Community® certification from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation for its commitment to attracting new investors, businesses and residents through targeted and strategic planning and creating a vibrant community in partnership with residents.

The designation, announced June 28, 2021, by the MEDC, recognizes the City’s efforts in establishing a solid planning and economic development foundation to attract private investment and facilitate community-driven economic development projects in the community. It also means Kentwood is “thoroughly prepared” when it comes to removing traditional planning and zoning traditional barriers and transitioning into a streamlined process to promote opportunities for prospective investors. 

During the RRC assessment process, the City received a baseline evaluation of the existing planning and economic development processes compared to Redevelopment Ready Community Best Practices by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. These best practices were:

  • Community plans and engagement
  • Zoning
  • Development review 
  • Boards and commissions
  • Economic development and marketing

As a Redevelopment Ready Community, we can leverage critical tools and resources as we continue to work to attract and support investment and businesses. Kentwood’s certification qualifies the City for state community development incentives that encourage developers to invest here. 

Certification also means Kentwood will receive support from the MEDC’s Redevelopment Services Team, which will partner with us to evaluate development sites and produce customized marketing that will promote investment in key areas.

We are grateful for the ongoing partnership with our community, staff, boards, committees and commissions whose collaboration and contributions to the City’s planning and economic development efforts made this accomplishment possible.

Together, we continue to demonstrate Kentwood is open – and eager – for business.