City of Kentwood Reduces Regulations and Expedites Review Processes to Support Local Businesses

City of Kentwood Approves Resolution Reducing Regulations and Expediting Review Processes to Support Local Businesses
Resolution Allows for Temporary Outdoor Space Uses, Suspends Sign Restrictions and Waives Business License Fees

In an effort to support Kentwood businesses and jumpstart the local economy, Kentwood City Commission has passed a resolution reducing regulations and expediting the site plan review process for temporary outdoor retail, food, beverage and personal service uses.

Effective immediately through Nov. 1, the resolution suspends time limits on temporary sign display and waives business license fees. Retailers, restaurants and personal service businesses, such as training facilities, wanting to add expanded outdoor spaces for customers now have the opportunity to apply for such allowances through a streamlined administrative review process. 

“It goes without saying – COVID-19 and shelter-in-place requirements over the past three months have had tremendous impacts on our local businesses,” Kentwood Mayor Stephen Kepley said. “As we look to restart the local economy, the City of Kentwood remains committed to being a help and not a hindrance for our business community, and has implemented a number of measures to assist.

“The resolution passed is intended to ease and expedite businesses’ abilities to serve customers in a manner that’s consistent with evolving public health recommendations.”

The review and approval of site plans for general retail sales, food, beverage and personal service establishments in the City seeking to utilize outdoor areas, such as exterior building aprons or parking areas, will be conducted through the Planning Department. Interested businesses are asked to complete the online application at for consideration.

Under the temporary sign moratorium, one temporary sign of up to 32 square feet in area is allowed per business. Other restrictions in the Zoning Ordinance applicable to temporary signs, such as sign placement and similar matters, remain in effect. 

For the licensing year, City business license fees for all businesses located in the City will be waived with the exception of the following: transient, waste hauler, door-to-door, and snowplowing licenses, or hazardous material fees.

As part of the resolution, the City’s Economic Development Corporation and two members of the Planning Commission were tasked to review City ordinances and regulations and propose to the City Commission changes to enhance the local business environment during the state of emergency and to submit those recommendations to the City Commission for its consideration in an ongoing fashion until Nov. 1 or as further extended by the City Commission.