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Village of Mackinaw City

Michigan, USA

Developing in Mackinaw City

Community Development Director and Zoning Administrator:
Dean Martin

Businesses Welcome 

The Village of Mackinaw City encourages any development or business that creates competitive and desirable jobs, offers versatile and high-quality goods and services, and is harmonious with the community and business climate. The Village of Mackinaw City is pursuing  Redevelopment Ready Community Certification. It is committed to making development reviews predictable and transparent. 

Priority Redevelopment Sites 

Priority Redevelopment Sites are undeveloped, vacant,  underutilized sites with the potential for greater economic vitality. There is no rubric for what makes a site a Priority Redevelopment Site. Still, examples could include empty lots in a multi-family district, parking lots on a waterfront business parcel, or operating downtown buildings that can add additional floors. Priority Redevelopment Sites may be private or publicly owned. Priority Redevelopment Sites are marketed to State and Nationwide developers by the Village of Mackinaw City below and on the  Michigan Economic Development Corporation's website. Private Property owners seeking to have their sites marketed this way must be reasonable about the value of their property, willing to sell, and selected by the Economic Development Corporation and the MEDC. 

Current Village of Mackinaw City Priority Redevelopment Sites  Includes: 

Required Permits 

Zoning Permits and Site Plan Reviews are required for most commercial development activity in the Village of Mackinaw City. Special Land Use permits, Right of Way Permits, Variance Applications, Sign Permits, and others may be required depending on the scope of the proposed project and the extent of compliance with the Village  Zoning Ordinance. Building and specified construction permitting in  Mackinaw City are handled by Emmet and Cheboygan Counties. The  Zoning Administrator can help guide the permits needed for a proposed project.

While a business-friendly community, the Village of Mackinaw City is responsible for holding development to an acceptable standard. All developments must meet the standards set by our residents, existing businesses, and policymakers in our Zoning Ordinance and Master Plan.  

Pre-Application Meetings 

The Village of Mackinaw City Community Development and Zoning  Department welcomes those seeking to better utilize their property for residential or commercial growth. To maximize transparency and streamline the development approval process, applicants are encouraged to contact or meet with the Zoning Administrator during project conceptualization.

Before the Pre-Application Meeting / Conceptual Review:

  • Know the address, current use, location of structures, and dimensions of existing structures.

  • Consider the proposed development's expected use, location, and dimensions.

  • Locate your site on the Zoning Map, review district regulations in the  Zoning Ordinance, and read the Guide to Development. Zoning districts can be reviewed during the pre-application meeting, but knowing this information before the meeting can expedite the process and benefit your conceptual plans.

  • Draft a conceptual plan. The conceptual plan can be a sketch, drawing,  informal plan, or the first draft of a professional plot or site plan.

  • Locate your site on the Zoning Map, review district regulations in the  Zoning Ordinance, and read the Guide to Development. Zoning districts can be reviewed during the pre-application meeting, but knowing this information before the meeting can expedite the process and benefit your conceptual plans.

The Pre-Application Meeting / Conceptual Review will go over:

  • Development proposal's compliance with the zoned uses.

  • Development proposal's compliance with zoning standards.

  • Elements to include in the official plot or site plans.

  • The development review and approval process, including the expected timeframe of approval, approving authority, and other necessary permits, such as a Special Land Use Permit or Land Division Application.

  • Potential incentives for development.

Pre-application meetings and conceptual reviews are more productive and accurate when the developer provides more information. However, advice given during the pre-application meeting does not guarantee future zoning permits or site plan approval. In addition, conceptual plans lacking information or displaying incorrect details can impact the plan's zoning compliance.

Incentives Available 

Development Incentives are available to prospective developers that need additional funding for project success, comply with the zoning ordinance, align with the Master Plan, and meet the scoring criteria established by the economic development corporation. Developers seeking incentives should review the Village of Mackinaw City Development Incentives Guidelines to see if their project qualifies.  

Development Incentives are issued at the discretion of the Village Council after consideration and recommendation of the Economic Development Corporation. Therefore, property owners in the Village of Mackinaw City are not entitled to development incentives.

Application for Development Incentives

Development Incentives Guidelines

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