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Community Development

The main functions of the Community Development Department are:

Planning for a better Cheboygan County
By providing reports and studies as staff support for our County's Commissions such as the Planning Commission, Economic Development Corporation, and Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, we support the goals of the County Board and our stakeholders.

Protecting Residents, Business Owners, and Property in Cheboygan County
Business people and residents invest in property when they believe that their investment will be protected. Once a new business locates here they can be more assured that their investment is protected from incompatible land uses. This encourages economic development. Studies have shown that counties with zoning have higher assessed values, more people employed, more businesses, and higher personal incomes.

By reviewing permits for buildings and conducting inspections we help to maximize the investment by limiting the chance that an incompatible land use will be built next door.  This also ensures the community's land use goals are protected  This is important to protect the existing investments people have made in their properties.

The Cheboygan County’s Community Development Department includes the Planning & Zoning, Construction Code, Ordinance Compliance, Soil Erosion, Addressing, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) departments. Our mission is to enable the County’s stakeholders to fully participate in the public processes that create a sustainable community.

The Community Development Department works to provide quality customer service and professional technical assistance to our customers. Our goal is to preserve the high quality of life in Cheboygan County while allowing for appropriate growth that provides living wage jobs for our citizens.

We also serve as staff support for the County’s Economic Development Corporation, Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals and the Northern Cheboygan Intergovernmental Planning Committee. We also provide land use and economic development guidance to our residents, business people, as well as townships, cities, and villages within the county.

Services We Provide:

  • Computer mapping (GIS)
  • Land use planning
  • Land use permit processing
  • Planning and Zoning for 18 townships
  • Soil erosion guidance
  • Community development guidance
  • Ordinance Compliance
  • Demographic information
  • Connections to other government and non-profit agencies

Current Projects:

  • Economic Development - Efficient customer service in the permitting process is very important for economic development. Our office strives to provide predictable and timely responses to project needs.
  • Brownfield Redevelopment Authority - Cheboygan County has a Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA) which can assist with the cleanup of brownfield sites. Please contact the Community Development Director, Steve Schnell, at 231-627-8485 for more information. 
  • Land Use Planning – We are constantly working to update the zoning ordinance with more appropriate regulations based on the County Master Plan, which was adopted in 2014.
  • Computer Mapping or GIS – We are updating aerial photographs and have created a web-based mapping system that freely distributes more land use information including demographics, current land use, future land use goals, land use ownership and much more.
  • Front line business assistance – We are often a first phone call from entrepreneurs who are interested in starting a business. One of our key partners in this effort is the Northern Lakes Economic Alliance, who provides entrepreneurial assistance in our county. We work closely with many entrepreneurial support organizations and can link them with the appropriate group to help them grow a business as well as guide them through the permitting process.

Department Annual Report

The Department works hard to create Economic Development opportunities throughout Cheboygan County. We do this by providing efficient services and an outstanding customer service experience. We're always working hard to ensure that the growth that will occur in our county is done in a way that the people of the county desire.

We provide information for builders and developers early in the process to ensure a streamlined review process. We also provide information to the public and decision makers to ensure long-term and desirable growth and access to jobs throughout the county.

In the annual report we outline the efficiencies that we've implemented, the various ways we've worked to reduce unnecessary red tape, and how we've provided access to information through the website and hours of service to our customers.

Community Development Director
Steve Schnell
(231) 627-8489