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Cheboygan County Master Plan

Our Land.
Our People.
Our Future.

In accordance with Michigan Public Act 33 of 2008, a county must review its Master Plan and determine whether it is in need of an update. Cheboygan County has determined that an update is needed and has begun this process. What does it really mean and why do we have a Master Plan? It means we’re starting a very important process to re-write a document, called the Cheboygan County Master Plan, that spells out what you want your community to look like now and in the next 20 years. This document is used to create land use laws that guide future development.

See you at the Planning Commission meetings on the first and third Wednesdays of each month, 7 PM.

What is a Master Plan

How many times have you wished you could have more impact on your community? You have probably often thought of something that would improve your community and wished you could make it happen. Well, you may have more influence than you realize. Not only can you get involved with a local service groups and volunteer organizations, but you can also get involved in planning how the land in your community is used.

Cheboygan County is rewriting the Master Plan on which most land use laws are based. You can get involved in a variety of ways. Based on that vision, the land use laws (zoning ordinance) are then shaped to make that vision a reality.

How should our land be used? Where should growth occur and in what form? Where do you want housing, where should commercial development be located? How close should buildings be to each other in each of these areas? These are just some the questions that need your input.

Fortunately, we can make these decisions at the local level and you have a say in how that happens. Whenever Cheboygan County is asked to change an ordinance, the County must first look at the Master Plan to guide those decisions because that’s the law. And that’s why your input on our new Master Plan is so important. It’s an opportunity to communicate your ideas and values so those opinions can be reflected in our land use laws.

Why do we need zoning at all? Zoning ensures that your property investment is protected from incompatible land uses. It also has a positive impact on long-term assessed property values. Zoning helps ensure that only compatible growth occurs. Imagine you’ve just purchased property to open a bed and breakfast only to find out that a metal stamping plant may soon be proposed for the property next door.

The County’s Master Plan is your blueprint for your future. Together the people of Cheboygan County create a vision so that people always keep in mind how the County’s economic and physical health is retained, how the County’s natural resources are protected, how the needs of residents and business people will be met, how to ensure an efficient transportation system, ensure compatible land uses, and promote public health, safety, and welfare.

It’s important to know that change will happen. The Master Plan process reflects the kind of change the people of Cheboygan County want. You can do your part to make sure your community’s interests are communicated and the community’s goals are included in this Plan. This will go a long way in making sure that future development plans are those desired by the community.

Making the Future Land Use Map

The Future Land Use Map is a very important part of the Master Plan. When the Planning Commission was creating the map, they heard from many people regarding the status of their property, their community, and their township. The discussion was a follow up on those comments received at meetings held between October and December of 2012 at many of the township halls. The public was invited to comment on the draft Map at these meetings.

More than 43 Planning Commission meetings have been held, of which 16 public meetings were held at various locations to gather input on the draft of the Future Land Use Map, one of the most important parts of the Master Plan.

The Planning Commission received valuable input during these joint meetings with township and municipal leaders, residents, and business owners from around Cheboygan County.

Even though the Master Plan has been adopted, there will be frequent reviews to ensure the document is accurate and current. Please feel free to provide your thoughts along with your name and contact information to email, phone or mail.

Also, at any time, input can be provided to the Planning and Zoning office including via email at

Other Master Plan Meetings
The Planning Commission held public visioning sessions in the City of Cheboygan at the Middle School and in Indian River at the Inland Lakes Middle School as well as meetings on special topics such as Natural Resources, Farming, and with Youth of Cheboygan County. The public was asked for input on how you think your community should look in the next 20 years. This input was valuable because the Master Plan is a blueprint for the future. You have a say in the goals of your community which influences how your community will look in the future.

We thank those 100+ people who attended these sessions for the effort and time they put into the Visioning sessions held at the end of August in Indian River and Cheboygan. There were many great ideas shared and thoughts about what they would like to see in their community in the next 20 years. The ideas shared will become prioritized goals for the county as the planning process progresses. Below is a summary of potential land use applications of the ideas shared.

The Planning Commission also thanks those stakeholders in agriculture and forestry, natural resources, and the youth who shared their thoughts with the Planning Commission on the future of Cheboygan County. They provided valuable information to help create appropriate land use goals for Cheboygan County.

Potential Land Use Applications – Vision Session
Summary of meeting on Farming in Cheboygan County
Summary of the meeting on Natural Resources
Summary of meeting with youth of Cheboygan High School

Director of Planning and Zoning

Michael Turisk
(231) 627-8485


870 South Main Street, Room 103
PO Box 70
Cheboygan, MI 49721
(231) 627-8489
Fax: (231) 627-3646


Mon-Fri, 8am-12pm & 1pm-4pm

 Additional Staff

Assistant To Director Of Planning And Zoning
Debbie Tomlinson
(231) 627-8489

Enforcement Officer/Soil Erosion Officer
Caleb Cavitt
(231) 627-8827

Chris Fraleigh


Cheboygan County Sheriff Department
County Building
870 S. Main St.
Cheboygan, MI 49721

Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Indian River Field Office
6984 S. Straits Hwy
Indian River, MI 49749

Cheboygan Department of Public Safety
Cheboygan City Hall
403 N. Huron St.
Cheboygan, MI 49721

Mackinaw City Police Department
Village Hall
102 S. Huron Ave.
Mackinaw City, MI 49701

Tuscarora Township Police Department
Tuscarora Township Hall
3546 S. Straits Hwy
Indian River, MI 49749

Presque Isle County Sheriff’s Department
267 N 2nd St.
Rogers City, MI 49779


Cheboygan County
870 S. Main St.
Cheboygan, MI 49721