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Community Development / Building

Nick Tafelsky, AICP - Community Development Director 
611 E Grand River Ave.
Howell, MI  48843
517-546-3861   fax  517-546-6030
M-F  8 am to 5 PM

John Donahue - Code Enforcement (Part Time)

The Community Development Department facilitates and promotes high quality growth and development in the City. Department staff is charged with maintaining high professional standards, quick response times, and customer friendly service.  The Department is responsible for coordinating long range planning, current planning and zoning, code enforcement, building inspections, economic development, neighborhood development and brownfield redevelopment.  The department provides support to the Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals and the City Manager.

Read the 2015 Master Plan and Community Profile

In addition to the City's Master Plan, Livingston County recently adopted a Countywide Comprehensive Plan. This document provides a wide variety of resources and best practices for the communities within the County. It can be viewed here

Building Permits

Building Department Inspections - Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 24 hour notice required in most circumstances.

Permit forms and guidelines

Building, Planning & Zoning fee schedule

In accordance with Public Act 230 of 1972, State of Michigan Construction Code Act, the City of Howell Community Development Department is charged with the administration and enforcement of the Michigan Building Code.

Building permits are required for all construction projects including (but not limited to): roofing, decks, new construction, renovations/additions, demolitions and signs. These permits are issued through the City of Howell Building Department. Permits for plumbing, mechanical, or electrical work are currently issued through Livingston County for work in the City of Howell. 

Performance Bonds

Effective May 31, 2013 the Howell City Council adopted an Ordinance that applies performance bonds to all permits. The amount of all required bonds can be found in the Building, Planning, and Zoning fee scheduled linked above.

Planning and Zoning

Development within the City is guided by the City's current Master Plan and regulated by our Zoning Ordinance.  If you are considering developing or redeveloping a site in Howell, or just have general questions, we encourage you to contact the Community Development Department as early in your process as possible.  We can assist you through every step of the development process, including site plan reviews, rezonings, special land uses and variances. The City has also gone through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation's Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) program and many documents related to development in the City can be found on our RRC page.

Plans and Publications  

City of Howell 2015 Master Plan (Historical planning documents are available at City Hall)

City of Howell 2015 Community Profile

Crosstown Trail Study

City of Howell Zoning Map (updated December, 2018)

City of Howell Code of Ordinances (note:  The Zoning Ordinance is found under Part Twelve, Title Six)

Form Based Code for South Michigan Ave. Corridor

Planning Commission

The Planning Commission reviews most requests for new construction or major additions on structures other than single-family homes. Special Land Uses also require Planning Commission review, to allow for public input from the surrounding property owners. The Commission meets on the 3rd Wednesday of every month at 7:00 PM in the City Council Chambers. The meeting agenda and review materials for each request are posted the Friday before each meeting. 

Planning Commission Meeting Agendas and Minutes  (Under Board/Commission Agendas or Packets)

Board of Zoning Appeals

The Board of Zoning Appeals hears requests from property owners for variances to the City's Zoning Ordinance. There are specific hardships that have to be shown for the Board to be able to grant a variance request. Those standards for review are found on the application for a variance, which can be found here. The Board meets on an as needed basis, so please contact the Community Development Department to discuss a variance request before submitting it, so we can properly direct you through the process. The Board of Zoning Appeals meeting agenda and review materials for each request are posted the Friday before each meeting. 
Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Agendas and Minutes (Under Board/Commission Agendas or Packets)

Code Enforcement

Code Enforcement is responsible for the enforcement of ordinances that have been adopted to protect the public and assist in maintaining the quality of life in Howell. Ordinances include litter, zoning, signs, junk vehicles, nuisances, and noxious weeds. 
Code Enforcement Complaint Form  (please email to enforcement@cityofhowell.org

Keeping of Chickens

The City of Howell allows any resident to apply for a permit to keep chickens on their property.  The maximum number of chickens allowed is six, no roosters are allowed, and the permit application must be accompanied by the signature of all abutting property owners. This includes properties that have only a corner to corner relationship.  More information can be found in Ordinance #883.

Permit Application for the Keeping of Chickens

Medical Marihuana

At this time, the City of Howell has not opted into any portion of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act. The City has no plans to opt in until the surrounding townships in Livingston County take action.