Site Plan Applications and Review Process


Exemptions  |  Filing & Timing  |  Ordinances  |  Page Examples  |  Requirements

Before any building permit can be issued, you (or your representative) will need to submit a site plan through the City Clerk’s Office (at 333 W. Michigan Ave., 49093) showing the application complies with the city’s Zoning Ordinance.  All your site plan documents (including exhibits) will ultimately be referred to the City of Three Rivers Planning Commission for consideration.  Plans may be approved or approved with certain conditions.*

Please note:  a Zoning Permit Application must be filed prior to site plan review…

If you are a current business requiring site plan review for an existing building (e.g., expansion) and do not meet the city’s exemption provisions for site plan review, you can download your Zoning Permit Application HEREAlternatively… if you are a new business, please start by completing a NBZRA form.


The following are specific exemptions for Site Plans that are otherwise required.  If you are not sure, please contact SAFEbuilt (269-729-9244) or the City Clerk’s office (269-273-1075, ext. 106) before proceeding.

  1. Single or two-family homes under separate ownership of an individual and separate lot for each home.
  2. Interior accessory and subordinate buildings, and additional buildings or structures similar to those previously existing upon an individual site which
    • require no new or additional means of access from adjoining public roads or highways
    • require no new or additional City utility connections
    • require no new or additional off-street parking
  3. Projects involving the expansion, remodeling or enlargement of existing buildings which
    • require no new or additional means of access from adjoining public roads or highways
    • require no new or additional City utility connections
    • require no new or additional off-street parking
  4. Uses, buildings and structures, and special exception uses which must meet their own review standards and procedural requirements under other provisions of this Chapter, such as planned unit developments and mobile home parks.

*_Please note that, while submitted site plans can be approved conditionally and the Planning Commission has the ability to waive certain requirements, the City of Three Rivers does not administratively approve site plans for any new projects that involve the expansion, remodeling or enlargement of existing buildings.


Anyone may file a request for a site plan review by the City, provided the subject property is properly zoned for the intended use, which may be checked by physical address or parcel ID number (here)  …or, for new businesses, by way of our New Business Zoning Review App (here).  Submitted site plans are filed at the City Clerk’s office with your completed application form (see pg. 9) and payment per the city’s current fee schedule.  Forms and payment must be received at least three (3) weeks prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Planning Commission where your site plan will be reviewed.  As an integral part of the application, you must submit at least four (4) hardcopies of your site plan documents (including exhibits).  Alternatively, three (3) hardcopies and one (1) searchable PDF copy can also be submitted at the City Clerk’s office.

_All submitted site plans need to meet the requirements of the City’s Zoning Ordinance (see next)…


For specific ordinances that are potentially relevant to review prior to site plan submission, please refer to the ordinance-specific requirements for each zoning district** (e.g, B-2, I-3,…), as well as other potentially-relevant ordinances pertaining to construction, new signage, landscaping, fencing, parking, lightingetc,.

For zoning ordinance requirements pertaining to building heights, floor area, yard setbacks and allowable lot sizes, please also be sure to be familiar with our Schedule of Regulations (e.g., Chart 3) that applies to ALL zoning districts.

**_If you do not yet know which zoning district your site plan application applies to, please look it up on the City Zoning Map.  In addition, you may submit pre-application information online: here.




Please note the following list includes most, but not all, requirements for site plan review.  For a complete list refer to the site plan review document*** beginning on page 4.

  • accurate and readily interpreted
  • property and buildings identified
    (showing floor and grade elevations)
  • prepared by registered professional
  • show all natural & man-made features
  • size of proposed main & accessory buildings
  • building heights and lot coverage (%)
  • streets, proposed driveways & sidewalks
  • vehicle and pedestrian circulation & signage
  • parking details, curbing, fire & service lanes
  • pavement markings and traffic control signage
  • north arrow and scale (see specific requirements)
  • fencing, landscaping, other alterations to topography
  • water supply, sanitary sewage disposal, storm water
  • exterior lighting plan including lamp types and photometric
  • waste receptacles and transformer pad locations
  • other ground level utility and mechanical equipment w/screening
  • building façade elevations indicating type and color of materials
  • roof design, projections, awnings, window openings, entrances
  • any building-mounted mechanical equipment
  • landscape maintenance plan (plantings, replacements, irrigation)
  • existing and proposed topography at 2-foot contour intervals
  • drainage patterns and description of grades within 100 feet of site
  • stormwater runoff (pres. vs. after construction w/25-yr. retention & no net increase)

*** Tip: this same document also includes, for your convenience, a Review Self-Checklist beginning on page 6


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