City of Saginaw MI -

Opportunity Starts Here

Starting a business means going through an obstacle course of permits, licenses, forms and fees. We’re here to help you, every step of the way. Our Development Guide is a great place to start, and the resources on this page can help you with a full range of services to help get you the ball rolling.

The most useful document for development within Saginaw is the Development Guide. The guide describes how to develop a project; site plan review, special land use, rezoning, and zoning variances. Choosing Saginaw for developing a business comes with many benefits such as tax incentives and city staff dedicated to your success through the use of board and commissions who are setting Saginaw up for future success. Use the link below, which contains the Development Guide for information relating to development projects such as specific characteristics of each project, applications and timelines containing dates.

Development Timeline: Click here to view Development Guide

  • Site plan review & special land use follow the same timeline on pg.10
  • Zoning amendment timeline – pg. 17
  • Zoning board of appeals timeline – pg. 21

Development Requests: All requests related to development can be made to the Planning and Zoning Division. Please contact:

Cassi Miller, Urban Planner
(989) 717-4045
Planning and Zoning Division
City Hall, Second Floor, Room 208
1315 S. Washington Avenue
Saginaw, MI 48601

  1. Site Plan Review
    • Commercial or Industrial Project less than one (1) Acre - $400
    • Commercial or Industrial Project exceeding one (1) acre - $600 +$50/acre
    • Apartment, townhouse, mobile home park, or other multiple development - $600 + $10/unit
    • Other type of non-residential development - $400 + $10/acre
    • Planned Developments - $1000 + $5/unit
    • Fee for review of revised site plans – ½ of original fee
  2. Special Land Use Approval
    • Filling fee to request a permitted use after special approval - $450
    • Interpretation of text of the zoning code - $200
  3. Rezoning
    • Rezoning Request or zoning code text amendment - $450
  4. Zoning variances from regular zoning code provisions
    • Variance - $400
    • Variance involving owner occupied single family - $75
    • Interpretation of a zoning boundary - $400
  5. Business Fee Schedule

Saginaw is committed to being a proactive community, striving to provide economic growth and opportunity. Saginaw is a Redevelopment Ready Community (RRC), which means the City is in the process of becoming certified by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation in transparency, predictability, and efficiency into daily development practices. The majority of marketing work for the City is done by the Saginaw Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) and Saginaw Future. The SEDC gives loans, hosts business fairs, and helps businesses in the City. The goals of the SEDC are to create and retain jobs, provide economic opportunities, and take part in redevelopment. Saginaw Future Inc. is involved in generating new investment and job growth in Saginaw Country. Saginaw Future is a nonprofit alliance of local business, the Saginaw Country Chamber of Commerce, Country and City of Saginaw, 15 local municipalities, labor organizations and local foundations. Currently a marketing guide is in the early stages of development.

Saginaw Future
Saginaw Economic Development Corporation

Site Plan Review is a process whereby documents and drawings specified in the zoning ordinance are reviewed to ensure that a development proposal complies with local, state, and federal regulations. The Site Plan is a plan, drawn to scale, showing the layout of proposed uses and structures.

Site Plan Review

The Planning and Zoning Division provides staff services to the Board of Appeals on Zoning. The Board of Appeals on Zoning conducts public hearings on requests for variances from the zoning ordinance, special exceptions in interpretations of zoning district boundaries, and interpretations of the text in the zoning ordinance. The City Planning Commission holds public hearing on rezoning, street and alley vacation and special land use requests.

Ordinance O-154 Form Based Zoning

Zoning Districts

Zoning Map

Planning and Zoning Information Book

View the Zoning Regulations at

The Saginaw Historic District Commission was established by ordinance in 1987. It is the responsibility of the Commission to review all plans for construction, alteration, repair, moving, or demolition of structures or signs in the City's three local historic districts. This function was previously performed by the Saginaw County Historic District Commission which was eliminated by the County in 1986.
Historic Districts

Consisting of nine members, the commission is responsible for approving site plans, requests for special uses and making recommendations to City Council on street and alley vacations and requests for rezoning or zoning code text changes. The commission meets on the last Tuesday of each month.

City Planning Commission

The Board of Appeals examines requests for special exceptions and variances from the zoning code such as off-street parking, construction below flood level in floodway areas, grant approval for temporary building or structure. The Board also answers questions relation to the interpretation of Zoning.

Planning and Zoning Guide
Board of Appeals

The Michigan Celebrates Small Business (MCSB) event is an annual awards program created by five founding organizations to recognize the importance of successful small businesses across the state of Michigan. MCSB seeks to honor those businesses, whether mom-and-pop or modern technology, and their supporters who greatly contribute to the overall growth of Michigan's economy.

Learn More

Checklist for Starting a Business

Information for Employers


New Absentee Ballot Envelopes


Did you know?
The City of Saginaw's TV station (SGTV) is now live online, 24/7? Visit
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The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) rules have changed. To see how the City of Saginaw is now handling FOIA requests, please visit our new FOIA page.