Site Plan Review Process

1. All land uses shall be subject to site plan approval, except a detached single-family dwelling on a lot or parcel not having any other dwelling existing or to be located thereon and non-residential uses requiring less than five (5) parking spaces.

2. Persons interested in developing in Cascade Township must submit an application form and a site plan consistent with the attached site plan checklists.  An application fee is also required.

3. Following the filing of the proposed site plan, application and fee, the Planning Department will review the plan with other appropriate Township departments and/or Kent County agencies for design sufficiency.

4. The applicant must initially submit five (5) complete, scaled sets of the preliminary site plan drawings for Township review.  The timeline described below will only apply to complete applications.  The submission of an incomplete application will delay the project.

5. Within fifteen (15) days of submittal of the preliminary site plan, the Site Plan Review Committee, consisting of the Planning, Building and Fire Departments and the Township Engineer will meet and review the project.  Following the meeting, the Planning Department will submit a report to the applicant outlining site plan deficiencies (if any) which shall be corrected prior to review of the revised site plan by the Planning Commission.  Review of the site plan by this committee does not relieve the applicant from complying with all relevant building codes. 

6. The applicant shall submit twelve (12) copies of the revised, scaled site plan drawings.

7. Upon receipt of a revised site plan, the Planning Department will submit the site plan with a report and recommendation within twenty (20) days to the Planning Commission for their review.  The Planning Commission must respond to the site plan within thirty (30) days of receiving a recommendation by the Planning Department.

8. Before a site plan is marked “approved”, it shall be revised to reflect any conditions attached to the approval, or changes or corrections required to obtain approval.

9. If approval is conditioned with changes, the applicant must agree in writing to the changes prior to the issuance of any building permits.

10. When an applicant receives site plan approval, the site must be developed exactly as approved by the Planning Commission.

11. Approval of the site plan by the Planning Commission does not eliminate the need for the applicant to apply for and receive a building permit from the Building Department before construction commences.

12. An approved site plan is effective for a period of one (1) year, or the life of the building permit obtained pursuant to the approved site plan, whichever is longer.  If construction is not commenced within the period that the site plan is effective, no construction can take place unless there has been an extension approved by the Township Board.  Before an extension is granted, there must be compliance with all applicable site plan requirements in effect at the time of the extension request.

13. If rezoning of the land is required to allow the proposed development or use of the property as provided for in the site plan, a concept approval of the site plan by the Township Planning Commission shall be considered contingent upon rezoning of the subject property by the Township Board; such concept site plan approval shall not be construed as any assurance of such rezoning nor shall it be binding on the applicant if the rezoning is approved.

14. In the event that a site plan is denied, the applicant may submit an appeal to the Zoning Board of Appeals requesting relief from the Planning Commission action.

Criteria of Review

1. In order to receive Township approval, the site plan must comply with all applicable requirements of the Township as well as the Zoning Ordinance or have received specific variances to allow the project to deviate from the required standards.

2. The site plan must also satisfy the following criteria before receiving Planning Commission approval.

a. Whether the required information has been furnished in sufficiently complete and understandable form to allow an accurate description of the proposed use(s) and structure(s) in terms of density, location, area, height, bulk, placement, setbacks, performance characteristics, parking and traffic circulation.

b. Whether there are ways in which the configuration of use(s) and structure(s) can be changed which would improve the impact of the development on adjoining and nearby properties, persons, and activities and on the community, while allowing reasonable use of the property within the scope of the district regulations and other regulations of the Zoning Ordinance that are applicable to the property and proposed use and structures.

c. The extent to which natural features and characteristics of the land will be preserved; the regard given to existing large trees, natural groves, watercourses, and similar natural features that would add attractiveness to the property and environs if they were preserved; the preservation of natural drainage systems, the dedication and/or provision, where appropriate, of scenic easements, natural buffering, and other techniques for preservation and enhancement of the physical environment.

4. Whenever the nature of the proposed development makes information or documents such as the following relevant, such documents or information shall be provided.

a. Documentation confirming ownership of subject property.

b. Certification from other agencies that utility systems are or will be adequate to handle the development, and that all easements have been provided.

c. Performance guarantees.

d. Time schedule for completion of phases.

e. Environmental impact assessment.

f. Fiscal Impact Analysis.

g. Traffic Impact Analysis.

4. Once site plan approval has been granted by the Planning Commission, changes to the approved site plan shall require re-submission and payment of fee.

5. The Planning Commission may require a performance guarantee in an amount equal to the estimated cost of road, lighting, utility, sidewalk, landscaping, and drainage improvements associated with the project.

Miscellaneous Engineering Requirements


1. Hydrants should be placed at no more than 500 foot intervals.

2. Each service lead to a site must have its own separate tap to the public watermain.

3. All watermain and appurtenances within right-of-ways or public easements must conform with City of Grand Rapids standards and be approved by the City Water Department prior to final site plan approval.

4. Open cuts of the public roadway must receive official approval from the Kent County Road Commission.

5. Fire hydrant and protection line locations must be approved by the Cascade Charter Township Fire Department prior to site plan approval.

Sanitary Sewer

1. Manholes should be placed at no more than 400 foot intervals.  Stabilized access drive must be provided for all public manholes located outside the right-of-way.

2. A private lateral or main cannot be connected to another private lateral.  All laterals must connect directly to the public main.

3. Private force mains must discharge to a gravity sewer before entering a right-of-way or public easement.

4. All sanitary sewer and appurtenances within right-of-ways or public easements must conform with City of Grand Rapids standards and may be subject to review by the city prior to final site plan approval.

5. Open cuts of the public roadway must receive official approval of the Kent County Road Commission.


Issues concerning power, telephone, gas and cable should be directed to the governing utility company.