Planning & Zoning

Manistee Township Planning Commission
The Manistee Township Planning Commission is a seven member advisory board to the Manistee Township Board of Trustees. Their primary responsibility is the planning of Manistee Township. In order to effectively plan for the township, the Planning Commission is responsible for drafting and adopting a Master Plan to guide planning in the township, primarily with regard to development and preservation. In following the Master Plan, the Planning Commission is also responsible for maintaining the Manistee Township Zoning Ordinance by updating and enforcing it. The Planning Commission, in order to enforce the Zoning Ordinance, performs site plan reviews for all major developments in Township. They are responsible for ensuring that all projects and developments in the township meet the requirements set forth in the Zoning Ordinance and follow the guidelines expressed in the Master Plan. The following is a list of the members of the Manistee Township Planning Commission.

-Jack D Dinsen
-Mike Willett
-John M Dontz
-Clara Kraus Saari
-John Zielinski
-Linda Finout
-Duane Anderson

 Click Here to view the Manistee Township zoning ordinance on the County website.

Manistee Township Zoning Board of Appeals

What is a zoning board of appeals?
The Zoning Board of Appeals conducts hearings for property owners or prospective buyers requesting  a variance or deviation from the exact dictates of the Zoning Ordinance or an interpretation of the ordinance language. Applicants for a variance must submit an application and supporting documentation. A public hearing is noticed to all property  owners within 300 feet of the property in consideration. The Zoning Board of Appeals members conduct a public hearing and makes a decision on the request. In order to approve any variance, a request must meet criteria as outlined in Manistee Township Zoning Ordinance as required by State Law. If the variance request does not meet the criteria, the Board is required to deny the request.

Who serves on the zoning board of appeals?
The Zoning Board of Appeals is actively served by five voting members. There is one alternate member appointed to serve in the absence of any of the five primary Board members. By State Law, one member of the Planning Commission and one member of the elected Township Board of Trustees are the first two required members. The other three members are appointed to serve staggered three year terms. Appointments are made in the March prior to the member´s term expiring. As a termed member steps down, the Township Board, by policy, requests that an alternate member be moved to the Board and a new alternate member is then appointed by the Township Board. Currently, the Zoning Board of Appeals members include:

Ernie Hornkohl, Secretary
Barry Elder
Jack D Dinsen, Planning Commission Representative, Chairperson
John M Dontz, Township Board Representative
Jeff Mikula
Zoning Administrator, represents the Township at these hearings

Correspondence or telephone messages to the Zoning Board of Appeal Members should be directed to the Manistee Township Building / Planning / Zoning Office at:

410 Holden Street
Manistee, MI 49660

The Township Zoning Administrator is directly involved with this Board.