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Economic Development and Developer's Resource Guide

Erich Podjaske, City Manager
Email: manager @cityofgrayling.org
Office: 989-348-2131 Ext: 105
City Cell: 989-390-3102

The City of Grayling Economic Development and Zoning Administration Departments aspire to implement City policies and provide programs and actions that enhance the economic, environmental and social well-being of the community and foster a healthy and vibrant downtown, a diverse and inclusive business community and sustainable neighborhood growth.


  • Serves as the CCEDP director.
  • Performs retention visits with existing businesses in order to get an understanding of how the business is performing and how the local economy is as a whole. 
  • Come up with new ways to market our area as a place to live, work and play.
  • Markets property within the City and County for potential development.
  • Works directly with developers in finding property or existing buildings.
  • Works with the State on programs and grants for businesses.
  • Works with the State on programs and grants for the City, Townships and County.
  • Creates a list of available and potential sites for future development within the City and County.
  • Works with the other townships on sites that would work for future development, both commercial and residential.
  • Meets with potential developers to showcase what the City, Townships and County has to offer.
  • Helps developers through the process of site plan review, if needed, and designs that would fit current zoning within the City.
  • Works with Grayling Main Street.
  • Heads Project Rising Tide Committee.
  • Attend various meetings throughout the month.
  • Monitors the City for any possible zoning violations.
  • Work with different boards/committees to get the City's RRC certification.
  • Chair of the PRT committee.
  • Work on presentations.
  • Help individuals connect with the proper agencies.

Developer’s Resource Guide

The City’s Resource Guide is available to help your project move forward This guide is structured to put important resources for development projects in a convenient location. We hope you find this information helpful to move your project forward and bring it to reality.  Feel free to reach out to us if we can help along the way.

Please check with the Zoning Administrator before starting any project.  The Administrator shall assist with the administration and enforcement of the City of Grayling Zoning Ordinance including receiving and processing applications for zoning permits and required fees.

Pre-Application Review/Conceptual Review  Requirements: The Zoning Administrator alone or in conjunction with the Planning Commission Chair and/or Planning Commission shall have the authority to conduct a pre-application meeting with the applicant/developer to assist them in understanding the site plan review process and other Ordinance requirements and to provide insight as to what portions of their proposed development may be of special concern to the Planning Commission. Except for Planned Unit Developments, this conference is not mandatory, but is recommended for small and large projects alike. For large projects, a pre-application conference should be held several months in advance of the desired start of construction. This review is attended by the Zoning Administrator, Building Inspector and the Fire Marshal.  There is no cost for this review.  A meeting can be set up by contacting Ben Yoder, Zoning Administrator at (989) 348-2131 or by email: byoder@cityofgrayling.org.  If a project is more conceptual in nature without an identified location, a pre-application development meeting can still be requested. There are no materials required in this case, and the meeting will serve to provide direction and guidance.

Zoning Flow Charts

  1.   Special Use Permit
  2.   Site Plan Review
  3.   Zoning Board of Appeals Process
  4.   Zoning Ordinance Amendment 

To learn more about the City of Grayling, its strategic priorities and long-term goals, please visit our master plan here:  Master Plan.  

 For potential projects within the downtown visit our DDA Master Plan.

The Public Participation Plan is a guide that gives many different options in which the City can effectively reach out to the public.  Public meetings are meant to inform the public and get feedback/ideas. The City wants to know what the community has to say so we can make Grayling a better place for all. In accordance with the Michigan Open Meetings Act (PA 267 if 1976), the City of Grayling holds meetings in City Hall located at 1020 City Boulevard, which are accessible to the general public.   City Council and Planning Commission Meetings are held monthly.  To find dates for upcoming meetings, click on the following links:  City Council Meetings   &  Planning Commission Meetings.   

All building permits are handled through the Crawford County Building Department .  To receive permits and pay the associated fees, please contact Paul Olmstead by phone: (989) 344-3233 or email at polmstead@crawfordco.org.


Economic development incentives, commonly referred to as business incentives, have the potential to provide financial support to minimize upfront costs and speed up the timeline to profitability.  Incentives are typically tied to specific projects and are generally the result of an ongoing conversation with a particular location.  Companies interested in exploring options for incentive packages will likely get the most useful information after narrowing potential location options to a short list.  To explore options for incentive programs please contact our Economic Developer, Erich Podjaske, by email to manager@cityofgrayling.org or call 989-348-2131.

Possible incentives could consist of:

  • Tax Abatements
  • Facade Grants
  • Brown-field Remediation
  • Reduced Parking Requirements
  • Community Revitalization Program (CRP)
  • Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)
  • Infrastructure costs

For anyone who is interested in developing in Grayling, the City has compiled a list of sites available.