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    The City of Grand Rapids Engineering Department coordinates the extension of City-owned public utilities for the purposes of serving private development. Within the City of Grand Rapids, this includes sanitary sewer, water main and storm sewer. Other City departments including Traffic Safety (for street lighting and traffic signals) may also have involvement. Outside the City limits, this would typically include only sanitary sewer and water main. When only new service connections to City utilities are involved, all related issues are coordinated through the City Development Center at 1120 Monroe Avenue NW, (616) 456-4100.

    To initiate a private development project through the Engineering Department, please use the link below to complete and submit the initiation form. This will begin the process described in the paragraphs that follow.

                                                         Private Development Project Initiation Form

            Note: For projects in the City of Grand Rapids, it may be recommended that the developer first present the project
                      before the City Design Team, depending on related issues, including the location, size, zoning and complexity.

    Preliminary Utility Plan (PUP)
    A Preliminary Utility Plan is typically submitted to the Engineer's Office by an engineering consultant on behalf of a developer. The PUP is a basic, color line drawing illustrating the layout of the proposed public utilities. Existing and proposed City utilities should be clearly identified as to approximate location and pipe size. The plan is reviewed and approved by the related City departments.  The project is also reviewed for any applicable front foot charges due related to the connection to existing City sanitary sewer and water main. All applicable charges must be paid prior to City Commission approval of the project.

    Utility Design (Check-print)
    Once the PUP is approved, the engineering consultant must submit a set of engineering drawings detailing the design of all proposed City-owned utilities. The initial submittal of the drawing set is considered the "Check-print" version.  The drawings sheet size, title block, border, symbology (blocks), line types, text and standard notes must be in accordance with the current Grand Rapids CAD Standards. The drawings are to be provided in hard-copy (4 copies) and in electronic format (PDF format via email). The hard-copy and electronic files submitted must meet the following requirements:

    • PDF format
    • Hard-copy (printed) must scale at 100%
    • Single file including all sheets (PDF)
    • Images should oriented and sized correctly (not rotated)

             (It is recommended that PDF files are created from export directly from AutoCAD)

    The check-prints are distributed to various City departments, as applicable, for review and approval. All red-lined drawings are collected by City staff and returned to the consultant for revisions as noted.

    Submittal of "Project Package"
    The "Project Package" is comprised of the revised utility design drawing set and the first submittal of all required project documentation (one full-size drawing set, 22"x34" on bond and an electronic copy of drawings and documents). The package must be submitted to the Engineer's Office (attn: Jack Stegehuis). Note that these items are not considered approved at this point. The drawings and documents will be reviewed and typically require additional changes before final approval is given. Please note that all legal documents (including all agreements) must be formatted for letter-size paper (8 1/2" x 11"). Note also that the submittal of this package does not guarantee a particular City Commission meeting date. The meeting date is determined based on the final approval of the package contents. The City Commission meeting schedule is available at the City's web site.

    Project Package Contents 
    Below is a list of typical required documents included in the project package. Not all will be required for every project. Although only single draft copies are required for the first project package submittal, the final required number and types of copies are noted which are required upon approval of the associated document.

    • Construction Agreement (private developers) or Construction Letter Agreement (municipalities) (5 original, signed copies)
    • Letter of Credit (or Performance Bond or Escrow Agreement) (1 original copy)
    • Public Utilities Easement (including closure statement for metes and bounds description) (1 original signed copy)
    • Certificate of Liability Insurance from contractor (1 copy)
    • Proof of Property Ownership (1 copy)
    • Copy of Check submitted to City or township of project location (for Grand Rapids Engineering Services)
    • MDEQ Permit Applications, including cover letters (1 Word format copy)
    • Original sealed and signed utility drawings on bond to be included with MDEQ permit applications (3 sets of sanitary sewer and water main approved drawings)
    • Front foot charge payment (check or City financed 10-pay plan), if applicable
    • Maintenance Bond (due after utility construction completion/acceptance) (1 original copy)
    • Other agreements as needed, including payback agreement (water main or sanitary sewer), oversizing agreement (water main or sanitary sewer), drainage agreement (GR only) (5 original, signed copies)
    • LUDS permit (GR only) (1 original copy)

    Download templates for standard documents, example documents and useful links here​​. Select the Open option and you can choose the documents you would like to save.

    City Commission Approval 
    The project will be scheduled on the City Commission agenda to seek majority approval by the Commission following the approval of the above project package.  All required documentation (except drawing set) must be reviewed, corrected, executed (as applicable) and approved by the City Engineer's Office before the project will be scheduled for a City Commission meeting for approval. Payment of any required front foot charges must be received also. The drawing set will be signed by the City Engineer following Commission approval and final approval from the Engineer's Office.  MDEQ Permit Applications, along with design drawing sets are delivered to the MDEQ offices in the State Building as soon as possible in order to expedite the permit approval process. Three bond copies (signed and sealed) of the title sheet and specific utility sheets must be submitted for each type of permit application.

    For additional information regarding procedures for approval of private development projects through the City Commission, contact Jack Stegehuis at or (616) 456-3715.