Building and Zoning

The State Building Code, MRC 2009, is the adopted Building Code for the City of Three Rivers. Building, plumbing, and mechanical applications are processed through the City of Three Rivers. Applications are available at City Hall, or you may visit the “Forms and Ordinances” section available on the home page. Please contact Glenn Lindsey at Cornerstone Inspection Services at (269) 729-9244 or visit for more information. You may also view a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Do I Need a Building Permit?

All permits for electrical work are issued by the State of Michigan. Applications are available at City Hall or online.

Chapter 12 of the City Code regulates building and housing.

Chapter 30 of the City Code, “The Zoning Ordinance”, is designed to protect the public health, safety, and general welfare of the community and its people by establishing minimum regulations governing development and use.

The City is divided into use districts, “Zones”, and regulations are established in regard to location, construction alteration, and use of structures and land. For a copy of the “Unofficial” Zoning Map for the City of Three Rivers, click the map to the right. If you have any questions concerning a specific property, please contact the zoning administrator.

Zoning Code Cheat Sheet

Before you commit to a building for your business-type (or commit to a business-type for your building), fill out any business applications, order business cards & letterhead, or contact the post office, you should confirm the address with the City Address Administrator. Do not assume that the address used by a former tenant was correct. The City Address Administrator will also verify that the business-type legally conforms to the zoning district in which the building is located. For more information, contact Alex Ebenstein at (269) 273-1845 or

For a detailed outline of the process for starting a new business in an existing building, refer to the New Business Checklist

Chapter 13 of the City Code regulates the over 1,000 registered rental units within the City. Nine apartment complexes comprise the majority of the units. One to four family structures account for the remainder of just over 400 units.

All rental dwellings must be registered annually and are inspected biannually.