Ellsworth, Michigan 49729
Phone: 231-588-7411
Email: office@villageofellsworth.com

Village Planning Commission

Planning Commission Meets 2nd Thursday of the odd months

Commission Members:
Larry Essenberg – Chair Person
Al Drenth
Jerry Klooster
Lynn Spearing
Mary Neer

Click Here to view/print/download Planning Commission By Laws.

Village of Ellsworth
2021 Planning Commission Annual Report


This 2022 Village of Ellsworth Planning Commission Annual Report was prepared pursuant to the requirements of Section 19(2) of the Michigan Planning Enabling Act (“MPEA”), which states:

A planning commission shall make an annual written report to the legislative body concerning its operations and the status of planning activities, including recommendations regarding actions by the legislative body related to planning and development.

This report is intended to serve as the Planning Commission’s report to the Village Council in accordance with the MPEA as quoted above, and it will also outline the activities of the Planning Department during 2022, key decisions and actions taken by the Planning Commission, as well as a work plan of items to address in the coming year.


The following boards and commissions work directly and/or indirectly with the Planning Commission to move the Village forward on economic development and land use planning matters:

  • Ellsworth Village Council
  • Village of Ellsworth Planning Commission
  • Village of Ellsworth DDA
  • Banks Township and Village of Ellsworth Recreation Committee (Ad-hoc)


The Planning Commission receives administrative support from the Village President and Village Clerk as well as a Planning Consultant. Development decisions and strategic planning documents are developed through community and stakeholder input, and planning commission meetings are conducted within the requirements of the OMA (Open Meetings Act). The Village of Ellsworth Zoning Administrator receives and processes land use permit applications and seeks outside assistance in the case of more complex site plan review development applications.


The Planning Commission meets the second Thursday of odd months and is responsible for reviewing development applications, preparing plans, and making recommendations to the Village Council on development applications and zoning amendments. This schedule will continue throughout 2023.


In 2018, the Planning Commission developed the Village’s first Capital Improvement Program (CIP). The CIP is based on the Village master plan and identifies key infrastructure investments to be made over the next 6 years. The CIP will be by the Village Council in 2023 with the Planning Commission having the opportunity to review and recommend approval of the CIP.


There were no development plans presented to the Planning Commission in 2022.


The Village adopted a new zoning ordinance in 2020. The new zoning ordinance includes a number of amendments needed to satisfy the requirements of the MEDC Redevelopment Ready Communities program. The Planning Commission held a public hearing on July 16, 2020 and made a recommendation of adoption to the Village Council. The Village Council adopted the new zoning ordinance through resolution at their regular meeting on August 10, 2020 and is now in effect.


The Planning Commission reviewed the Master Plan and Work Plan and added under goals that a designated truck route be developed to properly route trucks through town. Under the “Goals for Natural Resources Protect Water, Quality,” both St. Clair and Ellsworth Lakes were listed.


Following review, if the Planning Commission is prepared to accept the 2022 Annual Report and forward it to the Village Council in accordance with the MPEA, the following motion is suggested:

Motion that the 2022 Planning Commission Annual Report, be accepted and forwarded to the Village Council as required by Section 19(2) of the Michigan Planning Enabling Act.

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes