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A permit ensures the work meets our community’s standards as defined in the Michigan Residential Code and the City of Walker Zoning Ordinance.
A building permit is required for any project where you're planning to change the structure of your house and for most new structures on your property. This could include adding drywall or taking out a wall. If you're only ripping up carpet, adding a tile backsplash, or painting a room, you don't need one. As a homeowner, you're able to do basic building projects in your home with a permit. Many projects that include an electrical, mechanical, or plumbing permit will also require a building permit.
You may apply for a permit:
Online through BS&A
Complete a paper form and email to the Community Development Department
Complete a paper form and apply in person or via mail
The permit fee will vary based on the scope of your project.
View the current Community Development fee schedule.
You may schedule your inspection three different ways:
1. Schedule inspection online (preferred method)
2. Email the Community Development Department (preferred method)
3. Call the Community Development Department
Please make sure to provide the following information when requesting an inspection:
You can verify your contractor is licensed through the State of Michigan on the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs website. Verify License on LARA website
Current Michigan Codes (PDF)
The City of Walker does not have a rental certification Program, maintenance concerns should first be reported to the property owner. If systems are not functioning and the owner refuses to repair within a reasonable amount of time, the Property Maintenance Code may be able to help get the systems in proper working order which requires action from the owner.
No, mold occurs due to a source of moisture in a living environment.
According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the term “toxic mold” is not correct. While certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce poisons (called mycotoxins), the molds themselves are not toxic or poisonous.
You do not need to test your mold to find out if it is “toxic mold”- just clean it up like you would any other kind of mold. Ways to prevent mold from growing:
For more cleaning and prevention information visit: www.michigan.gov/mold
This is not a violation of city code; therefore, the City generally would not get involved. It is recommended that you work with your neighbor to get permission to trim or maintain any overgrowth and ensure that trimming will not damage the health of the plant. Falling tree cleanup is the responsibility of the property owner. If debris crosses over between properties, you will clean everything within your boundaries. Your homeowner’s insurance would be a great resource for clarification.
Legally speaking, if you place or cause anything into your neighbor's yard (ie. leaves, branches, snow), it is considered trespassing. Theoretically, your neighbor could sue you, or vice versa, if they're blowing it into your yard. You could sue for punitive damages and the City would not be involved.
It's never too late to begin! Hockey is a late developing sport that you can begin at any age.
Our Cross Ice Program skates twice a week. We run skill-based practices and have in-house game days. Our team of dedicated coaches is led by our Hockey Director, Mike Fountain. The program also includes a jersey and Jamborees (games against other associations).
The "typical" path is to start out in Learn to Skate and Play Hockey, but it's not mandatory. In Cross Ice, all we require are basic skate skills and we can take it from there. If you're not sure where to begin, we recommend you email Coach Mike.
We do offer clinics and camps during the summer, including drop-in clinics for Cross Ice. We don't offer a full summer Cross Ice session, as it's good for kids to play multiple sports to help them become well-rounded athletes! USA Hockey has helpful information on this issue.
After Cross Ice, players will move into the HAWK (Hockey Association of West Kent) program. If you need help with this process, please reach out to Coach Mike.
Cross Ice is scaled better for children and actually helps improve player development! USA Hockey estimates that the typical adult player takes 15 to 17 strides to skate end-to-end on 200 feet of ice. It takes an 8-year-old 14 to 16 strides to skate 85 feet cross-ice, so Cross Ice is perfect for younger players. It helps players develop skills that allow them to "skate the game" as they develop small area skills and the ability to deal with other players at close quarters.
Our program is unique in West Michigan, as it is City-run - this means we can offer the best value at just $395 for a full Cross Ice season. It is also run personally by our Hockey Director, Mike Fountain, who brings many years of professional playing experience to his coaching. No other area hockey program has a head coach with Mike's level of experience and hands-on dedication to teaching hockey skills to all our players.
Reach out to Coach Mike any time you have questions. He can be reached at 616-735-6286 ex. 6112 or via email.
Snow is removed as it begins to accumulate. First, we concentrate on major streets, hills, hazardous intersections and school areas. Then attention is given to residential areas.
We must keep major streets open to allow buses, emergency vehicles away to get to all parts of our City. As soon as we are certain major streets are clear, equipment is moved into residential areas. Major Streets: We have twenty so-called "First Attention Routes" with a total of 150 lane miles to be plowed. These routes are top priority during a snow event.
The City is divided into four plow districts with two trucks in each district. When the snow starts to fall, the trucks are sent to their respective district and start the snow removal process. The goal is to get to all City streets in 20 hours. Sometimes this depends on the snow event.
Cul-de-sacs are plowed when the snow event is over or when the snow accumulates four or more inches in a snow event.
Our annual snow removal cost average is over $350,000. The cost of everything just keeps going up for the City, as well as individuals and families.
Anywhere from 500 tons to 3000 tons depending on conditions. We are trying to reduce salt usage where possible, not only because of its high cost but for ecological reasons. It damages trees and runs off into our streams. Incidentally, when the temperature drops below 20 degrees, salt becomes less and less effective. It is dormant at zero or below and does little or no good. We are now using Dow Armor, a liquid product that is mixed with salt and has the potential to work faster and stay on the roads longer. Also, Dow Armor is environmentally friendly.
Snow removed from private property not to be deposited on the street or sidewalk. No snow or ice shall be removed from private property and be deposited upon or plowed across any public street or sidewalk. The plowing of snow into the street and spreading of snow within the street is prohibited.
Snow not to be plowed into or left on the property of another. No snow or ice shall be plowed into or left upon the property, sidewalk, driveway, or parkway of another property.
Call the Department of Public Works at 616-791-6854 Monday through Thursday from 7:30 am to 5 pm on Friday from 7:30 am to 11:30 am
If the pothole is on a local road, you may contact our offices at (616) 791-6854. However, if the pothole is on a state road, such as M-11 (Wilson Avenue) or M-45 (Lake Michigan Drive), please contact the Kent County Road Commission online or call (616) 242-6900.
The sidewalk on a public street is the responsibility of the City. For any concerns, please call (616) 791-6854.
You may rent the Community Room at Fire Station 2 via our online portal.
These signs can be purchased from the Walker Firefighters' Association by calling the Walker Fire Department office at 616-791-6840. The signs measure 6 inches wide by 18 inches long with 3-inch reflective numbers on both sides for high visibility in the dark. The signs are $10 each.
Please visit the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital Injury Prevention website for more information.
The burning of leaves is prohibited in the City of Walker. Only small twigs and brush can be burned. A burning permit is required. See the rules and regulations.
No: your tax dollars provide you with 24-hour fire protection.
No: commercial burning is prohibited. You must get a dumpster or haul your trash away.
No: the burning of household trash is prohibited.
The Walker Fire Department does not fill swimming pools.
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View the Walker Street Directory for resident addresses (PDF).
Every resident or part-year resident of Walker, including renters, who had taxable income in a tax year must file a return by April 30 of the following tax year. See Taxable Income-Residents paragraph below.
Married persons may file either a joint return or separate returns. The following examples may be used to assist you in determining if a return is required:
Walker residents are required to report the same kinds of taxable income on their city return as they report on their federal return, with the following exceptions:
If you are a shareholder in a corporation that has elected to file under Subchapter S of the Internal Revenue Code, you are not required to report any distributed income from Federal Schedule K-1 lines 1 through 11, nor may you deduct your share of any loss or other deductions distributed by the corporation. Distributions from an S corporation are taxable as if paid by a regular corporation as dividends.
Every nonresident who had income subject to Walker City income tax in a tax year must file a return by April 30 of the following tax year. See Taxable Income-Non-Residents paragraph below.
The following income is subject to tax:
If you expect that your Walker income not subject to withholding will be more than $10,000 for a resident after deductions or $20,000 for a non-resident after deductions ($100 in tax) in any calendar year, you must file quarterly estimated tax payments using form W-1040ES. For the tax year 2020, payments are due at the end of April, June, and September of 2020, and January of 2021. View the W-1040ES forms for the tax year 2020 (PDF).
Failure to file form W-1040ES and make the required payments will result in the assessment of penalty and interest for the late payment of tax. To avoid penalty and interest charges, you must pay in through withholdings and/or quarterly estimated payments at least 70% of your current year or prior year liability, whichever is lower.
If at any time during the year your income increases to such a level that one hundred dollars tax or more will be due at the end of the year, form W-1040ES must be filed with the appropriate payment. Please contact the Income Tax Department at 616-791-6880 if you need help calculating safe estimates.
If you lived in Walker for part of the year and did not work in Walker as a non-resident, you need to file a Walker resident return (Form W-1040R). Report on this form only your taxable income while a resident, regardless of the source of the income. Check the part-year resident box under the name and address block on the form and fill in your dates of residency.
We would be happy to prepare your Walker return free of charge. Call 616-791-6880 for an appointment. You will need to bring your completed federal return, W-2, and 1099 forms.
All Walker addresses have a Grand Rapids mailing address. Don't rely on your mailing address to determine if you are a resident of Walker. View the Walker Street Directory (PDF).
By law, we charge both penalty and interest on the unpaid balance of tax. The penalty is calculated at the rate of 1% per month up to a maximum of 25%.
The interest rate is set by the State of Michigan and changes every six months. It is currently 5.63% per year. It is calculated on a daily basis, which is 0.0001538.
View a pensions and retirement benefits document (PDF) containing the pension and retirement benefit taxability rules.
The City of Walker Employer's Withholding Tax Forms and Instructions booklet are no longer mailed. Forms must be printed from our employer withholding tool page.
Follow the directions to fill out and print forms. If you have any questions concerning the forms, contact Nancy at phone number 616-791-6869, by fax at 616-791-6808, or by email.
The Withholding Tax Guide contains instructions for withholding the Walker income tax from employees’ pay. It includes withholding tables at 1% (resident rate) and 1/2% (non-resident rate). The personal exemption rate for individuals subject to the Walker income tax is $600 per exemption. View the Withholding Tax Guide (PDF).
Download The Walker IRA Deduction spreadsheet (XLS) that will help with this calculation.
All Walker individual, corporate, partnership, and employer withholding income tax returns should be mailed to:
City of WalkerIncome Tax DepartmentP.O. Box 153Grand Rapids, MI 49501-0153
You may be able to allocate wages for work performed remotely outside of Walker for your Walker employer during the stay-at-home order. The W-COV form will help you calculate what dates may be excluded from Walker tax. You may allocate wages for days on which you worked remotely outside of Walker for hours approximating your regular shift. You may not allocate wages for vacation days, holidays, days for which you collected unemployment, and days on which you were not in Walker but only answered occasional work-related emails and phone calls. Unemployment compensation is not taxable to Walker. Examples of wage allocation for the W-COV can be found here.
You must attach the following three items to your 2021 W-1040NR (Walker non-resident return) if you are allocating wages for COVID-related work from home:
If you expect to work from home during 2022 also, you can use the work log here to keep track of days worked in Walker and days worked by remote.
You must report on the date, time, and location indicated on the summons you received.
No. You must plan to come ready to serve at the time indicated on your summons. You may, however, be called by a court clerk if the trial is canceled and your service is no longer needed.
If your summons date falls within a previously scheduled vacation or necessary medical services, call the court as soon as possible, as your service as a juror is extremely important. You will be asked to present proof of plans, i.e. doctor's note, plane tickets, hotel reservation confirmation, etc. The judge ultimately decides whether you may be excused or have your jury service postponed.
If you require accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in order to successfully participate in jury duty, fill out and submit a request for accommodations form (PDF), as soon as possible before the trial date.
If your issue is not regarding a disability, you should first write a letter to the judge before the day of your jury service explaining your problem. At the time of the jury selection, you will be given an opportunity to discuss any problems regarding urgent personal matters of jurors and employers as to possible postponements, limitations on the length of jury service, compensation, qualifications for jury service, and any other condition of jury service.
Most trials last one day. If a trial is expected to last more than one day, you will be informed at the time of the jury selection. Generally, the court is in session until 5 pm, but sometimes it goes later. The judge may give the jury the option of whether to complete the trial or return the next day.
Once you complete your obligation under this summons, you will be exempt from jury duty in this court and other courts in the state of Michigan for 1 year.
If there is an emergency, you may be contacted via the court's phone number (Grandville Court: 616-538-9660 or Walker Court: 616-453-5765). The judge will decide what to do.
You should feel as comfortable as possible during your jury service. If you need help, bring the matter to the attention of the court staff and we'll try to help. If you cannot hear a witness or have to take a break during the trial, please raise your hand and let the judge know of your problem.
The probability is a little under 50 percent. Six people will be selected on a trial, but we initially summon more than 6 people in case some are excused for cause or on peremptory challenges.
You were chosen at random from the list of licensed drivers and state ID card holders.
No. Jury service is a civic duty which every citizen must perform. Doctors, nurses, lawyers, clergy, homemakers, legislators, police, firefighters, public officials, executives, laborers, teachers, and even judges must serve. The law does allow, however, jury duty exemptions for those over the age of 70, full-time students, and nursing mothers, all with applicable proof.
Before a jury is selected, the judge and lawyers will acquaint the jurors with the parties, witnesses, and circumstances in the case. Some or all of the following questions may be asked:
These questions are intended to ensure that the jurors will be fair and impartial. If your answer to any of these questions is "yes", or if there is any reason why you cannot be indifferent in the case, you should raise your hand and bring the matter to the attention of the judge. The judge will then decide whether or not you should be excused from that case.
That's no problem! Our instructors often make adjustments once we see children on the ice. For example, if you sign your daughter up to Learn to Skate and she's ready and willing to go for Learn to Play Hockey, we can just switch her into the other program. If you're ever in doubt, our Ice Director is always happy to assess your kid's skill level.
If your child has never skated at all, we recommend signing up for Snow Plow and if, once on the ice, she's confident and comfortable, we can switch her into Learn to Skate (an additional charge would apply). You can always talk to a member of staff here at Walker Ice and Fitness if you need more help.
We do not allow parents/guardians out on the ice with the kids. We want to build up confidence for children on the ice and we've found that it's best if they work with our instructors. Even if you have a lot of skating experience, we still need to have our certified staff lead the sessions and it gets confusing for kids when their parents are on the ice, too. Part of learning to skate is learning to fall over and younger kids actually do better with this when Mom and Dad aren't on the ice.
We always appreciate volunteers who have a strong background in figure skating or hockey. Please reach out to our Ice Director, Mike Fountain, at 616-735-6286 for more information or email him.
For Learn to Play Hockey, full hockey equipment is required. We sell equipment for all ages in our Pro-Shop! If you need help, please feel free to reach out to our Ice Director at 616-735-6286.
The Planning Commission is a group of nine citizen members, one of whom is an elected city commissioner.
The application deadline for requests to be considered by the Planning Commission is generally 5 weeks prior to the regularly scheduled meeting. You should contact the Planning Department for specific deadline dates.
Notification is required only when someone is proposing to rezone property, request a zoning variance, or request a special exception permit. State law and City ordinances require the city to notify property owners within a certain radius of a proposed development and publish a notice in the newspaper. If someone is proposing to develop a subdivision or a site plan that complies with the current zoning requirements, a public hearing and notice may not be required. However, City policy is to always inform residents within 300 feet of any project scheduled for Planning Commission Review.
You can review project plans and submittals by visiting the document center here.
There are 21 different zoning districts within the city. The City of Walker has an official zoning map that is located at City Hall and also has maps available for sale. It is best to stop by the office to locate your specific parcel of property on the map and personally verify its zoning category with a city official. This eliminates any misunderstanding that sometimes occurs with phone calls. View a Zoning Map.
The Master Plan, simply stated, is a document that outlines the vision of how the city would like its land uses to develop over the next 10 to 20 years. The plan provides goals and contains guidelines for the city to consider when making land-use decisions. The current Master Plan was adopted by the Planning Commission on August 19, 1998. View the 1998 Master Plan. Updates to the plan were made in 2016, 2015, 2011, 2007 and 2006. A sub area plan is currently being developed for the Remembrance Road and Wilson Avenue "triangle" area.
Where the Master Plan is a guide of how the city would like to develop, the Zoning Ordinance is 1 tool (and most common) used to help implement the Master Plan. The Zoning Ordinance provides the specific rules and regulations that must be followed to develop or redevelop a piece of property. The Zoning Ordinance states what land uses are permitted in what zoning districts and the guidelines that must be followed to develop these uses, such as the required number of parking spaces, the setbacks from property lines and the height of the building. The official zoning map is a part of the Zoning Ordinance. Changes to the Zoning Ordinance or map can only be approved by the City Commission following the appropriate public hearings.
Spring Soccer registration takes place in February and Fall Soccer registrations are in July.
Yes! Just add all players to your shopping cart before checking out.
We have the teams divided by age as there’s a significant size difference in kids in different age groups. This is for the safety and well-being of all players.
The only equipment you need are shin guards. Soccer ball and cleats are optional.
The only way to do this is by volunteering as a Coach for your child’s team – coaches always get to choose the practice schedule and location for their team.
Please consider volunteering as a coach. The success of our program lies with the generous help our coaches provide. It’s a really rewarding experience and you get refunded the cost of the program for your own child.
When you register, there are question prompts that ask what school your player attends and if you have a friend request. As much as possible, we try to accommodate these requests (although it’s not guaranteed). Even if you’re not sure that your child’s friend has signed up, you can still add the friend request!
Coaches will email or call their teams before the start of the practices
https://www.recsoccer.info/ or visit our Facebook page – Walker Recreation Youth Soccer
Walker Rec soccer is about teaching children the fundamentals of the game in a fun way. We focus on fun, rather than the final scores.
You can review the Zoning Board of Appeals request and submittals by visiting the document center here.
In order to determine if your desired use is permitted, you must first determine what the zoning district of the property is in the Interactive Zoning District Map . Then, refer to the zoning ordinance to see what uses are permitted in that zoning district.
In order to determine if your business is allowed, you must first determine what the zoning district of the property is in the Interactive Zoning District Map . If a home occupation is permitted in your zoning district, view the Definitions and Interpretation of Terms (PDF). You may also need a Zoning Permit Application (PDF).
In order to determine if an additional outbuilding is allowed on your property, you will first need to know your lot size and the amount of existing accessory square footage on your property (attached and detached building square footage combined). If you don't already know your lot size, search for your property through our assessing records. Then, you must determine the zoning district of the property, Interactive Zoning District Map . Next, you'll need to follow the regulations (size, setbacks, etc) as set forth in the zoning ordinance. When you're ready to apply for a building permit, refer to our Building Services webpage for permitting information.
While the City of Walker does not require a permit to construct a fence, you must adhere to the setbacks and regulations as set forth in the zoning ordinance. Fences are not permitted on any type of easement. Failure to adhere to the ordinance standards could result in a code enforcement violation
The City of Walker does allow "backyard chickens". You must adhere to the regulations as set forth in the zoning ordinance. There is no cost to complete our registration form, Backyard Chicken Registration Form (PDF).
A zoning permit is the permit issued by the City that allows you to use the property for your intended purpose. Some examples of uses that might require a zoning permit are:
You can complete the Zoning Permit Application (PDF) and submit to our office via email.
Please refer to the zoning ordinance to review the criteria for granting a variance. If you are ready to apply for a variance, Zoning Board of Appeals Application and Information Guide (PDF).
A Zoning Verification Letter describes information about a specific parcel, such as:
• Zoning district
• Overlay zones
• Current legal land use
• Permissions regarding proposed use
This can be especially helpful when purchasing land or if seeking investors into your project, so they know this use is allowed on a site.
You may apply for a zoning verification letter online: Application for a Planning, Zoning, or Engineering Process. There is a fee of $25 per letter. Once paid, please allow 7-10 business days to process your request.
Please note, if your request includes copies of records or documents, you must also submit a FOIA request through the City Clerk’s office.