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Deputy Director/Chief Planner

Staff Photo

Denise Cline

Phone: 517-925-8533
  • 22 years of experience in planning, zoning, and GIS.
  • 2023 Planning Champion Award - Michigan Association of Planning
  • Primary focus has been community planning, zoning, map design, GIS services, and tourism marketing. 
  • Grew up in northern Michigan and has spent all of her career working in the northeastern and northwestern Lower Peninsula.


  • City of Alpena Zoning Ordinance 
  • City of Gaylord Zoning Ordinance 
  • Baldwin Township Zoning Ordinance
  • Sherman Township  Zoning Ordinance
  • Briley Township Zoning Ordinance
  • Caledonia Township Zoning Ordinance
  • Sanborn Township Zoning Ordinance
  • City of Whittemore Zoning Ordinance
  • Kearney Township Zoning Ordinance
  • Alabaster Township Solar Ordinance
  • US 23 Heritage Route Program Manager
  • MEDC RRC - Technical Assistance
  • MDOT Active Transportation Plan
  • Up North Trails


  • Responsible for development of city, township and county master plans, recreation plans, and zoning ordinances.
  • Economic and community development.
  • GIS and map design.
  • Marketing the US 23 Heritage Route.
  • Trail data maintenance
  • Graphic Design.
  • Oversees Planning Staff Programs


 Michigan State University, Institute of Water Research

Certificate in Watershed Management, 2004

Penn State University

Certificate in Geographic Information Systems, 2001.

Southwest Missouri State University

Continuing Graduate Education - Environmental Assessment, 1997.

Indiana State University, Department of Geography, Geology, and Anthropology

M.A. in Physical Geography (Biogeography/Geology), 1997.

Western Michigan University, Department of Communications

B.A. in Broadcasting and Cable Productions, 1994.

Northwestern Michigan College

A.A. in Liberal Arts, 1992.



  • Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary: GIS services
  • Montmorency County 911: GIS mapping
  • MDOT Nonmotorized Trail Map Design
  • US 23 Heritage Route Program
  • Joint Land Use Study Implementation (Camp Grayling/Alpena CRTC)
  • Northeast Michigan Integrated Assessment
  • Northeast Michigan Marketing Website
  • Sunrise Coast Birding Trail Map
  • AuSable Birding Trail Map
  • Huron Blueways Paddling Atlas
  • Sunrise Coast Touring Guide
  • US 23 Heritage Route Trails Map
  • US 23 Heritage Route History Map
  • US 23 Heritage Route Winter Map


  • Mackinaw City Zoning Ordinance
  • AuSable Township Zoning Ordinance
  • City of Alpena Zoning Ordinance
  • City of Grayling Zoning Ordinance
  • City of Albion Zoning Ordinance
  • Village of Hillman Zoning Ordinance
  • Rogers City Zoning Ordinance & Planning Assistance
  • Charter Township of Alpena Zoning Ordinance
  • Emmet County Zoning Ordinance
  • Tawas City Zoning Ordinance
  • West Traverse Township Zoning Ordinance
  • Alcona Township Zoning Ordinance
  • Mikado Township Zoning Ordinance
  • Wilson Township Zoning Ordinance & Planning Assistance
  • Reno Township Zoning Ordinance
  • Hillman Township Zoning Ordinance
  • Green Township Zoning Ordinance & Planning Assistance
  • Long Rapids Township Planning Assistance
  • Hawes Township Zoning Ordinance
  • Haynes Township Zoning Ordinance
  • Avery Township Zoning Ordinance
  • Rust Township Zoning Ordinance
  • Tawas Township Zoning Ordinance
  • Presque Isle Township Zoning Ordinance
  • Hawes Township Zoning Ordinance
  • Clement Township Zoning Ordinance
  • Maple Forest Township Zoning Ordinance
  • Grayling Township Zoning Ordinance
  • Ossineke Township Zoning Ordinance
  • Montmorency Township Zoning Updates
  • City of Harrisville Zoning Ordinance
  • Village of Lincoln Zoning Ordinance
  • Gustin Township Zoning Ordinance
  • Curtis Township Zoning Review & Planning Assistance
  • Millen Township Zoning Map
  • Alpena Township Planning Assistance


  • City of Alpena Comprehensive Plan
  • City of Harrisville Master Plan
  • City of West Branch Master Plan
  • Village of Roscommon Master Plan
  • Tawas City Master Plan
  • Village of Hillman RRC - Master Plan, Econ. Dev. Downtown, Marketing Plan
  • Maple Forest Township Master Plan
  • Grayling Township Master Plan
  • Green Township Master Plan
  • Wilson Township Master Plan
  • Village of Lincoln Master Plan
  • Otsego County Master Plan
  • Chester Township Master Plan
  • Charlton Township Master Plan
  • Elmira Township Master Plan


  • Alpena Area Joint Recreation Plan
  • City of Gaylord Recreation Plan
  • Village of Lincoln Recreation Plan
  • Wilson Township Recreation Plan
  • Sanborn Township Recreation Plan
  • City of Alpena Recreation Plan
  • Presque Isle County Recreation Plan
  • Long Rapids Township Recreation Plan
  • Alpena County Recreation Plan
  • City of Harrisville Recreation Plan
  • Rogers City Wellhead Protection


Zoning Administrator: Village of Bellaire.

Independent Grant Writing Contractor

Marketing Research Assistant: WWTV - WWUPTV 9 & 10 News

Environmental Education Consultant: SEE-North

Geography & Geology Lab Instructor: Indiana State University

Marketing Assistant and Circulation Manager: Kalamazoo County Chamber of Commerce


Michigan State University Citizen Planner Instructor

Certified CDBG Administrator

Michigan State University Citizen Planner Program Certificate

City of Alpena Planning Commission

Forest Home Township Parks and Recreation Commission