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The Architectural Board of Review is responsible for reviewing plans for all new buildings and exterior changes to existing buildings. The ABR ensures that changes to the exterior of buildings in Shaker Heights maintain the high standard of architectural quality in the community. More information on the ABR can be found here. The City Planning Commission is responsible for reviewing projects relative to the City’s Zoning Code, including site plan review for new homes. More information on the CPC can be found here.
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In the aftermath of the 2008 Housing Crisis, the City used demolition, among other tools, to combat blight. This was done to combat vacancy, foreclosures, and blight across the City. To ensure that vacant lots blend into the neighborhood, the City adds landscaping towards the front and a fence at the back of the property after demolition. The City owns roughly 200 vacant lots across all neighborhoods.
Infill housing is a term used to describe new housing being built in a “built-out” or historic neighborhood. Infill housing is used to attract new development and residents to neighborhoods to fill in vacant home sites and add new housing options for new and current residents. The City attracts new development to promote the physical and social neighborhood fabric – to jointly strengthen households and neighborhoods. The City previously used demolition to successfully remove blight caused by the 2008 Housing Crisis and is now focused on rebuilding homes, connecting communities, and creating a sense of place in Shaker Heights.
Please email Brendan Zak, Neighborhood Development Specialist or call (216) 491-1473 to request further information on a specific project and provide feedback.
The plan sets goals for multiple City departments to attract and retain new residents, increase demand for houses, increase property values, preserve existing housing, and increase the cohesiveness, desirability, attractiveness, and stability of neighborhoods in Shaker Heights. More information can be found here.
Tax abatement is the City exempting a property owner from paying property taxes due to an investment of over $125,000 in new construction. Tax abatement is only granted for the increased value of a property – tax abated properties continue to pay property tax on the value of the land. City Council has authorized two Residential Tax Abatement Districts – both in the Moreland neighborhood. Newly built homes may be eligible for a property tax abatement of up to 10 or 15 years, depending on the location. More information can be found here.
A City landbank is a way that cities temporarily hold foreclosed or donated properties (primarily vacant land) to help stabilize neighborhoods and encourage the re-use or redevelopment of land. The City uses land in its Landbank for our side yard program, infill housing program, community use program, as well as a way of hold land for strategic future development. More information on these programs can be found here.
Please visit the vacant lot webpage.