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Trained marksmen under the direction of the Shaker Heights Police Department conduct sharpshooting on public lands and on private property when allowed by property owners and where deer can be harvested safely and humanely. The marksmen receive additional training in the Cleveland Metroparks to simulate the environment in which they will be working. “Do Not Enter – Deer Management Area” signs where deer management operations occur and radio contact with SHPD officers on patrol prevent citizens from wandering into the operational area. In the event of an unauthorized entry into the area, no shots are fired and individuals are asked to leave. Culled deer are transported to a processor for dressing and preparation for donation to a local food bank.
Based on information obtained by resident questionnaires and observations by SHPD officers and the City’s deer culling contractor, there is an overabundance of deer in our city. Suburban areas, especially Shaker Heights, provide high-quality, high calorie and easily accessible foods in the form of gardens, ornamental plantings, and fertilized lawns, while nearby woodlands offer daytime refuge. The richness of plant species is higher in residential areas than in wooded habitats. Suburban areas are free of hunting and natural predation. Deer have a high reproductive potential and populations increase quickly.
Since 2016 a majority of Shaker residents who have responded to an annual questionnaire indicate that they have concerns about deer in Shaker and that they would like to see a decrease in the number of deer.
A deer herd that lacks natural predators will increase by 20 to 40% yearly, unless regular culling resumes. To better understand the factors that contribute to the unbalance in the deer’s environment, see Cleveland Metroparks’ Deer Management webpage.
Unpalatable landscape plantings and deer repellants are unreliable and short-term strategies. Deer are likely to ignore either the taste or odor repellents in times of food scarcity and overpopulation. Some repellents lose their effectiveness in rain and require reapplication and others do not weather well even in the absence of rainfall. Long-term approaches are needed to maintain deer populations at levels that are healthy for both deer and humans.
Reproductive agents for wildlife are not commercially available, are currently classified as experimental and are produced by research facilities. Also, the free-ranging nature of deer makes it difficult to deliver contraceptives to them. Relocation of deer is not allowed by ODNR. This technique requires the use of traps and/or remote chemical immobilization techniques and has been demonstrated to be impractical, stressful to the deer and may result in a high post-release mortality rate of up to 85%. These programs also require release sites that are capable of receiving deer.
Finding locations that are safe, have ease of access and have multiple deer visiting is critical to the success of the culling program. Once a site has been selected it is important not to overuse it, as the deer learn to avoid it. Over the last three years it has become more difficult to locate sites on public lands. The majority of City property is within a park or along a trail, with significant pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Even in areas that are wooded and not in a park, there are people walking dogs, biking and cross country skiing. As the number of viable public locations for culling has decreased, more residents have requested culling on their own property.
Culling on private property is the same as culling on public property. The property is baited and cameras are set up near the bait sites. Trained sharpshooters perform the culling. Please see the FAQ What is the City’s deer culling program? for additional details.
Precision Wildlife Management, the City’s contractor, will conduct a site assessment at the prospective property to ensure it is safe and appropriate for culling. If the site is deemed acceptable, Precision Wildlife Management will meet with the property owner to explain the program and address concerns. The property owner will also be required to provide written permission for culling on their property. Precision Wildlife Management will also contact neighbors directly next to or to the rear of the property. Everyone will be given the option of being notified when culling will take place.
If any neighbor directly next to or to the rear of the private property to be used for culling objects to the culling, no culling will take place on that property.
The City’s Wildlife Task Force (formerly the Deer Task Force), which includes Council members and residents, has approved specific protocols for sharpshooting deer on private property.
The deer meat is donated to Cleveland-area food banks.
The Eastside Wildlife Management Partnership, comprising the cities of Beachwood, Cleveland Heights, Lyndhurst, Mayfield Heights, Pepper Pike, Shaker Heights, South Euclid, and University Heights was formed in 2013 to ascertain whether collaborative action could be undertaken to address deer management in the region. After becoming educated about deer management by several experts, including the Cleveland Metroparks, some cities in this group decided to initiate deer management programs on their own (Pepper Pike and Lyndhurst) while others made no decision regarding deer culling. Currently, Shaker’s Mayor and City Council members continue to talk with their peers in other cities about a joint deer management program.
Yes, dogs must be on leashes, and the leash must be held by the person at all times at Horseshoe Lake, Lower Lake and Southerly Parks. Outside these parks, dogs are required to be on leashes or under the control of their owners at all times so as not to create a nuisance. (Section 705.02 C.O.)
Up to two dogs per home/dwelling unit are permitted. (Section 705.10 C.O.)
Ohio law, as well as local ordinance requires owners of dogs to renew their dog license each year between December 1st and January 31st. Residents may purchase a license from Cuyahoga County.
All exterior changes or additions to a building or structure on a property require ABR approval.
The board meets on the first and third Monday of the month. Meetings are held in the morning and begin at 8:00 a.m. Visit Architectural Board of Review for the current meeting schedule and information about appearing before the Board.
A complete submission, including several specific details and plans, must be submitted by the deadline for the meeting at which you would like to appear. Visit Architectural Board of Review for the current meeting schedule and information about appearing before the Board.
The Board meets on the first Tuesday of the month. Find the current schedule on the Landmark Commission page.
A complete submission, including several specific details and plans, must be submitted by the submission deadline. Find application materials on the Landmark Commission page. For questions, call 491-1430.
Yes, it can be placed on the house, behind the highest peak of the roof, not visible to the street. Please call 491-1430 for complete information.
Generally, at the rear of the house screened from view or in the front yard completely screened by shrubs. Please call the Planning Department at 216-491-1430 or see the Air Conditioning Regulations (PDF) guidelines for complete information.
Generally, it can be placed in the rear yard and be up to 6 feet tall. Landscape screening is required when visible to the street. Please call 491-1430 for complete information.
Yes. See Guidelines for Home Businesses (PDF).
In order to move into a commercial space in Shaker Heights, you must have a Business License (Commercial Occupancy Permit). Learn more at our Business License page. Additional information and resources can be found in the Opening a Business section of the website.
Food licenses are issued through the Cuyahoga County Board of Health (CCBOH). You are responsible for obtaining this license. Visit the CCBOH website for information about the food licensing process.
View our guide to Opening a Business for detailed information.
No. A business must have a fully executed Business License (Commercial Occupancy Permit) before moving into a commercial building. If you are not the property owner, it will be necessary to work with the property owner on the completion of the application.
Yes. The Business License (Commercial Occupancy Permit) must be renewed every two years. Learn more at our Business License page.
Yes. A Business License (Commercial Occupancy Permit) is required for all businesses, even if the primary business in the building already has one.
View instructions for how contractors can become licensed with the City.
View the City's database of licensed contractors.
Unfortunately, no. This would be a conflict of interest and is prohibited by the State. There are however several resources available to you as a Shaker resident:
Remember any contractor performing work that requires a permit, exterior painting, landscaping, or hot work activity is required to be registered with the City. The list of currently licensed contractors can be accessed here.
No. The City requires contractors to meet certain insurance, bond, and Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board requirements based on the type of contractor license.
Your relationship with the contractor is a contractual one. Violation of the contract should be referred to the police or an attorney. While the Building Department will pursue code violations a contractor may commit, violation of a contract is outside the Department's jurisdiction. The Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs also provides resources and assistance for County residents with complaints against businesses, including contractors.
Limits of Bodily Injury Liability Insurance are not less than $500,000/$1,000,000 or $2,000,000 aggregate. Property Damage Liability Insurance is not less than $50,000.
Yes, provided the contractor's license has not previously been suspended. The contractor will be required to obtain a license prior to a permit being issued or performing exterior painting or landscaping.
No. Homeowners may pull a permit only for work you are doing yourself or if paying a licensed contractor to do the work. The City requires that anyone doing permit work in the City be insured. Homeowners pulling their own permits must complete a Homeowner's Affidavit (PDF).
Visit Building Permits to find information on the permitting process and permit applications.
The cost of permits vary depending upon the work that is planned. Visit Permit Fees to find fees applicable to your project.
Certain projects and repairs require permits; others do not. View construction activity not requiring a permit.
Three sets of drawings are required. All commercial plans must be stamped by a registered architect. Residential plans must conform to specifications outlined in the Building Code. For more information, visit Plan Review or call 216-491-1460.
Most construction projects require a permit regardless of whether structural changes are made. View a list of activities that are exempt from obtaining a building permit (or approval).
Most kitchen and bathroom remodels require permits (approvals). A counter or cabinet installation where plumbing and electrical work is not impacted likely does not require a permit. However, if replacing/installing a counter installation with a sink or a cabinet installation where there is a built-in oven/range or dishwasher does require a permit. View a list of activities that are exempt from obtaining a permit.
Kitchen remodels, bathroom remodels, replacement of driveways, garages, mechanical equipment (furnaces, A/C, boilers, water heater, etc.) all require permits (approvals). There are certain limited exceptions, such as simple replacements of light fixtures or switches. View a list of activities that are exempt from obtaining a permit.
All modifications, renovations, or additions to anywhere on the exterior of your property require approval from the Planning Department and may require approval from the Architectural Board of Review. This includes projects like roof, window, door replacement, or landscape structures.
Projects that are interior only, require approval from the Building Department.
Permits protect you and your family by ensuring that work done at your property meets required building codes. That’s because our certified inspectors inspect all permitted work in the City to make sure it meets those codes. Furthermore, it is a violation of City ordinances not to obtain permits where they are required. Not obtaining a permit could result in a fine and require you to repair – at your own expense – any work that is not in compliance with required building codes. If any work has been covered, electrical wiring by drywall for instance, you will be required to expose the work for inspection.
Learn how to schedule your inspection.
Scaled drawings are required for most residential projects, except roofs, windows, and mechanical equipment. Installation/replacement of HVAC equipment requires load calculations (instructions are on the permit application). An architect is not required for residential projects, but is recommended for large projects and additions. Include cut sheets for any new equipment or devices. Written narratives of the proposed work is often necessary to fully explain the scope of the work. View a complete list of residential plan requirements.
Yes. Plans for commercial projects must be prepared and stamped by a state licensed design professional.
The specific process depends on the project. Visit the Plan Review page to learn what types of project require a plan review.
Most projects will require a plan review. Visit our Plan Review page to learn what projects require a plan review.
The Shaker Heights Police Department, historically, throughout this process, and prospectively will continue to aspire to the goal of adherence to the high standards for officer conduct required by law and endorsed by our accrediting entity, CALEA, and other well respected law enforcement executive leadership organizations. These standards are not the “bare minimum”, rather they are the standards that are considered at the level of excellence required of a professional police department.
(Question submitted at City Council’s 10/26/20 Work Session)
Claims of excessive force, under the law of the United States Supreme Court, are analyzed in part by answering the question was the officer’s conduct (use of force) “objectively reasonable in light of the facts and circumstances confronting the officer without regard to their underlying intent or motivation?”
Evidence of an underlying intent or motivation, such as bias, according to the United States Supreme Court is not evidence that a court could use to determine if the officer’s use of force was reasonable or unreasonable.
However, there are potentially other means by which an officer’s bias may be redressed through claims under state law, administratively, and the Agency’s disciplinary process.
Additionally, there are circumstances where even though the officer’s intentions (e.g. bias or prejudice) may not be legally considered; other evidence presents itself (perhaps motivated by or derived from improper bias or intent) that could be utilized in an effort to show that the officer’s behavior was unreasonable under the total set of circumstances.
Full question: I appreciate the point about whether force was necessary, not just reasonable, but would also encourage Shaker to adopt a standard of proportional force (limiting force to that which is proportional to the threat), like the city of Cleveland has adopted. Also, there is no detail on the de-escalation guidance added to the policy — what are those details?
Answer: The concept of proportionality is a factor in any analysis to determine whether the force used by an officer was objectively reasonable, which is the use of force standard contained in both the Shaker Heights Police Department’s Response To Threats general order and the City of Cleveland Police Department’s Use of Force general order.
Cleveland’s policy does include a general statement that, based on the totality of circumstances, “all force shall be proportional to the level of a subject’s resistance.”
A comparison between a subject’s resistance and the force used by an officer is certainly one of many factors in the totality of circumstances that is utilized in determining whether the officer’s use of force was objectively reasonable.
The Shaker Heights Police Department is preparing a general order requiring de-escalation.
Full question: It is completely incorrect to say that Tennessee v. Gardner sets out the rule, rather than the exception. The rule is that police should not use lethal force. The exceptions laid out by Gardner, are the only instances it is permitted. The third exception listed has been interpreted to allow the killing of people fleeing the police. There is no reason that Shaker has to keep it in its policy, and the question is why wouldn’t Shaker set a higher standard?
See answer to Question #1.
The City’s Response to Threats policy states that officers are only allowed to use techniques and weapons that are authorized through training. LVNR is not one of those.
Progressive discipline is possible depending on the situation.
Full question: How are we working with other organizations to understand the reforms being considered to assist in deciphering the calls and (1) identifying when the police are not needed to services the call and (2) building relationships with appropriate organizations to be on call to handle these types of calls. I suggest that building in this type of support is an issue of considering one possible way of reallocating some percentage of police funding.
Answer: Council members Tres Roeder and Anne Williams are working with a group of residents and the Administration to evaluate the Calls for Service to the SHPD and, ultimately, to make recommendations about how best to reduce officers’ time spent responding to non-safety calls for service and offer a multi-disciplinary approach to mental health issues of some of our residents. The group is being assisted by staff of the Cuyahoga County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board.
Both reports can be requested through a Public Records Request.
Officers have a variety of options available to them which may be deployed based on the level of resistance from a subject.
A "No-Knock" warrant is requested by the Police Department from a judge to enter a property without prior notification. The Police ask for this exception to the knock and announce rule only when there is some type of emergency requiring the police to enter right away without delay, such as when the officers’ safety is at risk, or the police believe that the suspects are destroying evidence. If a judge believes sufficient evidence is presented to justify the issuance of a "No-Knock," they authorize this type of warrant.
They were discussed with the Wildlife Task Force. We do not believe that the question was asked by a member of the other committees.
Full question: Why was the decision made to put (bury) the community conversation under the How Do I section? In my opinion, that is not intuitive at all to find a conversation so relevant, important and crucial not featured on the City’s site and more readily visible to the public. It should also be prominent on the police department’s site. Please add this to our list of questions. I would really like to see a response.
Answer: Organizing large amounts of information on a municipal website is a fairly complex process. Our website platform has parameters about how it can be structured and only provides limited options for where to place information such as this (i.e. special initiative rather than a department information, calendar, etc). After careful consideration, the How Do I/Learn More section was determined to be the most logical place for this information. It is where other important information has been placed (Sewer Fees, DEI page).
Further, the DEI page can be accessed by a tab at the top of the homepage and from there you can navigate to a link to the Community Conversations webpage. In addition, there is a link to the Community Conversations webpage from the Police webpage by clicking on Policy Review and Reform Work.
Also, because users navigate websites differently, people often use the search function to find information they are looking for on websites. By typing in “Community Conversations” into the search bar, the user is directed to the page. Lastly, Community Conversations webpage was highlighted with links in various ENews and social media posts to draw attention to it.
Full question: Can we have a clear explanation of the difference between Vascular Neck Restrictions and Chokehold Restrictions. As a follow-on, I believe I understood the Chief to say that an officer is not allowed to use vascular neck restrictions without holding a certification. Is the same true for chokeholds? If not for chokeholds, then this will link to an earlier question you have from me, which is why can’t we be specific about the requirement for certification in writing and what are the repercussions should an officer be in violation of either.
Answer: Lateral Vascular Neck Restraint (LVNR) is a technique not considered an air choke, because it does not restrict airflow. It temporarily restricts blood flow to and from the brain. A chokehold is a deadly force option, restricting air flow. They are not the same techniques and are considered separately for that reason. The City’s Police Department does not train in Lateral Vascular Neck Restraint or permit its use due to the risks if it is not be applied correctly, but authorizes a chokehold if deadly force is justified.
Full question: Specific revisions to Police policies are due November 30, 2020, according to tonight’s agenda. Will these revisions to Police policies be presented for public comment and council approval before they are implemented? If so, when, and if not, why?
Answer: Public comment on reform policies has been provided to the City and the SHPD in a number of ways prior to revisions of certain police policies. In addition to guidance from the SHPD’s accreditation agency the Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), guidance was taken from Governor DeWine’s Police Reform Proposals and Campaign Zero/8 Can’t Wait Proposal. Comments from residents were received from the Community Conversations held on July 23, 2020; the Shaker African American Mothers Support (S.A.M.S.) members/community events, and the Minorities Together Movement/Just Society Proposal, and various other residents who contacted the Police Chief, Mayor and Council members. Council gave their input at the October 26, 2020 work session. These policies will be written into General Orders which are finalized and issued by the Chief of Police. City Council approval of General Orders by a formal vote is not required and no General Orders have been referred to Council. They are an administrative measure, like other rules adopted by departments for their internal operation.
There are a variety of ways the City communicates with residents:
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Shaker Life does not accept unsolicited editorial material, but story suggestions from residents are always welcome. Send suggestions by emailing the Communication and Marketing department or mail Shaker Life, 3400 Lee Road, Shaker Heights, OH 44120. We cannot respond to every suggestion but each will be given consideration. If you are interested in work as a freelance writer for the magazine, please email the editor for guidelines.
The City of Shaker Heights website is supported by tax dollars and is designed as a service to residents and as a resource for prospective residents. We welcome listings of cultural, entertainment and educational events in Shaker Heights, with a Shaker connection (e.g. the conductor, director, soloist, performer, etc. lives/rents in Shaker, etc.), or at nearby venues. Events must be open to the public. If you would like to send details of the event, we will consider posting it if it falls within our guidelines. To send a submission email the Communication and Marketing department.
The City has a broad range of housing options for both renters and prospective homebuyers. Visit Considering a Move to Shaker to learn more about our community— including our nine neighborhoods—and to access a list of experienced Shaker realtors.
City officials are always available by phone or email. Please visit the website at shakeronline.com to view contact information for City Council, Mayor, CAO, and Department Directors. Also, the public is always invited to public meetings, which are listed on the meetings calendar on shakeronline.com.
Full question: Can the police be more proactive? Could this presentation be done for the community more broadly? It sounds like Marty did this at Boulevard but that is a K-4 school. We have so many other sites that could benefit from that information. Here is what the ACLU says we should teach our children: https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights/stopped-by-police/
Answer: Marty Dunn is currently the only officer in our Community Relations Unit, but he regularly attends meetings throughout the community and would be glad to present this information anywhere it would be helpful. During the pandemic, some of these opportunities for engagement have been limited, but Officer Dunn is available for Zoom meetings until in person meetings can take place. Because of the importance of community engagement, increasing our staff in the Community Relations Unit continues to be an organizational goal.
Full question: How do we create a police department that engages the community and lessens the divide? I look at some of the things that Camden, NJ police force has done to build greater rapport such as having new officers introduce themselves to the neighborhood they patrol. Also, I feel it’s important that communities that have been historically oppressed by LE must find a way to inspire youth to serve. The police must reflect the communities they serve and should/must include those from the community. A two way effort needs to happen for the future. All about the long game.
Answer: See answer above. In addition, all of our officers work to find ways to engage the community. For example, officers are often found playing basketball on local playgrounds, practicing skateboarding with kids, throwing a football when they see a game underway, handing out “tickets” for a Frosty at Wendy’s for being “caught” doing a good deed, or chatting with residents while out on bike patrol. Officers are encouraged to find ways to get out of their cars and connect with residents in the community, not only because it’s part of their job, but also because they value getting to know residents.
Regarding inspiring people to serve: We agree and take this very seriously, which is why we have worked hard to transform our recruitment practices https://www.shakeronline.com/720/Recruitment-Hiring to expand the number of qualified applicants who chose to apply.
As the Chief of Police, I am unaware of any recommendation made to our Department to join this group. We would certainly be open to the idea.
Full question: We hear a lot about what parents tell their Black children about how to interact with the police to hopefully stay safe, but I would like to hear from the police about what they want to tell all children, teens and adults about what to do and not do when interacting with the police to reduce the risk of things escalating. I think it would also be a good idea for the police to know the specific information parents are telling their children so the police are aware of those instructions and won’t be surprised or confused about someone behaving a certain way.
Answer: Our Department regularly presents this kind of information to groups throughout the City, though it has been difficult during the pandemic. Our presentations focus on what to do when questioned by the police, either as a driver of a car, a witness, or a victim.
As an aspect of these interactions and presentations, we discuss appropriate actions when stopped by the police in a car. These appropriate actions include keeping your hands where a police officer can see them, limiting movements while in the car, especially at night and simply not running away from the police. We always talk about issues surrounding a person’s refusal to identify themselves and what to do when officers may be executing a search warrant and what it means to give consent to searches. We have had some conversations with SHHS students, residents and specific community groups to learn more about what parents are telling their children about what to do if they are stopped by police. It is incredibly helpful for us to understand this better and we appreciate this kind of dialogue. We are always open to learning more.
Full question: Would it be possible for our officers to be more proactive? For instance, for the two examples shared tonight: Visit each place of worship 2-3 times/year. Work with high school groups regularly - even create a youth advisory group.
Answer: Our Department is continually looking for new and additional opportunities for community engagement. Click here for examples of recent community engagement work. Please fill out our community engagement request form or direct suggestions should be directed to Sgt. Tim Grafton.
Young people have something important to say. We learn more about them through conversation. For example – 3 officers met with 3 African American male students at the high school. Students asked questions and officers were able to offer explanations and let them know they were empathetic to the young men’s concerns.
The students left with a better understanding of what officers go through. In addition, the officers gained a better understanding of the young peoples’ perceptions. Everyone agreed at the end of the evening that honest and open communication can be extremely beneficial to the betterment of the relationship. Parents that observed were pleased with the interaction.
There are also visits by officers to the high school football practice, just to converse with the young men.
These types of exercises establish relationships. Research shows that through communication there is a correlative decline in allegations of bias based policing. Our Department understands that establishing these relationships and links in the community will allow us to become more successful and legitimized to our community as a police department.
We are working to develop a communication process for this. We do plan to post new policies on the Police webpage and will include the date of the most recent update.
We have given a great deal of thought to this concept, including possible a junior police academy that may be offered for high school credit.
Sgt. Tim Grafton supervises the Community Relations Unit. Ptl. Marty Dunn has been a Community Relations Officer since 2014 when he applied for the position. At that time, we had two officers in the unit and one has since retired. We have not been able to replace that officer due to staffing shortages that have not been filled through the hiring process.
Our department had a couple events planned focused on developing relationships with teen groups. Unfortunately, due to the type of event, we had place them on hold due to the pandemic. Tentatively, we have an interactive event with SAMS still in the planning stages wherein the youth and the officers will interact in ways that will include role playing, a Q & A session and finally a roundtable discussion. We are always looking for more opportunities. Click here for some examples of our community engagement work.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we participated with the Recreation Department on Zoom meetings with teens. We have also participated in the lunch give away where officers were present and interacting with the youth. When school began, our officers, through Zoom, have been instructing high school students on internet safety. Lastly, we have tentatively set up an interactive event with SAMS where youth and the officers participate virtually in role playing, a Q & A session and finally a roundtable discussion.
Shaker Heights police officers have utilized body cameras for more than five years and dash cams for more than 10 years. These cameras have malfunctioned periodically over the years and on occasion officers have failed to activate them. The frequency of both of these occurrences has declined substantially as officers are now accustomed to using them and the technical support for malfunctions has improved.
In circumstances when it should have been activated but was not, there is an investigation into why this occurred and officers may be subject to disciplinary action, if warranted. Presently, we are at the end of the useful life of our current body cam system. The age of the system can also cause malfunctions resulting in a failure to activate.
In 2020, City Council approved the purchase of a new camera system so we are in the process of purchasing and activating a new system. It has significant improvements due to new technology. One of the enhancements is that dash cams and body worn cams are automatically activated when cruiser lights are turned on.
Officers who violate the policies related to operation of the Body Worn Cameras are subject to progressive discipline up to and possibly including termination if the behavior is egregious and or continuous.
Full question: What resources are available to officers experiencing trauma? Are officers ever instructed to stand down or otherwise temporarily removed from active service to receive treatment for trauma or exceptional stress?
Answer: There are several resources available to officers who experience trauma or exceptional stress. These resources are provided through the City, the Cuyahoga County Critical Incident Stress Management Team, and there is also a private company that offers services upon retainer.
There are circumstances when officers are deemed to be unfit for duty due to trauma and consequently relieved from duty. This relief is more often temporary. However, in some rare or extraordinary circumstance, relief from duty could potentially be permanent.
The concept of a civilian oversight board regarding complaints against officers and the Department is one of several proposals being reviewed as part of overall police reform. A review process currently exists when officers are involved in critical incidents that includes citizens as members of the of the reviewing body.
Full question: Do you ask your prospective officers why do they want to serve? It can’t be just about benefits and a pension. This is a public servant job. Also are there plans to have a mental health trained officer to accompany officers on calls? Thank you.
Answer: Yes. We ask this question many times during the hiring process to be certain that candidates understand that, if hired, they will be serving the public.
There are no present plans for this.
Full question: I’m wondering if the Shaker Heights police department has received any military-grade weaponry or surplus military gear from the Pentagon or other federal agencies through the 1033 program or any other similar program?
Answer: Our Department has received equipment from the 1033 Program. Last year, we suspended our participation in the program.
Full question: It sounds like we have a lot of hiring efforts going on. What does the data look like? How many black candidates, female candidates, etc have joined the force since 2016? (the year it sounds like this started)
Answer: Since 2016, a total of five (5) black candidates and one (1) female candidate (African-American) has been hired by our department. Click here for the current demographic makeup of the department.
Our engagement through the bike patrol has been curtailed by two issues at the moment: the pandemic and manpower considerations. We still have officers out on bikes, but their mission has been focused more crime prevention rather than in person community interaction in an effort to keep everyone healthy.
Mayor Weiss has signed the Obama Foundation - Commit to Action Pledge.
Full question: Use of Force policies provide a roadmap for training. Items not written into the policy may or may not be covered in a training session. Written items provide a template for training. Items not specifically written in the Shake Heights Police Department’s Use of Force Policy are: a statement of the sanctity of life; detailed descriptions of objective reasonableness, necessity, proportionality, and de-escalation; de-escalation techniques; circumstances under which use of force is strictly prohibited; and, duty to intervene when any use of force is unauthorized. Will the Shaker Heights Police Department expand their use of force policy to include the items mentioned above?
Answer: Our Use of Force Policy is called Response to Threats Policy. It is one of a number of policies that we are reviewing during this process. Our review will include items outlined in this question. Once we have completed this review and made any necessary changes, the policy will be posted on our website.
Currently, only police officers are assigned to respond to calls involving residents with mental health issues. All of our officers have had some training in how to respond to these types of calls and are knowledgeable about outside resources they can call on for additional assistance.
Complaints, and the investigations that result from them, are kept in the personnel file for 10 years. If a suspension results from the complaint, it cannot be removed from a personnel file. If the resulting discipline is an oral or written reprimand, an officer can request that this disciplinary action be removed after three years.
Currently, the most significant challenge we are facing is related to recruitment, hiring, and retention practices and policies. The challenges are related to the current context in which police are working and the conversations around police reform. We are faced with an ever-shrinking pool of applicants and have challenges retaining those who are hired. Considerable time is spent refining our policies and practices around recruitment in an effort to meet our goals and overcome these obstacles.
There are indeed circumstances where it is unlawful to run from the police. However, each situation is different and based on the total set of circumstances, rendering it a real challenge if not an impossibility, to contemplate each and every scenario where it would be unlawful to run away from the police.
All complaints are turned over to the Office of Internal Affairs and the investigations surrounding those complaints are kept for 10 years.
During the pandemic, as always, officers will continue to lawfully stop individuals if there is a “reasonable and articulable suspicion” that would warrant further investigation by them. “Reasonable and articulable suspicion” is the constitutional guideline that an officer must use when stopping someone to further investigate a situation. It is important to note that there are also citizen-police encounters that are initiated by residents.
Full question: Police are often required to do more than policing. They are asked to be therapists, social workers, psychologists, etc. Why not partner with community agencies that have expertise in these areas to accompany officers on calls or when appropriate to handle the call?
Answer: Our Department frequently interacts with social service agencies during calls for service and subsequent investigations. At the present time, community agencies do not handle calls for service that originated with or involved the calling of the police.
Full question: Has the City considered instituting a civilian oversight component to serve those complainants who are less than comfortable with the notion that that the Department will adequately investigate itself?
Answer: The concept of a civilian oversight board regarding complaints against officers and the Department is one of several proposals being reviewed as part of overall police reform. A review process currently exists when officers are involved in critical incidents that includes citizens as members of the of the reviewing body.
Our General Order 0112 – Bias Free Policing speaks to both of these issues.
Our Racial Profile Statement was originally enacted on March 31, 2003. This statement is annually reviewed by our officers. Equally as important, our officers receive annual training in bias free policing wherein the subject of racial profiling is addressed.
Our Department does not use a discipline matrix. While there are types of officer misconduct where termination will be the discipline, there are likewise circumstances where discipline is progressive in nature with the predominate goal being corrective or curative.
Full question: What specific changes are being made to create a culture of intervention for excessive force or unnecessary detainment within the department; providing assurance and safety to those officers who choose to intervene. How is this clearly documented?
Answer: All hires are instructed/trained in these areas in new officer orientation during their Ethics Component which is specifically taught by the Chief of Police. It is also focus throughout their field training program with a senior officer. These expectations are then reinforced through annual review of the Bias Free Policing policy which includes our Racial Profile Statement and a requirement of a duty to intervene.
The principles of riot and crowd control prioritize the protection of people and then prioritize the protection of private homes and businesses.
The use of the LVNR (Lateral Vascular Neck Restraint) is presently being reviewed by our Department. As a practical matter, pending review, our Department has not trained officers in LVNR for several years and as a result have only approximately 3 officers currently employed with the Department who possess such training.
At the present time, we do not have any residency requirements.
The policy is labeled Response to Threats and is presently on our website.
Prior to appointment, all officer candidates go through extensive psychological testing.
All applicants must be at least 21 years of age at the time of appointment.
Full question: Are you reviewing the policy of having officers placed in our school buildings? Please address your perspective on why it is deemed necessary or constructive, given the message it sends to students about school climate?
Answer: Having police officers working in the school buildings is a decision made by the school system, not the police department. With that said, officers inside of the school buildings have found wonderful opportunities for relationship building between students and officers.
Full question: Besides unofficial friendship building, what is the department doing in terms of systematic relationship strengthening with (especially marginalized) Shaker community members. Mainly, does the department have awareness of or plan to institute restorative justice practices into the department/local criminal justice system?
Answer: Our department has participated in restorative justice exercises in collaboration with the high school and exercises authorized by the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court in lieu of prosecution. The City’s website lists some of our community engagement activities which documents some of how we participate in community relationship building.
The Mayor, Council and members of the Management Team have met with representatives from both of this group to discuss the proposal. The proposal presents recommendations for police reforms, many of which are being discussed within the larger context of reform work related to the SHPD. We anticipate that the suggestions contained in the proposal will positively influence the work of the City throughout our comprehensive evaluation of police policies and reform work.
Full question: The community has expressed fear of the police despite efforts to make inroads in community engagement. An obvious solution to this is reducing the police that carry guns to the absolute essential cases such as a report of a violent gunman. Would you be open to creating a police task force for traffic/non-violent crime that would not carry guns?
Answer: We are unable to support this suggestion. The safety of officers and the public precludes such support. In many cases, calls for service don’t provide the full context for the situation, so it would be too risky for the officers to respond without being fully prepared for what they may encounter.
Full question: In providing context for how difficult it is for officers to conduct traffic stops, is officer Dunn perhaps insinuating that we should explore shifting that responsibility to unarmed public works officers as Berkeley, CA. City Council has recently done?
Answer: No. Officer Dunn was explaining how he educates the public so that they can better understand how their behavior affects the way officers respond during interactions with the police.
Full question: What alternatives exist in Shaker to calling an armed officer to respond to conflict? Is there a mediation program available or are there social service organizations that will respond to community problems?
Answer: When a resident feels it is necessary to call SHPD in regard to what they consider a conflict, officers will arrive armed, as they do to every call for service for reasons explained above. There isn’t a mediation program or social service agency that provides services described here, but SHPD officers are trained and aware of how and when to call upon specific social service organizations for additional assistance.
Full question: Who have you been listening to and what have you been reading to help you think innovatively about what policing needs to be in modern society? If you have not yet done so, please consider listening to an interview with Christy Lopez, Professor and co-leader of Georgetown Law’s Program on Innovative Policing. Link is attached below. https://www.cityclub.org/forums/2020/07/17/what-does-it-mean-to-defund-the-police.
Answer: The Supervision, Command Staff, and Officers of the Police Department read, listen and learn from a wide variety of resources to help shape the Department to be more innovative in our responsiveness to our community needs. In addition, they have attended and will continue to attend short and long-term professional training in search of learning and to reach a better understanding modern policing. We appreciate the suggestion concerning Professor Lopez’s podcast at The City Club of Cleveland and will review its contents.
Police reform is extraordinarily important and complex, and as a result takes time. While we have been engaged in transformation for many years, we know that many opportunities to improve and innovate still exist. Effective and lasting change requires resources, and well-thought-out approaches, which we are committed to. We are actively engaged in this process and hope you will stay up to date about our progress by visiting the police webpage which will be updated as we implement changes.
We can assure you that we are dedicated to meaningful and positive reform no matter the timeline for its implantation and recognize the importance of efficiency.
Our Department encourages suggestions and feedback from the community we serve and will continue to do so. Many of the ideas we use in Community Engagement have come directly from community suggestions. In addition, streamlining overnight permission to park and development of the Mission of the Department are additional examples.
We are committed to ongoing evaluation and updating of police policies and practices and consider this a constant work in progress. We believe a modern police department is one that works in partnership with the community to respond to its specific needs and expectations. Community input, directives from the Governor, and requirements from our accreditation agency, CALEA, will continue to guide our work.
We always listen to input from teens. It helps us understand how policies and practices impact them. However, due to complex process for changing practices and policies, often involving our accrediting agency, we can’t point directly to a policy or practice that we’ve changed solely due to a conversation with a teen.
The Shaker Heights Police Department has actively participated in restorative justice exercises in connection with both our Community Diversion Program and with the Shaker Heights school system. Information on officer training in the areas of unconscious bias and anti-racism for the last five years is available on the City’s website. As part of the City’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion work, Council and the Management Team have participated in a training session with Erica Merritt from Equius Group. Additional sessions are being scheduled.
Full question: Aside from Prosecutor Keller and bias free training, who develops the curriculum for each substantive training area that Shaker officers are required to attend? To what extent does the Department rely on OPOTA for the training of its officers?
Answer: Our officers attend a vast array of annual training from an equally vast array of sources and resources. The sources and resources for the development of curriculum do include OPOTA, various other national and state training entities, as well as internal instruction from supervisors or other officers that are certified instructors in the training subject matter.
The discharge of a service weapon is a use of deadly force and is subject to evaluation under the guidelines set forth in the Department’s current general order entitled Response To Threats, which is posted on the website. Any use of deadly force and its justification are legally required to be evaluated in the backdrop of that general order and on the total set of circumstances that resulted in its use. Officers receive extensive training in response to threats and the use of deadly force.
Full question: The Department’s website talks about bias-free training including classes, roll-call meetings and handouts. How much active training (as opposed to passive reading or listening to a lecture) is required of officers annually? What kind of additional training do officers receive on trauma-responsiveness, de-escalation, mental health issues, etc? How are these trainings evaluated for effectiveness?
Answer: While some of our training occurs in classroom settings, the Department also utilizes several other forums. We utilize role play and dynamic simulation training. The annual flagship training course on bias free policing has a significant amount of interactive participation, requiring officers to participate in scenario-based examples during which they participate in panel discussions and focus groups. Officers are frequently asked to advocate and comment on positions other than that of law enforcement to ensure they fully understand different perspectives on any given situation.
Mental health, stress and trauma, and de-escalation are circumstances that are continuously and regularly included in and related to our bias free police training and in several other training areas and exercises.
Our training effectiveness is evaluated during our biannual evaluation by CALEA, our national accreditation organization. CALEA sets several benchmarks associated with bias-free policing that we must meet to maintain our accreditation. We also have maintained compliance with the Ohio Collaborative recommendations in this area of policing. Currently, we are looking at the myriad of suggested reforms and input about bias free policing.
Lastly, we evaluate our effectiveness based on the number of complaints we receive pertaining to biased behavior in a citizen-police encounter.
Full question: In many fields there is required continuing education. How is the Shaker Heights Police Department and administration continuing their education on racial and social disparities? Is everyone required to read books like “How to be an Anti-Racist” or “White Fragility”, etc.”?
Answer: Continuing professional education is mandated by policy within our Department. As outlined by on our website, much of this training is centered on racial and social disparities. When the opportunity arises, we do watch movies and documentaries that help to illuminate these issues. For example, we recently watched the documentary 13th, which gave officers a whole new understanding of the 13th amendment. Our officers have not been required to read the books mentioned in this question.
All records related to Departmental training are lawfully available via a public records request.
Officer re-instruction is informally handled through supervisory counseling sessions. More formally it is handled through documentation on performance evaluations of areas in need of training and how that training is received, which includes individualized Performance Improvement Plans.
Full question: It is encouraging to see the Department include a few select policies on the website. Does the City plan to make all of the Department’s policies readily accessible on line? In the spirit of transparency, it would be very helpful to have access to all of them, especially those on search and seizure, use of force (all levels) as well as any policies on youth interactions.
Answer: We are in the process of updating and revising additional policies in preparation for posting on the website. They will be added to what is already available. In order to post all of the Department’s policies, we will need time to do research about the most cost effective way to post them so that they are searchable. Posting all of them would total approximately 1000 pages of documents. In the meantime, the public can request specific policies of interest through a public records request.
All collective bargaining agreements in the State of Ohio can be found on the State Employment Relations Board (SERB) website: https://serb.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/serb/documents-and-decisions/collective-bargaining-agreements
As with the vast majority of records of the Shaker Heights Police Department, records that pertain to complaints, compliments, and concerns can be obtained through a public records request.
By policy, the Critical Incident Review Committee is comprised of the following: the Law Director or designee, an Investigative Unit Supervsor; the Officer-in-Charge at the time of the incident and two citizen members chosen by the Chief of Police. Historically, these meetings have not been public meetings although any and all documents prepared in connection with the meetings, that are not subject to a privilege, may be made available through a public records request.
See previous answer.
Historically, these meetings have not been public meetings. The results of the Committee deliberations are memorialized in memorandum form and provided to the Chief of Police. These can be requested through a public records request.
Commander John Cole is in charge of our Internal Affairs function.
One officer of color has been hired from our last entrance exam, that was conducted in August and September of 2019. He remains with our Department. Click here for the demographics of our department.
We are striving to ensure that our police department reflects the diversity of the community. Click here for our current demographic makeup.
There was a short period of time wherein the City did require new police hires to live in the City. That requirement was dropped a number of years ago for a variety of reasons including being a deterrent to potential new hires who don’t want to move for personal or financial reasons.
We hope that the information we’ve shared about social distancing, hand washing and mask wearing will help Shaker residents feel confident during COVID.
All complaints can be made through a Police Complaint Form which are available at the Police Department window at the Police/Court Complex (3355 Lee Road), which is then forwarded to our Internal Affairs Unit for investigation.
There are many resources available for those interested in starting a community garden, including OSU Extension (OSUE), workshops and classes, start-up guides, and existing community gardeners.
OSUE can help you:
Visit the OSUE website or call (216) 429-8200
Contact the Building & Housing Department at 216-491-1473.
Contact the Building & Housing Department at 216-491-1473 as soon as you have an outline of what you want to do. The City is best positioned to provide you with assistance on City regulations and processes and connect you with relevant resources. Contact the City for information related to:
Investigate a number of potential sites from the outset to avoid disappointment. Your ideal site may be unavailable because of soil contamination or other reasons.
A simple soil test is required for gardens because it provides critical information about contaminant levels, nutrient levels and recommendations for amending the soil. Learn more about soil testing at the Ohio State University Extension service.
You will want to ensure that you get enough water to meet the needs of the plants planned for the garden. Some of the common ways to access water for a community garden include:
Consider sharing the cost of water with a neighboring homeowner who is willing to supply water with a nearby spigot from their home.
Rain barrels collect and store rainwater, typically from a garage or house roof, that would otherwise be lost to runoff and diverted into storm drains. If your site does not have a building or garage, consider whether neighboring homeowners would allow you to install and use rain barrels at their homes or garages. The City encourages rain barrels be located at the rear and side of homes and be screened from the street view by landscaping.
A rain barrel is usually constructed out of a 55 gallon drum and connected to a gutter downspout. In the City, rain barrels are permitted as long as drains and/or overflows from the barrel do not flow back toward the building or create a nuisance condition. Typically, this issue is addressed by using a diverter, which does not permanently disconnect the downspout for a rain barrel. The diverter allows water to collect in the rain barrel until it is full, and then allows the overflow water to run down through your downspout as it was originally designed.
Although spigots have a relatively high upfront cost, it makes water access easy and convenient for the life of the community garden. Use of a spigot on City-owned lots will be discussed on a case-by-case basis with applicants for City-owned properties. To set up an account for a metered spigot on privately-owned lots, complete the Cleveland Water's domestic application and letter of intent, and submit, along with a plot plan showing the location of the connection and the vault being used to Cleveland Water's Permit and Sales Department, which can be reached at 216-664-2444 ext. 5203.
Although fire hydrants are located in the City of Shaker Heights, the City of Cleveland supplies water to the hydrants and is responsible for water usage permits. Therefore, it is necessary to obtain permits from both Shaker Heights and Cleveland Water to use water from a fire hydrant for your garden:
To obtain a Shaker Heights Hydrant Use Permit:
To obtain a Cleveland Water Usage Permit:The Cleveland Water Department issues Community Garden Permits. Find additional information on permits on the Cleveland Water website or contact the Permit and Sales Unit at 216-664-2444.
Zoning ordinance sections related to fences, setbacks, signs, and structures are the sections most likely to apply to a community garden. For guidance related to these and any other applicable zoning regulations, contact email Dan Feinstein at the Planning Department at 216-491-1435.
The following are some additional considerations for those interested in starting a community garden:
Call 216-491-1473 for information about available and suitable City-owned vacant lots.
Gather the information needed to complete the Board of Zoning Appeals/City Planning Commission (BZA / CPC) application.
For questions or additional information related to zoning or CPC, email Dan Feinstein or call 216-491-1435.
The costs will vary depending on the size of the site, materials and plants used, type of water access, and site plans. Contact OSU Extension at 216-429-8200 if you need help creating a budget. Consider what costs your garden might incur for:
Timing depends on how long it takes to get your group organized and any unique challenges or opportunities posed by your site and plans. If you are using a City-owned lot, you should start the process at least 5 months in advance of wanting to plant because you will need to get on the agenda of several different City committees.
The City has offered residents and small businesses in Shaker Heights the option to participate in an opt-out electric aggregation program since 2001, when the City joined the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC). In November 2000, Shaker Heights voters passed by 77 percent a ballot measure that authorized the City to offer an opt-out electric aggregation program.
Now, as part of its ongoing sustainability efforts, the City has elected to offer its own opt-out electric aggregation program. This program will offer 100 percent renewably-sourced or “green” electric supply for eligible customers in Shaker Heights. This program will replace the City’s current electric aggregation program with NOPEC.
A 100 percent green opt-out program would make that supply the default for electric supply for any resident or small business that does not pro-actively elect another option. Switching to a 100 percent green opt-out program would further the City’s intentions of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to address the climate crisis and aligns with recent initiatives such as our LEED for Cities certification and Power a Clean Future Ohio.
The program will be available to eligible customers starting in 2023.
Note: The program is only open to eligible customers in Shaker Heights.
The following customers are eligible for the City's aggregation program:
The following customers are NOT eligible for the program:
Eligible customers will receive an “opt-out” notice with information about the new electric aggregation program. Eligible customers that do not opt out by following the instructions in this notice will automatically be enrolled in the program 21 days after receiving this notice.
This program is optional. Eligible customers who do not want to join the program should follow the instructions in the notice to opt out of the program. Eligible customers who opt out will not be enrolled in the program.
If you do not receive an opt-out notice, you are not eligible for the program. If you believe this is an error, or you are a new resident, or newly in your current home, contact the City at 216-491-1440.
You will have to terminate your contract early or wait until your contract ends and then enroll in the City’s electric aggregation program. Please note that some suppliers charge an early-termination fee.
No. Customers may leave the program at any time. There is no early termination fee.
When voters passed the ballot measure in November 2000, they authorized the City to form an opt-out electric aggregation program. Under Ohio law, an opt-out governmental aggregation program automatically enlists customers who are eligible without any action by the customers, after the required notice is sent out to them. This results in a large “buying group” that can negotiate for better rates than individual customers.
The City is in the process of seeking a supplier for the program. Once the City selects a supplier, we will update the Electric Aggregation Program page with detailed information about the program, including rates. The City’s goal is to provide a competitive rate for customers enrolled in the program. The City has experience negotiating competitive rates for its gas aggregation program, where its rate was below NOPEC’s approximately 70 percent of the time.
Not necessarily. The City has seen with its own electric service for its facilities, which the City has bid out independently, that 100 percent green power has been very competitive, and even lower in cost, than non-green power offerings. Additionally, the City does not charge any overhead or marketing expenses to keep the rates as low as possible.
In the current market for renewable energy, 100 percent renewable electric power supply must be provided for an independent aggregation program, like the City is creating, through the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECS). It is an additional goal of the City that 100 percent renewable power supply using RECS should be provided only through Green-e RECS, which are independently verified through a third party and are generally a requirement of certification programs like LEED for Cities (Shaker Heights is LEED Gold certified in this program). Ultimately, the City hopes to source power from newly-built renewable energy projects, ideally within the State of Ohio. There is currently more demand than supply for large renewable projects in Ohio, so it may take several years before this is possible.
Until these new projects are available, the City will contract for Renewable Energy Credits. This means that for every electron used in the program, a corresponding electron was generated through wind or solar somewhere in the U.S. and fed into the grid. Since there is no difference in electrons, a REC is how we establish that the electrons we are using have been offset by renewably-generated ones somewhere on the grid. This is verified by an independent third party.
Under a City-operated program the City would have more flexibility to select a supplier, and the term of the contract and rate. We believe the current market provides an opportunity for the City, as a smaller scale aggregation program, to obtain RECs and have a better chance to meet the City’s goals as an independent aggregation program. The City will have more flexibility to go out into the market to seek RECs, and provide supply with very little overhead and no administrative fees being charged to participants.
Experience with the City’s gas program has found that the City’s gas rate has been below NOPEC’s gas rate about 70 percent of the time over the years. Partly this is due to lower overhead for the City’s program. NOPEC costs — administrative, advertising, legal, and programmatic — are paid for through the rates charged to participants.
The market for green power is growing. There may be opportunities for renewable energy for a smaller aggregation that are not available to an aggregation with a much larger load profile. It is expected that there should be a greater availability of Ohio-based renewable power generation by 2026, with negotiations for those supplies commencing in 2023.
Additionally, with its own program, the City would have the flexibility to design specific features that it and residents value. For example, it could elect to source the power from a supplier that generates the electricity within Ohio. This would retain more of the environmental benefits – such as cleaner air and clean energy jobs – within the state and closer to the City.
UPDATE: In August 2022, the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) announced that it plans to transition all its 550,000 Standard Program Price customers to the Illuminating Company’s standard service offer rate because it is significantly lower right now than NOPEC’s rate. Click here to learn more.
The City is a member of NOPEC for its electric aggregation program. NOPEC is a not-for-profit made up of more than 220 Ohio communities (including Shaker Heights) that buys electric in bulk from NextEra Energy Services Ohio, LLC (NESO). Residents in NOPEC communities are automatically enrolled, but may opt out at any time. NOPEC customers have several choices, including a fixed-rate option and 100 percent renewable option. The City is in the process of developing its own 100 percent renewable electric aggregation program to be effective 2023. Learn more about this program.
Customers may switch to another supplier by canceling their NOPEC/NextEra contract at no cost. For more information and to compare rates visit the NOPEC website or the PUCO's Apples to Apples Comparison website.
Yes. Find current year and past year documents at City Financial Documents. Documents are also available in the reference sections at both branches of the Shaker Heights Public Library. The City's financial reports are also available for review in the Finance Department (City Hall, 3400 Lee Rd.) during normal business hours, Monday through Friday from 8:30 am-5 pm.
In Cuyahoga County, the County Fiscal Officer and Treasurer are responsible for determining property value, maintaining all property records, billing and collecting property taxes. Property taxes are billed by the County semi-annually and are normally due in January and July. Property taxes are billed in the year following the tax year upon which the bill is based.
Property located in the City of Shaker Heights is taxed by the Shaker Heights School District, the Shaker Heights Public Library, Cuyahoga County and the City. Each of these separate entities sets its own tax rate. The tax rate that appears on the tax bill is the combined tax rate of all four. Property taxes paid by a Shaker Heights homeowner are distributed as follows:
For more information about a specific property, visit https://myplace.cuyahogacounty.us. For additional information, visit the County's website at https://www.cuyahogacounty.us/.
The City levies an income tax on the earned income of all residents, the net profits of all businesses located in the City and the wages of all individuals who work in the City. This tax is in addition to any income tax that a resident may be paying to the community in which he or she is working. Learn more at Understanding Your Taxes.
For questions about property tax, residents should call the Cuyahoga County Treasurer’s Office at 216-443-7400 or (during busy periods) 216-443-4663.
The regulations vary depending on the type of outdoor burning. Recreational fires do not require a permit. Fire pits, outdoor fireplaces, BBQ grills and BBQ pits are examples of recreational fires. Bonfires and open burning (leaves, for example) do require a permit. View complete guidelines for outdoor burning in Open Burning & Outdoor Cooking (PDF).
Each spring and fall, the Fire Department flushes water lines through the City’s fire hydrants. Hydrant flushing is an important preventive maintenance activity that maintains the integrity of the water system and enables the Fire Department to ensure hydrants are in working order.
The Fire Department flushes hydrants by district. Signs will also be posted in your neighborhood ahead of flushing. Please drive with caution when Fire Department crews are in the streets flushing hydrants.
If tap water is used during flushing, it may contain sediment and some discoloration. If the water is discolored, simply shut the water off and wait a few minutes. Then run cold water for a few minutes to allow new water to enter your pipes. If the water is still discolored, wait a few more minutes and run the water again. In some cases, discoloration will occur for a few hours. This discoloration only affects the appearance of the water – it does not affect the taste or quality. Avoid washing laundry during scheduled flushing times, as the flushed sediment could discolor white clothing. Wait until the water runs clear at the tap, then wash a load of dark clothes first.
During winter months when the snow and ice piles high, Shaker’s 1,500 fire hydrants often are buried. If you are able, please clear snow from around hydrants and avoid shoveling snow on top of them so that fire crews can quickly gain access during an emergency.
However, if fire hydrants are buried in snow and you are unable to dig them out, don’t worry! The Shaker Heights Fire Department has detailed maps indicating the specific locations of all hydrants. In the event of a fire where a hydrant is not immediately accessible, each truck is equipped with 700 gallons of water, enough to fight a fire for approximately 10 minutes, while crews simultaneously dig out the closest hydrant.
Email Public Works. Please include the address of the house/building nearest the leaking or damaged hydrant. Public Works will report the issue to Cleveland Water, which is responsible for repairing and replacing the City’s fire hydrants.
The Fire Department is in the process of painting the City’s 1,500-plus fire hydrants green. This work is done only during the summer and only when staff are available. Rest assured, all the hydrants will eventually be painted. Please note: New hydrants are installed by Cleveland Water and are orange. These new hydrants must be given time to “settle” before being painted by our staff.
Photoelectric smoke detectors/smoke alarms are required in Shaker Heights. This type of detector/alarm is more reliable (earlier detection) for the kinds of fires that can occur in the City’s homes and buildings. Photoelectric smoke detectors/smoke alarms also have a lower rate of false (nuisance) alarms. You will know it is a photoelectric smoke detector/smoke alarm if you see a [P] inside a square on the packaging (see photo below). We recommend residents use interconnected smoke alarms/CO detectors. That way when one goes off, they all will go off.
At a minimum, there should be one smoke detector/smoke alarm on every level of your home. Smoke detectors/smoke alarms should be installed on the ceiling, which is where heat and smoke go first during a fire.
Place detectors/alarms as follows:
Other location notes:
It’s recommended that you also install a detector/alarm on the ceiling of each bedroom (near the door).
Yes, we highly recommend installing at least one carbon monoxide (CO) detector in your home. Detectors with digital read-outs are preferred, so you can monitor and report CO levels in the event of an alarm. We also recommend interconnected CO detectors or CO/photoelectric smoke alarm combos. That way when one goes off, they all will go off.
The carbon monoxide (CO) detector should be placed in the hallway between bedrooms, so that in the event of a carbon monoxide leak while you’re sleeping, you and your family members will hear the alarm. A second CO detector can be placed in the basement. If you have an attached garage, avoid placing CO detectors near garage entrance.
Yes. The Fire Department offers free installation and safety checks on car and booster seats required by the state, by appointment only. Call 216-491-1215 (Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-5 pm) for details and to make an appointment.
Residents may dispose of fire extinguishers at the Household Hazardous Waste Roundup, held each spring and fall at the Service Center. It’s time to replace an extinguisher when the gauge is no longer in the green zone; very old extinguishers should also be replaced, regardless of whether the gauge is in the green zone.
Smoke detectors can be placed in your regular garbage for disposal. Remove the battery, so they don’t beep. Smoke detectors have a 10-year life span and should be replaced after 10 years.
Please use the City’s public records request form to request a fire report. Be sure to include your first and last name and the date and address where the incident occurred. Select Fire as the department receiving the request.
Please use the public records request form to request an EMS report. Be sure to include your first and last name and the date and address where the incident occurred. Additionally please include the patient(s). Select Fire as the department receiving the request.
IMPORTANT: EMS reports containing medical information will not be released without a completed and signed HIPAA Authorization Form (available at the Fire Station at 17000 Chagrin Blvd.). Please bring a current state identification when presenting your documents in person at the Fire Department. If you are requesting an EMS report containing medical information for an individual other than yourself, you will also be required to submit Power of Attorney documentation.
The Fire Department does provide station tours for small groups. To get more information or to schedule a tour, please call 216-491-1215 (Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-5 pm).
If the tent is more 400 square feet, you will need a tent permit. The Fire Dept will inspect the tent prior to the event for safety. To obtain a permit, call the Fire Dept. at 216-491-1215. The fee is $25.
On January 1, 2018, the City of Shaker Heights closed its Health Department and joined the Cuyahoga County Board of Health (CCBH). The services offered through the County are identical to those formerly offered by the City except for blood pressure screenings.
The decision to close was made because of State of Ohio requirements that all city health departments become accredited by 2020. Achieving accreditation would have required substantial additional resources and reorganization. Please email CAO Jeri Chaikin or call at 216-491-1421 if you have any questions.
Please contact the CCBH at 216-201-2000 to learn how to obtain health services, including those available at the County’s new Eastside clinic at South Pointe Hospital, 20000 Harvard Avenue in Warrensville Heights.
Visit the Cuyahoga County Board of Health's website or call the CCBH at 216-201-2000 to learn how to obtain health services, including those available at the County's Eastside clinic at South Pointe Hospital, 20000 Harvard Road in Warrensville Heights. Services are also available at CCBH's main office (5550 Venture Drive, Parma, OH 44130) or at the Lyndhurst Community Center (1341 Parkview DriveLyndhurst, OH 44124).
Shaker residents who need certified copies of birth or death records should contact the City of Cleveland Vital Statistics Office at 601 Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44114 or call at 216-664-2317.
The City offers several grant programs for eligible seniors, including the:
A Housing Programs Specialist is available to provide free technical assistance and connect seniors with many resources. Income and location eligibility guidelines apply to all grant programs. For more information, call Theodore Darden IV, Neighborhood and Housing Specialist at 216-491-1333.
Yes. Eligible residents can apply for grants to help fix exterior housing violations. Free paint may also be available through the City's paint program. A Housing Programs Specialist is available to provide free technical assistance and connect you with many resources. Income and location eligibility guidelines apply to all grant programs. For more information, visit the Grant Programs page or call Theodore Darden IV, Neighborhood and Housing Specialist at 216-491-1333.
Free exterior paint is available to correct exterior paint violations. Homeowners must reside in the Ludlow, Moreland, Lomond or Sussex neighborhoods and meet income eligibility guidelines. To find out if you qualify, call Theodore Darden IV, Neighborhood and Housing Specialist at 216-491-1333.
The City offers a periodic Landlord Training Seminar and access to reduced cost tenant screening (highly recommended). Visit the Landlord Connection or call Theodore Darden IV, Neighborhood and Housing Specialist at 216-491-1333 for additional information.
Buyers of newly built homes in the Transit Village and Southern Moreland Community Reinvestment Areas (CRAs) may be eligible for a residential property tax abatement. Learn more about these CRAs and how to apply for a tax abatement at the Residential Property Tax Abatement page.
The City's property maintenance inspection programs play a vital role in preserving the safety, character, and quality of Shaker's residential and commercial properties. Safe and well-maintained buildings protect property values and contribute to the community's overall stability. Learn more about Owner-Occupied Inspections.
Every five years, a housing inspector will perform an exterior inspection of your home, garage, and yard areas. You do not need to schedule this inspection. You will be notified by mail prior to the start of inspections and then again after the inspection about any violations that have been identified. The standard compliance period for correction of code violations is 90 days. If the violation presents a health or safety risk a shorter time frame will apply.
An inspector will reinspect the property after the compliance date to determine the status of the violations. There is no need to contact the Housing Dept. to schedule this inspection. Property owners who have corrected their violations will receive confirmation in writing. Extensions will be granted if progress is satisfactory but incomplete. Check the current schedule to find out when your property will next be inspected.
If you are selling a residential property in Shaker Heights, you are required to obtain a Point of Sale inspection prior to entering into a contract with a buyer. Prior to transfer, either all violations identified during that inspection must be corrected, or funds equal to 150 percent of the estimated cost of repairs must be placed in an escrow account held by the City. Please view Point of Sale Procedure for more information.
If you are selling a residential property in Shaker Heights, you are required to obtain a Point of Sale inspection prior to entering into a contract with a buyer. The Point of Sale inspection is an interior and exterior inspection of your property conducted by a certified inspector employed by the City. Please view Point of Sale Procedure for more information.
On an average size and condition single-family home, the inspection should take between 1½ and 2 hours. The owner, realtor or another adult must be present the entire time the inspector is on the premises.
The Point of Sale inspection is valid for one year from the date of issuance. If, however, within that year the owner corrects all violations and a Certificate of Compliance is issued, that document is valid for one year from the date of the final inspection.
Yes. View current fees on the Point of Sale Procedure page.
Sellers are advised to allow at least two weeks from the date of application for the Point of Sale inspection and three to four weeks during the busy spring real estate season. All inspection reports should be issued within 10 days of being turned in for processing.
In order to allow for sufficient time for the inspection process and to ensure adequate time to correct any violations, property owners are encouraged to obtain a Point of Sale inspection prior to placing their home on the market.
Please call the Housing Office at 216-491-1470 and request to be placed on our cancellation list. Provide your phone number and we will call you if there is an opening before your scheduled date.
Yes. However, an escrow account must be established and funds equal to 150 percent of the estimated cost of repairs must be deposited. Please see the Point of Sale Fact Sheet (PDF) for specific escrow requirements.
An escrow account must be established and funds equal to 150 percent of the estimated cost of repairs must be deposited. Please see the Point of Sale Fact Sheet (PDF) for specific escrow requirements.
Yes. Once the City has made an inspection and identified code violations, those items must be corrected.
Please use our online form to request an extension. Extensions are usually based on progress made. Therefore, a reinspection may be required before addressing the extension request. The Housing Commissioner will review your situation and respond back to you in writing.
All inspectors wear photo Identification (I.D.) badges on their outer clothing and drive marked City cars. They are required to come to your door and announce their visit before commencing the inspection.
You must obtain a Housing Rental License (Certificate of Occupancy) because part of the home is tenant occupied.
You are required to submit a Certificate of Occupancy Exemption Form. Effective 2021, this form must be submitted online via the City’s Citizenserve portal. Visit the Housing Rental License page for instructions on submitting an exemption form.
The Housing Code requires owners of all rental property to annually obtain a Housing Rental License and all owners of two-family dwellings to annually obtain either a Housing Rental License or an Exemption.
The City offers a periodic Landlord Training Seminar and access to reduced cost tenant screening (highly recommended). Visit the Landlord Connection page to learn more or email Colin Compton, Neighborhood and Housing Specialist, for additional information.
Find instructions on the Housing Rental License page.
New landlords must obtain a Housing Rental License for their rental property, as well as an interior inspection of the property. City resources for landlords can be found on the Landlord Connection page.
Short term rentals (30 days or less), such as through services like AirBnB and VRBO, are illegal uses in the City, and are prohibited.
If the property owner lives at their property as their primary residence, one roomer is permitted per the City’s zoning code and the property is still classified as “owner occupied.” Thus, no rental license is required. Otherwise, an owner may not rent to more than one person at a time.
If the owner of the property does NOT reside there, the owner may not rent out the property for less than 30 days, to multiple people, throughout the year. That would make the use of the property similar to a hotel, which is prohibited per our zoning ordinances. Rentals for less than 30-days in non-owner-occupied property are NOT permitted in Shaker Heights.
If the owner of the property does NOT reside at the property, and rents out the property for periods of 30 days or more, to multiple people, this is permitted. A non-owner occupied property that is rented for a period of 30 days or longer is classified as a rental unit. This triggers the requirements that the property owner obtain a housing rental license (certificate of occupancy) plus an interior/exterior inspection.
In the absence of health or safety violations, the standard compliance period is 90 days.
Please contact Michael Lester by email or by calling 216-491-1477. If you and he are unable to resolve the issue over the phone, Mr. Lester can meet you at the site to review the violation. If after meeting Mr. Lester you still disagree, you may file a formal appeal with the Board of Appeals. Refer to your violations notice for the appeals process.
The first step is to talk to your inspector. His or her phone number is on page 1 of your report. If, after discussing it on the phone, you and the inspector would like to meet, please call 216-491-1471 to schedule an advisory appointment.
The City requests that homeowners prioritize health and safety violations and those that negatively impact the appearance of the property. If you are experiencing financial difficulties or other life challenges, please email or call Housing Specialist Colin Compton at 216-491-1333 for assistance.
While the City is sensitive to individual situations and makes every effort to work with property owners to develop reasonable repair plans, violations must be corrected. Property owners who neglect their maintenance responsibilities or allow their properties to become a blight on the neighborhood are subject to both criminal and civil penalties including prosecution and nuisance abatement intervention. Certainly, those are options the City prefers to avoid, so please convey your intentions if repair progress is limited so there is no confusion as to your plans.
The Landmark Commission must review all exterior changes proposed for individual landmarks and properties located in the Winslow Road and Shaker Square local landmark districts. This includes building changes and environmental/landscape changes. Visit the Landmark Commission page for additional information or call 216-491-1436.
Visit the HistoricShaker.com to:
Children are not allowed to play or ride in the street unless it has been barricaded for a block party.
All bicycle operators and passengers over the age of five must wear properly sized ANSI or SNELL approved helmets with fastened chinstraps. (Section 381.07) Bicyclists who ride on the street are required to have a front white-light lamp and rear red lamp. (Section 1173.06)
Residential garage sales should conform with these guidelines from the City’s zoning code:
For additional information, call the Planning Department at 491-1430. Please refer to the Zoning Code for full ordinance requirements.
Such a vehicle may be parked in a driveway for no more than 15 days. Thereafter, any non-functioning vehicle must be stored out of sight in a garage or other enclosed building. See Sections 1151.16, 1151.17, and 1262.15(c) of Codified Ordinances.
Grass over six inches tall is a violation of the Housing Code and is classified as a nuisance. The City may issue a notice once in a growing season to the owner of a property that any violations of the ordinance may result in the City cutting the grass and sending the owner an invoice for the City’s cost, which will be, at minimum, $100. If the invoice is not paid, the amount is placed on the property taxes for that owner. (See Sections 1412.03 and 1411.25, and Chapter 107 of Codified Ordinances.)
Access them at Codified Ordinances.
Many types of noise disturbances are not permitted in Shaker Heights. View the complete ordinance. This includes the operation of any mechanically powered tool, other than a snow blower, between the hours of 9 pm and 7 am, Monday to Friday or before the hour of 9 am on Saturday and Sunday.
Only two types of outdoor swimming pools are permitted in Shaker Heights:
Hot tubs are also permitted in Shaker Heights, either below or above grade. Hot tubs may not exceed eight feet in exterior diameter (and seven feet in interior diameter) or four feet in depth or height as measured from finished grade. Hot tubs that exceed these size requirements are considered swimming pools.
View the ordinance (1262.17) for outdoor swimming pools and hot tubs in Shaker Heights.
Please note: No signs are permitted on the tree lawn or on public property (i.e. parks, medians, RTA stations). Signs placed in the right of way (tree lawn) or on public property will be removed by the City.
Residential lawn signs are allowed in the front yard setback 20 ft. from the sidewalk (toward the house). In addition:
The following rules for signs are from the Codified Ordinance Section 1250.04A:
No special permit or license is required to rent a mobile game truck for a private event. The game truck must be parked on the street frontage immediately adjacent to the property where the private event is being held. The game truck may only park on the street during the event and must be parked in full compliance with all parking laws of the City.
Mobile food trucks may operate on a public street when part of a special event, including a block party. The organizers of the event must indicate their plans for the mobile food truck on either the Special Event Application form or the Block Party Registration form, depending on the type of event being planned. Food trucks must follow the guidelines outlined in 546.01 – 546.03, and 1111.05 of the City’s ordinances.
Please note that mobile ice cream trucks must have a Mobile Ice Cream Vendor License to do business in any manner in the City—whether on the street selling ice cream or at a special event.
Yes. Ice cream trucks operating within City limits must annually obtain a Mobile Ice Cream Vendor License from the Shaker Heights Police Dept. and also follow all guidelines outlined in 546.01 – 546.04 and 1111.05 of the City’s ordinances. In addition, the operator of an ice cream truck must have a valid Mobile Food License issued by the Cuyahoga County Board of Health or another authorized Health Department while operating in the City.
Violations of certain City laws (i.e., ordinances) at a residential property, or within 300 feet of the property, may be declared nuisances if they are engaged in by the owner, any occupant, or any guest of the owner or any occupant. If the police find that two or more violations occur within an 18-month period, the owner may be sent a notice declaring the property a “nuisance,” and then after a third violation, the police may send a notice and charge police response costs for the third and any subsequent violation within 18 months. (Chapter 109 of Codified Ordinances)
Note that Domestic violence is not considered a criminal activity nuisance for which the owner may be charged.
Yes, the owner may file an appeal with the Chief of Police for any notice sent under this law within 30 days of the date of the notice. If the Chief determines the facts do not support the declaration of nuisance, the Chief will rescind the notice. If the Chief finds that the facts do support the declaration, the Board of Appeals will hear the appeal. An appeal will not stop the City from taking enforcement action or pursuing criminal prosecution.
On appeal, in order to overturn the nuisance declaration, the owner must show that:
The cost to owners is the hourly rate for each officer responding times 75% times number of hours (plus $20 per hour for the cruiser).
Discrimination in housing unfortunately still occurs – but it tends to be subtle. Reporting an incident like this in a timely manner is critical so that an investigation can begin. Sometimes, our office can engage an organization to conduct testing to determine whether discrimination based on race, or even familial status, occurred. Testing involves the use of trained volunteers to pose as persons interested in renting out that particular unit. If you think you encountered housing discrimination, call the Fair Housing Office.
No! Property owners are required to provide a reasonable accommodation to persons with disabilities, so that they can have an equal opportunity to enjoy their dwelling unit. Sometimes, this may mean doing something different for the person with a disability – such as making an accommodation to a usual rule or procedure You have the right to request a reasonable accommodation from your housing provider. Contact the Fair Housing Office to learn more.
While you are free to place an ad for your second floor vacancy, you must ensure that you follow the fair housing laws when creating your ad. It is a violation of fair housing laws to express a preference for a certain kind of tenant, or to specifically exclude protected classes of persons. For example, stating that only single or married people can apply would exclude families with kids, and that would be a fair housing violation. It’s a good practice when writing a rental ad to focus on the property itself and the amenities, not the kind of tenant you are seeking.
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Recycling in Shaker Heights is easy.
1. Calling Public Works at 216-491-1490 for your free recycling buckets.
2. Follow the current recycling guidelines.
3. Check out our recycling events, like the Household Hazardous Waste Roundup or Computer Roundup.
The City collects yard waste from your tree lawn. View Leaves, Grass & Brush Collection to learn more.
Visit Construction Zone to keep up with current construction to the public infrastructure (roads, utilities, etc.).
We're proud to offer a wide array of amenities to our residents. This includes a 50-meter pool, tennis courts, a basketball court, a skate park, numerous multi-purpose trails, and lots more. Search for the amenity you're seeking with our Facilities module or visit our Parks & Recreation pages to learn more.
The City has its own Natural Gas Aggregation program for residents and small businesses of the City. Learn more about the program.
The City’s rate is typically a fixed rate for a certain period of time (such as for one or two years). The City’s current rate can be found on the Natural Gas Aggregation Program page.
The price is based on the market rates published on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) for natural gas, plus the adder negotiated with IGS.
No. It is not possible to guarantee that any rate will be the lowest over any particular period of time. The natural gas market is extremely volatile and is subject to many outside forces such as weather conditions and the overall economy, as well as to natural and man made disasters.
Yes, there is no cancellation charge for leaving the aggregation program for another supplier.
NEORSD’s restoration of the Doan Brook to its natural state will result in a new and more natural greenspace for the community. Residents are encouraged to view NEORSD’s June 15 presentation or this video, which provides an overview of the recommendations and examples of NEORSD’s stream restoration work, including the complete restoration of the Doan Brook in University Circle near the Cleveland Museum of Art.
This new greenspace will provide an opportunity to create a new recreational amenity for the community to enjoy. The City is committed to working with residents through a public process to explore the possibilities for this new amenity; the City is also committed to seeking funding to help bring the community’s vision to reality.
Yes. A walking path will remain.
The park will not change. Picnic pavilions, the playground, and the pathways will remain.
NEORSD is committed to paying $28.3 million to remove the dam at Horseshoe Lake, restore the stream bed and construct a new dam at Lower Lake and some maintenance costs for both Horseshoe Lake and Lower Lake.
The breakdown of costs is $13.6 million for the Lower Lake improvements and $14.7 million for the Horseshoe Lake improvements. These improvements would be funded through NEORSD's regional stormwater management program due to the regional benefits that the improvements provide. Note: NEORSD will not contribute $14.7 million to the cities to offset the cost to rebuild a dam at Horseshoe Lake because their studies have determined there is no significant regional stormwater benefit to keeping the dam and therefore Horseshoe Lake.
The cost to the City will be zero. The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) will fund the entire cost of its recommended plan for Horseshoe Lake and Lower Lake through its Regional Stormwater Management Program. The estimated cost is $28.3 million. This program is funded through stormwater fees on monthly sewer bills paid by residents in NEORSD’s 60-plus member communities. Learn more at neorsd.org/shakerlakes.
NEORSD’s Regional Stormwater Management Program addresses problems related to stormwater runoff from hard surfaces. Runoff contributes to regional stream flooding, erosion, and water-quality issues, and the Program works to address stormwater problems that cross community boundaries. Due to the impacts downstream of flooding in the Shaker Lakes, this project is covered under the Regional Stormwater Management Program.
The estimated cost to rebuild Horseshoe Lake dam and manage the sediment is $20.7 million. This is not something that NEORSD would contribute regional stormwater management dollars toward because it does not align with their goals. This entire cost would be borne by the cities of Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights. In addition, there would be ongoing costs related to dam maintenance and sediment removal that would be the responsibility of the cities.
The cost for this is estimated to be $34.3 million, which is beyond the funding ability of NEORSD and is not an option being offered. In this scenario (rebuild the dams and manage sediment at both lakes), the cost for Lower Lake improvements are estimated to be $13.6 million and would be NEORSD funded due to the flooding benefits they provide. The costs for constructing a new dam at Horseshoe Lake and managing the sediment are estimated at $20.7 million. As explained in this FAQ and during NEORSD's June 15 presentation, lacking tangible flood control benefits, NEORSD regional stormwater management dollars could not be utilized to build a new dam at Horseshoe and manage the resulting sediment accumulation. As such, the needed $20.7 million would need to come from the municipalities.
No. NEORSD can only fund work that aligns with the goals of the Regional Stormwater Management Program. As such, it would not be able to divert the $14.7 million to help fund the rebuilding of the dam at Horseshoe Lake. The City of Shaker Heights and the City of Cleveland Heights would be responsible for the entire $20.7 million estimated cost of rebuilding the dam, plus ongoing maintenance costs.
In spring 2019, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) determined that the existing Horseshoe Lake Dam was structurally deficient. As a Class 1 dam, a sudden failure of Horseshoe Lake Dam could cause significant property damage and potential loss of life downstream. For this reason, ODNR directed the City to almost fully drain Horseshoe Lake and keep it drained.
NEORSD has conducted preliminary environmental assessments of the sediment at Horseshoe Lake. Residents can learn more from the June 15 presentation (sediment is discussed at 45 minutes and again at 45:07). Residents can email NEORSD for additional information.
NEORSD dredged, then rebuilt the spillway and pedestrian bridge at Green Lake at a cost of approximately $5 million funded by stormwater management program dollars. The City also contributed $500,000 to the dredging of the lake. This was an early project in NEORSD's stormwater management program. Residents with specific questions about the Green Lake project can contact NEORSD directly.
Visit neorsd.org/shakerlakes to view the June 15 presentation, an additional video about the recommendations for Horseshoe Lake, and other information, including the slide deck. If you still have questions about the recommendations, please email email@example.com.
The Shaker Parklands (which include Lower Lake and Horseshoe Lake and their surrounding parks) are owned by the City of Cleveland and leased to the Cities of Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights.
In 1990-1991, both cities entered into 50 year leases, which may be renewed at each city’s option under the same terms for an additional 50 years.
Under the terms, the lease explicitly states that the Parklands must be used “for park, boulevard and recreational purposes only.”
Further, it must be open to the public free of charge: “Shaker Heights shall ensure that the entire Leased Premises remain open for use as a public park by all persons without reference to place of residence, at all times (subject only to reasonable park opening and closing hours) without payment of a fee or other consideration to Shaker Heights or any agent, licensee or sublessee thereof. Shaker Heights shall not close or deprive the public of access to the Leased Premises or any part thereof, except to the extent necessary for improvement and maintenance.”
Further, a portion of the Parklands is in the flood plain which would limit any development potential.
Posted July 22 in response to a question submitted for the August 9 public meeting.
The Cities of Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights have rights and responsibilities for the parks, including the lakes and dams, under a lease with the City of Cleveland. Both cities would have to give approval to NEORSD to remove the dam.
Posted August 5 in response to question submitted for August 9 public meeting.
Based on what we currently know about the ongoing deterioration of the dams and the ongoing serious threat to public safety and property, the expert analysis by NEORSD and ODNR and others, the environmental benefits and support of various environmental groups (e.g. Shaker Nature Center, Doan Brook Watershed Partnership), and the costs estimates to restore and maintain the lake into the future, NEORSD’s recommended plan is worthy of serious consideration. However, before the cities make a final decision the investigation and analysis of various factors, including the public’s questions, and the answers to those questions will be taken into consideration.
Posted August 6 in response to question submitted for August 9 public meeting.
Ultimately, funding decisions are in the purview of City Council as part of the budget process. The cost estimates to rebuild the Horseshoe Lake dam and repair the lake are very significant at approximately $20.7 million. In addition, there are ongoing maintenance cost for the foreseeable future. At this time, the City's budget does not comtemplate these costs and we do not currently have a sustainable source of revenues for these costs.
A market analysis, benefit-cost analysis, or similar study would be required to evaluate the impact on property values. Any such study would also need to consider the positive impact of the proposed improvements to the area. The City has not engaged such a study at this time.
We are open to all resident input. Any decision relating to this matter will made after taking into consideration numerous factors including citizen viewpoints.
The City places a high value on aquatic and bird life. Any decision relating to this matter will made after taking into consideration numerous factors including the desire to protect aquatic and bird life.
The recommendation to remove the dam at Horseshoe should not be interpreted as it being 'less worthy' of repair. Currently, NEORSD has flood control benefit data about Horseshoe and Lower Lake as well as the entire Doan Brook Watershed. NEORSD's Stormwater Master Plan utilizes this data, analysis and guidance in making its recommendations. The Doan Brook Stormwater Master Plan was not complete when NEORSD repaired Green Lake, and at that point in time ODNR-identified deficiencies needed to be addressed regarding the Green Lake spillway.
This question is answered here: https://www.shakeronline.com/FAQ.aspx?QID=657
Posted August 3 in response to a question submitted for the August 9 public meeting.
A benefit-cost analysis or similar study would be required for an in-depth evaluation of project costs. The City has not undertaken such a study at this time. However, it is recognized that the site is a significant historic and environmental feature for the National Register Historic District, and the Section 106 process will help establish a balance between changes to the property and protection of existing historical and cultural value.
It also recognized that the property is currently a significant recreational amenity for the community. Rather than a permanent closure, the intent of the project is to create a new recreational amenity for the community to enjoy.
This question is answered here: https://www.shakeronline.com/FAQ.aspx?QID=662
Posted August 4 in response to a question submitted for the August 9 public meeting.
Yes. The walkway around the lake will remain. We expect the walkway connecting North and South Park will be rebuilt in some form. Resident input about the walkway and other possible amenities will be considered during the design phase. Please note: The current walkway will remain closed until further notice due to deteriorating and dangerous conditions.
There will be a public process to determine the amenities residents would like to see in this new community greenspace. The City is committed to seeking funding to make the community's vision a reality.
This question is answered in the following FAQs:
NEORSD has confirmed that the cherry grove is outside of this project scope and work zone. It will be protected during the project.
Complete question: Have the Cities of Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights and those planning the future of Horseshoe Lake considered the effect of proposed changes to the lake and dam on the designation of Shaker Village Historic District as a district on the US National Register of Historic Places?
Answer: The Shaker Village National Register Historic District encompasses approximately 75% of the City of Shaker Heights. Horseshoe Lake is included within the District’s boundary and considered one of many contributing properties to the historic designation. The project will not result in a change to the designation of the National Register Historic District.
During previous planning efforts NEORSD consulted with the Ohio Historic Preservation Office (OHPO) and determined that any work to reconstruct or remove the dam would result in an "adverse effect" (as defined by applicale law and regulations). NEORSD has an executed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) addressing the potential adverse effects, including mitigation, with plans to be adjusted accordingly as revised design plans progress.
The Doan Brook is classified a jurisdictional water of the U.S. and therefore will require a federal permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) as part of the dam removal project. It is through this permitting process that USACE will facilitate Section 106 coordination with OHPO.
As previously mentioned (see https://www.shakeronline.com/FAQ.aspx?QID=698), NEORSD entered into an MOA addressing adverse effects to the NRHP properties and will make adjustments as design progresses.
Posted August 6 in response to question to submitted for August 9 public meeting.
The City has not notified or consulted with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) but during the previous work NEORSD notified ACHP of the adverse effects at the Horseshoe dam site and they declined to participate in the previously executed MOA. All consulting parties, including ACHP, will be reengaged during the MOA amendment process.
The City has not notified or consulted with the Ohio Historic Preservation Office (OHPO).However, during the previous work NEORSD coordinated with OHPO regarding the adverse effects at the Horseshoe dam site and executed an MOA.
As mentioned here (https://www.shakeronline.com/FAQ.aspx?QID=700), USACE is the lead federal agency that facilitates OHPO coordination. A nationwide permit (NWP) from USACE will be required based on NEORSD's recommendation. However, NEORSD cannot apply for a NWP until a design is well underway. At that time, the prescribed OHPO coordination will occur, and the MOA will be modified.
The City has not notified or consulted with the Cleveland Restoration Society. During the previous NEORSD work they were not on the list of potential consulting parties. The initial list was developed under the guidance of the USACE, and NEORSD included all recommended parties. A Public Notice was issued by the USACE upon determination of an adverse effect to historic properties, and Cleveland Restoration Society did not provide any comments.
Complete question: Please explain in detail all such historical planning, consultation and research to date or anticipated including all possible effects in particular the impact proposed changes to the lake and dam would have on the economic market value of all properties within the historic district.
Answer: NEORSD Efforts: In 2016, a Phase I Cultural Resources Management (CRM) Survey and Geophysical Survey was conducted at the Horseshoe Lake Dam site. Through the permitting process for the previous work, Section 106 consultation was completed. Consulting parties were identified and engaged. An MOA was executed, and mitigation requirements were established. In addition to the required mitigation, the NEORSD electively initiated a Historic American Engineering Record (HAER), which combines drawings, history, and photographs to produce a comprehensive, multidisciplinary record of the structure. The NEORSD anticipates additional coordination with OHPO and the consulting parties as the design moves forward, and is working closely with Lawhon & Associates to ensure all historical requirements are met.. NEORSD also intends to hire a landscape architecture professional to assist with the project that recognizes the historic value and significance of the area.
A market analysis, benefit-cost analysis, or similar study would be required to evaluate the impact on adjacent property values. The City does not intend to undertake such a study.
Complete question: Even when Horseshoe Dam was functioning, I have seen large storms overwhelm the culvert where Doan Brook crosses South Park Blvd. With Horseshoe Dam removed, this culvert will see more intense unmoderated peak flows. Does it need to be reevaluated or modified, and by whom? (Similar question for the Lee Road culvert.)
Answer: NEORSD is aware of the conveyance issues related to the South Park Blvd culvert. NEORSD will be developing alternatives to address this conveyance issue as part of the Horseshoe Lake dam removal engineering design study. The Doan Brook subwatershed model indicates that the Lee Road culvert, immediately downstream of Horseshoe Lake dam, does not overtop.
Complete question: Don't destroy the Shaker Lakes! I was one of the original founders of the Nature Center, along with my brother Rick Sahley. Why not restore the dams using the same materials which have lasted for a hundred and seventy-five to a hundred and eighty five years? It could be done as a historical project, perhaps with the help of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, or even from private donations! The overblown costs are for payments to corrupt contractors, they are fake numbers.
Answer: Horseshoe Dam does not meet the current dam safety standards for a Class I dam. ODNR Dam Safety Program requires modern engineering and materials specifications to ensure public health and safety is met per the Ohio Revised Code.
Yes. The walkway around the lake will remain. We expect the walkway connecting North and South Park will be rebuilt in some form. Resident input about the walkway during the design phase will be considered. Please note: The existing walkway currently is and will remain closed until further notice due to deteriorating and dangerous existing conditions.
Posted on August 4 in response to question submitted for the August 9 meeting.
Posted August 4 in response to question submitted for the August 9 public meeting.
The rocks (grouted or ungrouted) are not a sufficient measure to prevent the continued seepage which is weakening the dam or leading to potential failure during an overtopping event. The dam is an earthen dam running from North Park Blvd. to South Park Blvd. Extensive engineered measures, which involve complete replacement of the masonry spillway, are required to comply with State of Ohio Dam Safety Regulations for a Class I dam.
The identified voids are in the vicinity of the spillway structure. Voids can occur anywhere along the earthen dam and there is no current technology that can identify all the voids with any high degree of confidence.
$10 million was estimated to dredge the entire lake to an 8’ depth. This does not bring the lake to its originally constructed depth. The upcoming design effort will refine quantities and estimates and develop a plan for sediment management.
Various configurations of new spillway structures and overtopping protection for the earthen dam were evaluated. Repair or rehabilitation of the existing spillway is not feasible due to the original masonry construction and extensive voids that have been discovered. The existing spillway can only pass 6% of the required design flood for a Class I dam.
Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) are only required on Federal projects per the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act. This is not a Federal project and an EIS is not required. However, this project will require Federal permitting through the Army Corps. Of Engineers.
Complete question: Residents rely on the trails surrounding Horseshoe Park for fitness and transportation. Breaking the loop around the park by eliminating the dam and spillway will force residents to rely on Park Drive and Lee Road, which are more dangerous and less scenic. Will the city fund both a temporary and, eventually, permanent bridge over the marshland (the former lake) to facilitate use of this important space that Shaker residents have fought hard for, treasured, and grown accustomed to?
Answer: Yes. The walkway around the lake will remain. We expect the walkway connecting North and South Park will be rebuilt in some form. Resident input about the walkway during the design phase will be considered. Please note: The existing walkway currently is and will remain closed until further notice due to deteriorating and dangerous existing conditions.
There will be public engagement around the restoration of the Doan Brook at Horseshoe Lake, which could include what this new greenspace should be named.
Complete question: Past circumstances led Horseshoe Lake to be classified as a Class 1 dam. Given NEORSD’s reworking of the Lower Lake dam, if non NEORSD funds are raised to pay for it, can Horseshoe Lake be rebuit as a Class 4 dam (in other words, 50 acre feet or less and therefore exempt from permit requirements and related costs)? If not, why?
Answer: Per ODNR regulations, a dam is exempt from jurisdiction if it is 6 feet or less in height regardless of storage volume; less than 10 feet in height with no more than 50 acre-feet of total storage volume, or not more than 15 acre-feet of total storage volume regardless of height. The current dam height is 29'. The existing, approximately 20 feet of sediment depth within the Lake would need to be addressed (removed) to lower the dam height to 6 feet, or lowered to 10 feet in height if impounding less than 50 acre-feet of storage volume. Either dam lowering scenario (to a height of 6 feet or less, or 10 feet) would require full dam replacement and significant sediment removal. Lake sediment deposit removal greater than approximately 8 feet in depth was not cost estimated by NEORSD.
A rebuilt Horseshoe Lake (meeting the ODNR requirements @$20.7 million) would have the same amount of active storage volume as the existing Horseshoe Lake, with an average depth of 8 feet . The Stormwater Master Plan analysis found that the active storage volume has no tangible downstream flood control benefit.
NEORSD has investigated federal and state grant funding programs and determined that limited to no grant dollars are programmed for hazard dam replacement.
Complete question: Are the cities of Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights willing to seek alternative funding sources to save Horseshoe Lake by rebuilding the dam and committing to its ongoing maintenance before committing to moving ahead with the NEORSD’s plan?
Answer: Based on years of experience seeking outside funding sources and grants, the City of Shaker Heights does not believe funds are available to cover the cost to rebuild the dam, dredge the lake, and maintain both in perpetuity. In addition, because of the ongoing deterioration and the serious threat to life and property, the need to mitigate the risk and find a permanent solution is immediate and urgent.
NEORSD has investigated federal and state grant funding programs and determined that limited to no grant dollars are programmed for hazard dam replacement.
Complete question: NEORSD cited cost for Horseshoe of $6 mil, then $20 mil in a clarification response; then Cleveland.com story cites $30 mil. We need independent cost assessment. The lake has been drained for 2 yrs, so why the pressure to proceed before real costs can be assessed and funding sought? Also, no lake will mean less appeal, less visitation, fewer bird species, lower property values, and potential crime without visibility from the street.
Answer: The dam is in active failure mode and necessitates prompt action. NEORSD's proposed plan includes removal of the dam at Horseshoe Lake, full restoration of Doan Brook and eventual replacement of the dam at Lower Lake. The cost for this plan is $28.3 million as presented to the communities during the June 2021 joint municipal public meetings. To replace the dam at Horseshoe Lake, the estimated cost is $20.7 million, plus annual maintenance costs, borne by the Cities of Shaker and Cleveland Heights. NEORSD can not fund this solution due to insignificant flood control and regional stormwater benefit to the region. The eventual replacement of Lower Lake's dam is $13.6 million; this is how the cleveland.com story cited a $34.3 million cost for replacement of both dams ($20.7M + $13.6M = $34.3M).
Complete question: Why so much money? From my past recollection of 3 yrs. ago, NEOSD advised that fixing the dam & watershed issue at Horseshoe Lake would cost $6M. As part of that discussion, NEOSD would pick up the tab. Now, with a drained lake, NEOSD states that the cost of fixing the dam would be in excess of $21M. AND, even though Customers in NEO have been paying 3-times what was assessed prior to ‘Save the Watershed’, we [Shaker Hts & Cle Hts] are told that “you [S.H. & C.H.] need to pick up the
Answer: The initial estimate involved repairs to the existing spillway and the installation of overtopping protection. The worsening dam conditions around the spillway caused a reassessment that dam reconstruction or dam removal were the only options to ensure public health and safety. As part of the reassessment, sediment testing and analysis indicated the need for extensive sediment handling and removal to facilitate either dam reconstruction or dam removal.
Complete question: I have reviewed the NEORSD video on Horseshoe Lake and appreciate the recommendations. Green Lake is lovely now, but the trees surrounding most of the public part of it greatly limit our ability to see it. Are they necessary for the health of the lake and environment? Or could they be thinned some and other riparian vegetation provided that is lower so we could see this lake rather than as now it seems like a private lake mostly for the 10 or so houses that abut it.
Answer: Yes, Public Works can trim the vegetation in this area to allow for easier viewing of the lake. We appreciate the input.
Complete question: If the Horsehoe Lake is eliminated, will the new dam at the Lower Lake have to be gigantic in order to handle the water from the Horse Lake area, and what will that mean to the integrity of historic site and the neighborhood aesthetics?
Answer: Horseshoe Lake does not provide much active storage and therefore it's removal would not impact the design or size of the Lower Lake dam when it is reconstructed. Lower Lake dam is also a Class I dam regulated by ODNR and passes only 2% of the design flood that is required by Ohio Revised Code. In order to properly reconstruct the dam to meet current regulations the overall appearance and configuration of the dam will have to be altered.
Complete question: The Shaker Lakes represent far more to our community than a means of flood control. They are a place of community, a wildlife refuge, an important historical location, and much more. Not maintaining this irreplaceable community resource is as irresponsible, reprehensible and shortsighted as was the plan to build a highway on this site years ago. As a longtime resident of Shaker, I ask you who is being served by the penny wise and pound foolish policy of viewing this resource in this way?
Answer: The NEORSD recommendation seeks to balance safety, responsible stormwater management, cost, preservation of the environment, and the creation of a community amenity. Our goal is to balance these and other considerations that will best serve the community now and in the future.
Complete question: Since boating, swimming and fishing are going to be permitted in Lower Lake, the fleeing nesting and breeding wildlife that need a lake environment will need a protected refuge; since Marshall and Green Lake are too small and built upon, wouldn't Upper Horseshoe Lake be the only and best place for that?
Answer: One goal of the NEORSD recommendation for Horseshoe Lake is to restore the area to its original natural state and allow for birds and fish to thrive in their natural environment.
Complete question: If NEORSD removes Horseshoe dam and Lake, then the resulting new dam at Lower Lake will need to be much larger, destroying the beauty and historical significance of the present restoration. Wouldn't restoring the existing 2 dams be the more secure and beautiful option? Furthermore, the 2-mile, 20' wide, multi-million dollar Doan Tunnel already being built in Ambler Park is immense. Assuming that holds enough storm water to solve the problem of flooding in University Circle, why has NEORSD stated that Horseshoe Lake has to be removed to solve flooding there?
Answer: The design and materials originally used to construct Horseshoe and Lower Lake Dams do not meet the current safety standards for a Class I dam. ODNR Dam Safety Program requires modern engineering and materials specifications to ensure the protection of life and property per the Ohio Revised Code. The Doan Valley Tunnel was constructed to control combined sewer overflows at 11 locations along Doan Brook; the tunnel was not constructed to mitigate flooding along the brook.
Complete question: How can we let Horseshoe lake disappear! Maybe the Sewer district says the lake isn't worth fixing but do they live here? Do they realize what Shakerites went through long ago to make sure a highway didn't run through Shaker - taking ALL of the lakes away?! This community thrives on having these lakes as a lifestyle, a place of peace, water to soothe the soul! Not to mention the people that live around the lake and have that as an asset when selling - it's hard enough with the high taxes - at least let the lake be an asset for homeowners/sellers. And who say's they won't take the other lakes around the Heights area. This sets a bad precedent and needs to be readdressed immediately. Thank you.
Answer: Protecting the beauty of the Shaker Lakes and parklands and continuing to ensure they are a destination for hikers, bird watchers and picnickers is a priority for both cities as well as NEORSD and other stakeholders. The two cities, along with ample opportunity for community input, will work with NEORSD throughout the process to ensure that our lakes and parklands remain a beautiful asset for our communities and the region.
Complete question: Was heavy machinery used to on the bridge and deck at Horseshoe Lake dam for recent parapet work and could that have contributed to further and more drastic deterioration and weakening of the dam and spillway?
Answer: The equipment used to make the recent repairs to the observation deck would have had minimal, if any, impact on the structure. The forces of the equipment on the deck are more vertical in nature. It is our understanding, the structural instability of the dam and spillway structure are primarily a result of the hydraulic pressure (which is horizontal). While backfilling the excavation, we purposely placed material in lifts to minimize the hydraulic pressure. Also, the material used did not require any a vibratory equipment for compaction as this may have led to additional damage.
Complete question: In the early going shortly after Horseshoe Lake was drained, could earth-moving equipment have been brought in (from North Park or South Park or the park itself) to remove the silt and dig out more potential depth in the lake bed to reduce strain and water pressure on the dam during storms?
Answer: No. This would not have made an appreciable difference, as the lake would still have overtopped in a heavy rainfall. In addition, with more water, more pressure would have been put on the dam.
Complete question: Please explain the costs, rationale and associated regional benefits of repairing, replacing or removing the Horseshoe Lake dam, as well as dredging the lake, as compared with those assessed and incurred several years ago at Green Lake and Andover Road dam. Was the Green Lake project more beneficial to the regional stormwater management plan than Horseshoe Lake?
Answer: We estimate the cost to replace the dam at Horseshoe Lake to be $20.7 million because a lot of sediment must be removed from the current lake bed to the depth required for a healthy lake. The separate cost to replace the dam at Lower Lake is $13.6 million.
The Horseshoe Lake dam could be replaced but the Sewer District cannot fund the replacement with Regional Stormwater Management Program dollars because there is no significant flood control benefit to the region, which includes Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights and the City of Cleveland.
Flood control isn't the only thing we look at; we also consider issues like streambank erosion and water quality when we're developing the Master Plans and prioritizing projects.
Our proposed project is to remove the dam at Horseshoe Lake, fully restore Doan Brook and eventually replace the dam at Lower Lake. The Sewer District can pay for this solution through the Regional Stormwater Management Program and our estimated cost for this project is $28.3 million.
The cost for the “Shaker Lakes Dam Rehabilitation Phase I and Green Lake Dredging Project” was $5.6 million, with Shaker Heights using $500,000 of their Regional Stormwater Management Program Community Cost Share funds. The dam at Green Lake is a Class 2 dam – as opposed to those at Lower and Horseshoe Lakes that are Class 1 – but it, too, was out of compliance with ODNR. The Green Lake project was completed before the completion of the Stormwater Master Plan for this watershed.
Posted August 9 in response to question submitted for the August 9 public meeting.
On a case-by-case basis, the business may require a conditional use permit, a variance or it may need to be rezoned. Planning Department staff will assist you with this process. Zoning and land use questions should be directed to the Dan Feinstein in the Planning Department at 216-491-1435.
Yes. All permanent window, awning and wall signs need to be reviewed by the Architectural Review Board. Signage questions should be directed to the Dan Feinstein in the Planning Department at 216-491-1435.
Maybe. Licensing will depend on the specific food products you intend to sell and / or the square footage of the food display. Contact the Cuyahoga County Board of Health to discuss the specifics of your facility to determine the need for the license.
Yes! Consult our Available Properties page or email or call the Economic Development Department at 216-491-1335.
There are several ways to explore current camps, classes and programs offered by Shaker Recreation.
To keep up with what’s happening at Shaker Recreation, including announcements about upcoming programs:
There are three ways to sign up for any Recreation program, including camps.
Unfortunately, we do not pro-rate programs based on the time of enrollment. Some programs that are continuous have fees designed to allow for payment that is not affected by start dates.
If a spot opens up, you will receive a call from a Recreation Department staff member. You can also call Shaker Recreation at 216-491-1295 to check on your status.
Program locations are published in the printed recreation catalog and in our online catalog. You can also call Shaker Recreation at 216-491-1295 for location information.
You can find detailed information and schedules for summer camps in the Winter Recreation Catalog, which is mailed to all residents in late winter. This information is also available in the online registration system (select Catalog, then Summer Camps). Visit the Summer Camp page for additional information.
Yes, financial assistance is available through the funds listed below.The City of Shaker Heights Recreation Department offers annual youth scholarships through the Lynn Ruffner Recreation for Youth Scholarship Fund. Scholarships are awarded based on financial need and can be applied to our summer programs or camps. Applications for scholarships are available at Thornton Park after February 3, 2022. To make a donation, please call Cydney Johnson at 216-491-2580.The Shaker Schools Foundation offers two scholarship opportunities that may assist with activities offered through the Shaker Heights Recreation Department. The Level The Playing Field Youth Sports Scholarships are for students in grades 1 - 12 enrolled in the Shaker Heights City School District, and provide support for any of the various Shaker Heights youth sports leagues at any recreation or travel level. The Beyond The Desk Enrichment Scholarships are for students in grades 5 - 12 enrolled in the Shaker Heights City School District, and provide financial assistance for participation in classes, camps, visual or performing arts groups, and more. For more information, visit the Shaker Schools Foundation website or call 216-295-4329.
It depends on the camp. You will receive an email from your camp’s director before camp starts. In general, campers should bring water, a lunch (if an all-day camp), and sunscreen (if the camp is outdoors).
You can find current schedules at our Thornton Park Ice Arena page.
Find current admission and rental fees at our Thornton Park Ice Arena page.
Yes. Find rates for non-residents at our Thornton Park Ice Arena page.
Thornton Park pool is open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. During the season, you can find the pool schedule on the Thornton Park pool page of our website.
Check the Thornton Park pool page for admission fees. Note: Fee schedules are published in early January for the upcoming season.
From our popular American Red Cross swim lessons to pool-based wellness programs, our Aquatics Program has something for everyone. Visit our online catalog or download the recreation catalog (PDF) to view a list of current aquatics classes. Private swim lessons are also available year-round. Contact the Recreation Department at 216-491-1295 to learn more.
All Recreation Department activities held in school facilities will be cancelled. Thornton Park and the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Community Building will remain open and activities will proceed as scheduled.
Recreation Department activities within school facilities will operate on a normal schedule including Before Care programs. Thornton Park and the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Community Building will open on time.
Thornton Park and the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Community Building will be closed and activities cancelled.
Thornton Park and the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Community Building will open on a delayed scheduled.
For information on closures and delays, refer to the City’s Facebook page, the Shaker Schools website, or local radio and TV stations.
Refunds are available for class or program registration cancellations by registrants up to 3 business days prior to the first program meeting. A refund request must be completed. All refunds are subject to a processing fee based on the type of program. Please allow 2-4 weeks to process all claims.
All refunds are subject to a $10 processing fee. A $5 processing fee will be applied to Senior Programs. A $25 processing fee will be applied to Camps and Fall/Winter Hockey Program (Mighty Mites). A $125 processing fee will be applied to Fall/Winter Hockey Program (Bantam, Pee Wee, and Squirts).
The City of Shaker Heights does not necessarily endorse the opinions or business affiliations of the individuals who may teach recreation classes and programs.
The City is committed to providing access to recreational programming for all. For individuals with special needs, please call 216-491-1295 for assistance from the appropriate Program Coordinator.
The City of Shaker Heights may terminate a class with fewer than the required number of participants and provide a full refund/credit. Programs subject to change of location and/or personnel. Decisions to hold classes are based on enrollment 72 hours prior to first class; no refunds granted after second session except for injury or illness. (Doctor’s letter required.) Refund claim forms must be submitted 72 hours prior to the start of the first class. Special programs such camps and one-nighters handled on case-by-case basis.
Recreation catalogs are published three times per year. Catalogs are mailed, at no charge, to residents of the Shaker City School District. Catalogs are also available at City Hall, Thornton Park, and the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Community Building.
The public is allowed to kayak on Lower Lake only and must launch from the Shaker Heights side of the lake. Launching on the Cleveland Heights side is prohibited.
Yes! The City annually floods three pocket parks to create rinks for our residents use. Locations: corner of Fernway & Warrington, Southington & Woodbury, and Ashwood & Onaway. Bring your own skates.
Make an overnight parking request online or by calling 216-491-1234. If you do not request overnight parking, your vehicle may be ticketed.
For streetlight outages, please use the Report a Streetlight Outage form and we will share the information with the Illuminating Co., which is responsible for our community's streetlights.
For problems with traffic signals and street signs, please use the Report a Problem with a Traffic Signal or Street Sign form.
Call 911 or 216-491-1234 to report suspicious activity.
Please note, the 216-491-1234 is the preferred number to call when using a cell phone, as it will route your call directly to our dispatch center. Calling 911 on a cell phone will first reach Cuyahoga Emergency Communications System (CECOMS).
Call 911 or 216-491-1234 to report a crime.
Please note, the 216-491-1234 is the best number to call when using a cell phone, as it will route your call directly to our dispatch center. Calling 911 on a cell phone will first reach Cuyahoga Emergency Communications System (CECOMS).
Call 216-491-1234 to report a public nuisance.
Call 216-491-1234 to report a traffic incident.
You may pay your traffic violations in person at the Shaker Municipal Court at 3355 Lee Rd. from 8:30 am-4:30 pm, Monday to Friday. Parking and waiverable traffic tickets — i.e. tickets that do not require you to appear in court — may also be paid online. After hours, you may pay parking and waiverable traffic tickets at the Shaker Heights Police Department, also at 3355 Lee Rd. After hours payments are cash only.
Find information on requesting police reports here.
The Shaker Heights Police Department does digital and ink rolled fingerprinting for residents and non-residents. Visit our page on Fingerprinting to get information on fees and making an appointment.
Dogs are required to be on leashes in certain parts of the City, including Horseshoe Lake, Lower Lake, and Southerly parks. Certain other parks and playgrounds may prohibit dogs altogether; signage will designate those parks and playgrounds that prohibit dogs. Outside these parks (and on private property), dogs are required to be on leashes or under the control of their owners at all times so as not to create a nuisance.
The Shaker Heights Police Department does not offer background checks for the general public. However, the Department does offer fingerprinting services. Visit our page on Fingerprinting to get information on fees and making an appointment.
Violations of certain City laws (i.e. ordinances) at a residential or commercial property may be declared nuisances if they are engaged in by (a) the owner, (b) any occupant, or (c) any guest of the owner. If the Police find that two or more violations occur within an 18-month period, the owner may be sent a notice declaring the property a "nuisance," and then after a third violation, the Police may send a notice and charge police response costs for the third and any subsequent violation within 18 months. (The cost to owners is the hourly rate for each officer responding x 75% x number of hours, plus $20 per hour for the cruiser.)
Nuisance activity includes:
Owners may file an appeal with the Chief of Police for any notice sent under this law within 30 days of the date of the notice. If the Chief determines the facts do not support the declaration of nuisance, the Chief will rescind the notice. If the Chief finds that the facts do support the declaration, the Board of Appeals will hear the appeal. An appeal will not stop the City from taking enforcement action or pursuing criminal prosecution. On appeal, in order to overturn the nuisance declaration, the owner must show that:
Call 216-491-1220 for information about towed vehicles.
You must appear in person at the Shaker Heights Police Department at 3355 Lee Rd. with a valid driver’s license and the title for the towed vehicle. After presenting these documents, you will receive a Tow Release Form. You can bring the Tow Release Form to Shaker Auto Hospital 16101 Chagrin Blvd. Upon payment of your fees, your vehicle will be released. Call 216-491-1220 with questions for the Shaker Heights Police Department. Call the Shaker Auto Hospital at 216-921-4455 for information about towing fees, which must be paid in cash.
Visit the Shaker Municipal Court’s website to get phone numbers, hours, and location.
Court fines can be paid in person at the Shaker Municipal Court at 3355 Lee Rd. View the Court’s webpage for hours, directions, and additional information.
Call 216-491-1234 to request a welfare check.
The Department makes every effort to identify owners of found property that has been turned into or recovered by the Department. However, if the owner is not located after 90 days, any unclaimed property is either destroyed or auctioned.
Property must be claimed by the owner with a government issued picture I.D. Property may be claimed by a third party with an original, notarized letter from the owner of the property and a government issued I.D.
Property Release HoursMonday-Thursday8 am-4 pmBy appointment only—call 216-491-1269Excluding holidays
Unclaimed property held by the Shaker Heights Police Department for more than 90 days is either destroyed or auctioned. Auctions are typically held once per year at the Shaker Heights Police Department (3355 Lee Rd.). Auctions are open to the public; there is no set list of auctioned items available. To receive alerts about upcoming police auctions, subscribe to City ENews and/or follow the Department on Facebook.
Call 216-491-1234 to report dog incidents.
All bicycle operators and passengers over five years of age must wear properly sized ANSI or SNELL approved helmets with fastened chinstraps.
A bike license allows the Shaker Heights Police Department to reunite you with your bike, in the event your bike is stolen. Learn how to get a license on the Bike Licenses page.
If your stolen licensed bicycle is recovered, we will contact you using the information you provided when purchasing your license. Unlicensed recovered bicycles are kept at the Shaker Heights Police Department at 3355 Lee Rd. and sold at a year-end property auction if not claimed. Call the 24-hour, non-emergency line, 216-491-1220 for more information.
Dispose of unused, unwanted, or expired prescription drugs at the Drug Drop Box located in the lobby of the Shaker Heights Police Department, 3355 Lee Rd. The lobby is open 24/7. Pills only; no needles or liquids. Properly dispose of liquid medication by mixing it with coffee grounds, cat litter, sawdust or something similar to make it undesirable or unusable. Once the liquid is in an unusable state, place it in the regular trash.
Please contact the Shaker Municipal Court at 216-491-1300.
View our Citizens Police Academy page for detailed information about the program.
Members of the press may contact Commander John Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org or 216-491-1246 with inquiries.
Bonds may be posted at the Shaker Heights Municipal Court at 3355 Lee Rd. during regular business hours. Visit the Court’s website for hours, directions, and more information. When the Court is closed, bonds may be posted in cash only at the Shaker Heights Police Department, also at 3355 Lee Rd.
Call the 24-hour, non-emergency line, 216-491-1220, for questions/information.
Please call Extra Duty Solutions at 206-408-8114 to hire an off-duty Shaker Heights police officer.
The Shaker Heights Police Department is pleased to participate in community events. Please use the Community Service Request form to make your request.
The Shaker Police Department encourages residents to sign up for Vacation Watch, so that the police are aware that you are away and your home is temporarily unoccupied. Providing this type of notice enables the department to better manage resources, while monitoring activities in, and around, the City.
In 2014, City Council enacted legislation to prohibit the use by all drivers, except in certain limited circumstances, of hand-held (including lap-held) electronic communications devices, including cell phone use for phone calls and texting. View the ordinance.
The Shaker Heights Police Department responds to more than 2,000 alarms annually. Unfortunately, about 50 percent of these are false alarms. This diverts resources away from more important police matters in our community.
The City's codified ordinances require home and business owners to pay fines for excessive false alarms. Specifically, two false alarms are allowed within a two-year period. A third false alarm during this period will result in a $50 fine; each additional false alarm will result in a $100 fine. There is an appeals process.
Remember any contractor performing work that requires a permit, exterior painting, landscaping, or hot work activity is required to be registered with the City. The list of currently registered contractors can be accessed here.
In general, you'll want to understand the City's building requirements before starting your construction project. Please view the Home & Property Improvements guide to get started.
The minimum maintenance standards for commercial and residential properties are outlined in the Codified Ordinances of the City of Shaker Heights and can be found below:
The Shaker Heights Landmark Commission maintains a list of specialty contractors (PDF) with experience in repairing original building materials. The Cleveland Restoration Society is another wonderful resource for information about original materials for your older home. Talk to your neighbors and get references! Visit the Landmark Commission page for additional resources.
All residential work that requires a building permit must be inspected for compliance with the Residential Code of Ohio. Likewise, all commercial buildings must comply with the Ohio Buidling Code. View a complete list of applicable codes.
The Historic Building Cards database includes information gathered from over 10,000 index cards formerly housed in the Building department. The original cards were created for each new building in Shaker Heights and typically include information such as the date the home was built, the names of the home's architect, builder, original owner, and the estimated cost to build the home. To find your home's information, visit Shaker Building Card Index. The City only retains residential plans for a period of three years. However, local history archives at the Shaker Library may have plans for your home.
The national safety standard recommendation is that chimneys, fireplaces and vents should be checked annually. If unused for some time, or if you have just moved into a new house, then they should be checked first. Use a certified chimney sweep who brushes from the top down (not just from the inside). A certified sweep will also put a camera or a mirror down the chimney first to check the condition of the flue liners.
Please use our online form to submit a property complaint. While we would prefer to have your name and phone number so we can contact you with any questions, we will take and investigate anonymous complaints.
In any home built before 1978, lead paint may be present. Lead can be in paint or in the water as a result of leaching from older pipes.
Any construction work that creates a noise disturbance in a residential area is not permitted during the following times:
Monday–Friday, 7 pm to 7 am
Saturday and Sunday, 5 pm to 9 am
Under certain circumstances, a variance to work outside of the permitted hours may be granted on a case-by-case basis. To request a variance, please email or call Shaker Heights Police Commander Mike Rowe at 216-491-1245. Include dates and hours for the work, equipment used, location, and a justification for your request.
The City does not regulate paint colors. However, Shaker Village Colors (PDF), a publication describing historic home colors, is available for download at no charge. This book describes the architectural styles prevalent in Shaker Heights and provides appropriate paint schemes for each. You may purchase a printed copy of the book in the Planning Department office for $6.50.
Abrasive cleaning methods (sandblasting) are not safe for historic masonry. Chemical cleaners are another option for cleaning your historic masonry. Do not use in cold weather (same hazards as water cleaning). Test first: Chemicals can stain, etch, or burn the surface. Always rinse thoroughly and test the surface for a neutral pH.
Use on non-acid sensitive masonry, such as:
Use on acid-sensitive masonry, such as:
Paint removal is most successful with alkaline, organic solvent, or other chemical paint removers.
Please see the pre-approved shingle colors (PDF) for general shingle color guidelines. Please call 491-1430 for complete information.
Use binoculars to see what's going on in the fall, before the freeze/thaw cycles; in the spring, see what the freeze/thaw did to your roof, checking for loose, cracked or missing slates.
It is also important to look in the attic for evidence of leaks, and to make sure gutters and downspouts are in good working order. If there is a leak, it is often the metal flashing at the seams, valleys and ridges of the roof is the real culprit. Slates usually outlive their flashing. Even copper flashing, the best in the business, typically lasts only 60 years (a spry and youthful age for most types of slate). Often, slate and wood shingle roofs are removed because of problems with flashings.
Sindelar, who coordinated a City-sponsored workshop on slate and shake shingles in 2001, cautions that before replacing a slate roof with something else, "You have to look at the economics of it." Because building codes prohibit putting new roofing material over a slate roof, the existing slates must be removed before their replacement may be laid down. That cost should be factored in.
According to the National Park Service, if over 20% of the slates on a roof or roof slope are broken, cracked, missing or sliding out of position, it is usually less expensive to replace the roof than to execute individual repairs. This is especially true of older roofs nearing the end of their serviceable lives, because even the most experienced slater will likely damage additional slates while attempting repairs.
The slates reaching the end of their serviceable lives are flaking and crumbling. At that point layers of mud that make up the slate are separating.
Slate is one of the three original, acceptable roofing materials for new homes constructed by the Van Sweringen company. The City urges owners of homes with slate roofs to maintain them and consider carefully before replacing them with any other material.
Slate roofs can last 200 years or longer, depending on the type of slate used, the configuration of the roof and the geographical location of the property, according to a bulletin published by the Technical Preservation Services arm of the National Park Service. By contrast, the average life span of an asphalt roof is about 30 years.
Two additional factors help determine a slate roof's life span: how the roof was installed and how well it has been maintained. In Ohio, well-maintained slate roofs on farmhouses and barns often date to the late 1700's.
Wood windows are the soundest option. They are structurally strong, weather well against the elements (many Shaker Heights homes still have their original windows, which are averaging 80 years old), and they allow flexibility with exterior and interior color schemes. Wood windows are also available with aluminium cladding on the exterior to increase weather resistance and lower maintenance.
The installation of vinyl windows can have a significant visual impact on a house. The color selections are limited and the frames of the windows are wider, as vinyl is not as strong as wood. The wide frames make the new windows look very heavy and can create an unbalanced proportion to the appearance of the house. Shop around. Window replacements, regardless of material, can be an expensive project. Paying a little more up front for quality materials, flexibility in color and increased details will ultimately add value to your home.
Vinyl windows are not permitted in local landmark properties or districts.
Not necessarily. Often only the defective parts of a window may actually need repair or replacement. Consult with contractors who specialize in older window repair before replacing the entire unit. Repair of existing windows is often far less expensive than replacement.
The Shaker Heights Landmark Commission maintains a list of specialty contractors (PDF) with experience in repairing original building materials such as wood windows.
Before undertaking any project, look at your house critically. Notice the fine details of craftsmanship and compare the new product against what is currently installed on your home. How drastic is the proposed change? There are a large number of window manufacturers that fabricate new wood windows that replicate those fine profiles found on older windows.
Another important thing to do is determine the architectural style of your house. Most Shaker houses fall into one of three broad architectural styles: English, French and Colonial. Traditionally, the windows are the same color as the trim on the house. Shaker Village Colors (PDF) describes these styles of architecture (along with other common styles) and shows the appropriate color schemes for these styles of houses.
No. The City requires contractors to meet certain insurance, bond, and Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board requirements based on the type of contractor registration.
Property owners are responsible for maintaining the public sidewalk adjacent to their property. The Public Works Department manages the City’s sidewalk repair program. Please view the Sidewalks page for detailed information.
Certain repairs require permits; others do not. Start by viewing our list of projects that do NOT require building permits. If your project is not on this list, then visit Building Permits to get started with your permit applications.
Many residents receive solicitations from utility companies offering utility line protection, a type of insurance policy that’s also called a “home protection program” and a “utility line warranty.” This additional protection covers the cost of repairs to utility lines that run to or inside a home. Insurance and warranty plans are offered by all major utility companies, including FirstEnergy (Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co.), Dominion Gas, Cleveland Division of Water, and IGS Energy, as well as other providers.
Consider the following before purchasing utility line insurance:
An alternative to utility line insurance is for homeowners to set aside a budgeted amount of money each month as a home repair emergency fund. This enables consumers to select their own contractors, rather than defaulting to the insurance provider’s contractors. Of course, homeowners who decide to purchase utility line insurance always should shop around, speak to several providers, and reference the Better Business Bureau.
Rates vary and some are packaged together while others offer each service separately with individual monthly rates for each service. Some companies charge $3 to $10 per month. Others offer a one-time annual payment of $36 to $120. Fees usually cover $1,000 to $4,000 in applicable repairs or replacements. Most policies have a cap on the amount of coverage provided.
Coverage depends on the provider. Generally, only repair or replacement of a line or appliance is covered, not damage to personal property caused by a leak or break. For sewer coverage, most only cover sanitary sewer lines, not storm sewers. Typically, the following situations are NOT covered:
Find more information on Home Utility Line Insurance Programs from the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel.
The following information is from Cleveland Water’s website: Discolored water is common whenever the water velocity or flow direction changes, like during hydrant flushing or repair work on water mains. Iron sediment from older cast iron mains is picked up by the water and shows up as orange or brown discoloration. In these situations, the water is safe to drink. However, use care as the iron sediment can stain laundry and plumbing fixtures. Once any work or flushing is complete, run your cold water faucet until the water is clear again.
View all Cleveland Water FAQs.
The City of Shaker Heights owns the trees on the treelawn and, in most areas of Shaker, also owns the treelawn as public right-of-way.
It is the resident's responsibility to maintain the treelawn. Day to day activities such as watering and raking leaves are the homeowner's responsibility as is the care of the grass on the treelawn.
It is the City’s responsibility to maintain the trees on the treelawn, but residents are partners with the City when a new tree is planted. The City sends the resident a letter explaining how to help maintain the tree by refilling the green plastic reservoir bag with water.
Funds for the maintenance and purchase of new treelawn trees come from the Tree Assessment included in your annual property taxes.
Yes! When trees are scheduled for replacement, homeowners are notified approximately two months prior to the planting of a tree. Upon notification, homeowners may request a larger caliper tree by completing a Resident Upgrade Form. The completed form and payment (current charges are listed on the form) should be returned to the Public Works Department. Tree plantings are only scheduled for spring and fall. Email Public Works or call 216-491-1490 for more information.
Email Charles Orlowski, the Superintendent of Forestry or call at 216-491-1490.
As long as the limb is not on private property the Department can remove it. If a limb is on a wire, visit Report a Tree Problem online to report the issue directly to First Energy, or call First Energy customer service at 800-589-3101 from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Wood chips are available year-round, free of charge and in any amount, at the Canoe Club on South Park Boulevard, near the intersection with Larchmere Boulevard. Residents must bring their own containers and shovels. Call Public Works at 216-491-1490 for more information.
To insure trees are healthy and long lived, proper mulching is extremely important. By following simple mulching guidelines, you will help to minimize injury to the tree trunk and roots, maintain soil moisture, control weeds, and improve soil quality, all of which will extend the life of the tree. However, too much mulch around a tree can be detrimental. Download the City's mulching guidelines (PDF) for guidance.
Please talk to your neighbor. This is a private issue between you and your neighbor. The City has no legal authority here, unless the tree is dead or diseased.
Pruning plays an important role in the healthy growth of trees, including street trees. While pruning can at times appear dramatic, it is a beneficial practice that will ensure the health of our City’s urban forest for years to come.
The Shaker Heights Forestry Department performs several different types of tree pruning, ranging from Young Tree Training, to removing storm damaged or obstructing limbs, to full tree trimming.
Young Tree Training develops the structure of the tree to ensure healthy growth. This training involves creating a central leader (trunk) in the tree, pruning crossing or weakly attached limbs, and removing low limbs that grow over the road or sidewalk. Young Tree Training typically involves trees from two to eight inches in diameter.
Another important type of pruning involves pruning out storm damaged limbs, which are typically broken, and removing low limbs that may be obstructing objects such as a traffic sign or traffic signal. This is considered a minimal form of pruning. Other types of minimal pruning include removing low hanging limbs impeding a roadway or sidewalk.
The next type of tree trimming involves a partial trim of the entire tree. This work includes pruning dead wood or hazardous limbs from the tree. This work is not a complete trim, but a general maintenance prune of the tree.
In general, minimal and partial pruning is done during the summer months.
Complete Tree Trimming means pruning the entire tree. This pruning is typically completed during the winter months, while crews are available and not busy with warm-weather tasks.
Typically City crews will perform Complete Tree Trimming on a street scheduled for infrastructure improvements, including repaving. This ensures those trees will not be damaged by the heavy equipment required for infrastructure improvements. Please note that a 14 foot overhead clearance for a roadway is a standard height for large trucks (see photo).
Complete Tree Trimming involves:
All pruning work performed by the Forestry crews follow industry standards and best practices. Crews are supervised by either the City’s Forester or the Labor Crew Leader, both ISA Certified Arborists.
Pruning along electric lines, whether on the street or in residential backyards, is managed by First Energy as part of its line clearance program. This program is mandated by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio in order to maintain transmission lines and help prevent outages from downed limbs and trees. First Energy selects and oversees the contractors for this line clearance work. Residents whose properties are scheduled for line clearance pruning will receive a door hanger from First Energy before the work starts. Residents with questions or concerns about line clearance work should contact First Energy’s Customer Service line at 1-800-589-3101.
Sanitary sewer backup can be caused by a number of factors. The most common cause is due to a blockage in the main sewer line. Causes may include breaks in the pipe, the intrusion of tree roots, clogging due to an accumulation of grease or sediment, or foreign objects, system deterioration, inflow/infiltration of storm water into the system via low manholes, broken house lateral connections and cracked pipes.
The most common cause of sanitary sewer backup is cooking grease and roots that block flow. Other common causes of backup include foreign items that have been disposed of in the sanitary sewer drains such as:
Problems surface when the smaller laterals become blocked with roots, grease, sediments, or a collapsed pipe. When the flow becomes blocked, untreated waste water can back up into your home.
Public or mainline storm sewer backups can be caused by a number of factors. Heavy or intense rainfall events can overwhelm the storm sewer system. The majority of storm sewers in Shaker Heights were designed and installed between 1910 and 1920. They are designed to handle a 5-year or 10-year rain storm event. For rainstorm events greater than a 10-year storm, the storm sewers will overflow.
A blockage in the main sewer line may be caused by breaks in the pipe, an intrusion of tree roots, or downstream restrictions. Grass clippings, leaves, branches, newspapers and trash that enter the storm drain can also cause blockage. Shaker Heights Codified Ordinance prohibits any person from putting paper, wood, stone, or other foreign objects into the storm sewer system. The primary source of the foreign objects is the street catch basins.
Storm service lateral backups can be caused by a lack of maintenance to your gutters and downspouts. Leaves and debris often clog gutters and only allow a low flow of water to the downspouts. The overflow of water from blocked gutters, misaligned downspouts, missing or damaged gutters will allow the water to enter the home along the foundation wall. The soil surrounding your home becomes saturated and the water may penetrate cracks in the walls and the floor of the basement.
The service laterals can also be blocked by roots. Blocked storm water in service laterals will cause backup in footer drains and will also exit (force its way out) the storm laterals and enter the sanitary service laterals through cracks and joint separation. The sanitary laterals are always at a lower elevation so they collect the water that exits the storm sewer laterals.
The footer drain is designed to take away excess water from outside the basement walls and under the floor slab. The water flows by gravity to the private storm water lateral leading to the main storm sewer. The footer drain works in conjunction with the grading around the foundation, gravel over the drain, and waterproofing applied to the foundation. When wet weather occurs, excess water may flow along the foundation wall and enter the footer drain. The water then flows by gravity through the footer drain to the private storm lateral, or it may be pumped by the means of a sump pump. During a heavy rain storm, an undersized sump pump may allow for storm water to back up into your home.
The recommended minimum size for a sump pump is as follows:
Over time silting (fine dirt particles) or tree roots can partially clog the footer drain and excess water can build up along the foundation. Even when the footer drains are working properly, overflow storm water from gutters can cause too much demand on them. A footer drain lies flat along the footer, has little to no slope, and depends on gravity to relieve the water pressure. The best scenario would be the least amount of water to enter the footer drains.
Proper grading away from the foundation of a home is very important. The ground must fall away from the foundation at least six inches within the first ten feet around the perimeter of the home. This is a minimum requirement. The more slope the better. A negative grade towards the foundation will cause the water to run towards the house and eventually lead to a leaky foundation. When proper grading is performed, the water will flow away from the footer drain. Patios, sidewalks, and landscaping should not be pitched toward the foundation. Inspect and relieve standing water along the foundation and install covers over the window wells. Storm sewer lines may also have blockage, breaks, and settlement similar to those previously mentioned in the sanitary lines.
A backwater valve can sometimes prevent, or greatly reduce, the possibility of a sewer backup. A backwater valve is a fixture installed into a sanitary sewer service lateral either outside or in the basement. A backwater valve is an automatic device which allows water to flow out of the building, but closes when water tries to flow backwards. The unit must be cleaned according to the manufacturer to ensure that the valve closes correctly when needed. During a backup situation, do not add any additional water to the drains by flushing toilets, taking showers, doing laundry, etc.
Consult the Public Works Department prior to installing a backflow prevention valve.
Since water damage may occur at any moment, especially below grade and during a storm, it may be advisable to contact your insurance agent for information regarding special rider insurance for water backup to be added to your policy. Check with your insurance agent for more coverage information and pricing.
Property owners are responsible for the private side of the sewer system on their property (including the test tee). More than 50 percent of the City's overall sewer system is on private property.
The City recommends homeowners clean their laterals every three to five years. If roots are present, laterals should be cleaned annually. A certified plumber can inspect a home’s laterals for proper water flow and complete any maintenance or repairs.
In addition, property owners are responsible for:
Note: By City ordinance, if a resident does not make needed repairs and health issues are observed, the Public Works Department will declare a nuisance. The City will then make the repair and bill the resident for labor costs +25%.
Property owners may request the City inspect the public side of the sewer system once a year. Call 216-491-1490 to request this service.
Checking the City side of the sewer lines. Residents may call 216-491-1490 to request this service once per year.
During business hours (8 am-4 pm, M-F), residents can:
During non-business hours, residents can:
If a resident knows there are roots in the sanitary and storm sewer laterals, it is recommended that copper sulfate is used bi-annually. The general timeframe for copper sulfate applications is in the spring and fall each year. This product can be purchased from local hardware stores. Please read the manufacturer's instructions for proper handling and use.
If test tee/lateral work is needed on private property, residents may refer to a list of licensed contractors available through the Building Department.
For help with sewers during business hours call 216-491-1490; after business hours call 216-491-1499.
A snow parking ban eliminates obstacles that hinder the ability of City plows to efficiently and completely clear streets of snow. When crews are able to fully plow the streets, traffic and emergency vehicles can move safely and easily throughout the City.
The plan goes into effect when snow exceeds two inches. The ban does not apply to parking on the streets immediately adjacent to retail businesses. It does not go into effect until 4 pm on the streets around school buildings when school is in session.
When a street has been plowed, residents may again park on the street. However, the ban will go back into effect if an additional two inches of snow falls.
Shaker’s 200+ miles of sidewalks make it a highly walkable city. A long-standing ordinance requiring homeowners to clear sidewalks in front of their homes, including corner property curb ramps, by 9 a.m. the day after a snowfall preserves the walkability of the City. Snow that fell during the previous night does not need to be removed before 9 a.m. or more than once a day.
No. On streets around school buildings, when school is in session, parking will be permitted until 4 p.m. so as not to disrupt the school day. These areas include:
You may contact the Police Department at 216-491-1220, if you need an exception.
Residents who park in the street when the snow exceeds two inches could receive a ticket or find that their vehicle has been towed in order to facilitate snow clearing operations. The Police will try to reach owners of cars left in the street so they can be moved.
When snow is under six inches, the City clears sidewalks that are adjacent to school sidewalks and sidewalks on main arteries.
When snow exceeds six inches, the City plows sidewalks in the following order:
Please note: the City plows side-street sidewalks on a rotating basis, so that the City’s nine neighborhoods take turns getting their side-street sidewalks plowed earlier (or later) in the process. With two sidewalk plows and 200 miles of sidewalk, this process can take time.
The schools are responsible for snow removal on their own sidewalks. With any snowfall, the Public Works snow crews work to keep sidewalk arteries adjacent to school sidewalks clear, as well.
The low traffic volume overnight minimizes the effectiveness of salt and can worsen conditions. Instead of salting during those hours, crews plow to provide passable roadways and salt only intersections, curves, bridges and hills.
No. The use of powered snow removal equipment is a specific exception to the law prohibiting domestic power tool use late at night and in the early morning hours. There is no time restriction for the use of such equipment.
There are three ways to report a missed trash and/or recycling pick-up:
Contact the Public Works Dept. within 24 hours of your regular pick-up day to request collection the next day. Reporting a trash/recycling miss more than 24 hours after your regular day results in pick-up the following week.
2. Follow the current recycling guidelines.
3. Check out our annual recycling events, like the Household Hazardous Waste Roundup or Computer Roundup.
Email Public Works or call 216-491-1490 to request free green recycling buckets. Remember: Do not bag recyclables—leave them loose in recycling buckets.
Until recently, most plastics recycled in the United States were sent to China. But as of January 2018, China began enforcing its "National Sword" policy, which bans 24 types of solid waste, including mixed plastics and mixed papers. It also sets a much tougher standard for contamination levels for the materials China does still accept. This has left communities across the United States in a bind, as the market for certain recyclables has been constricted considerably. Unfortunately, that's meant more plastics - including some that were once recyclable - must go in the trash.It's also meant that recycling facilities - including those that process recyclables from Cuyahoga County - are cracking down on contamination. Communities throughout the County, including Shaker Heights, must lower contamination levels or risk fines and/or their recyclables being sent to the landfill.This article helps explain the current crisis.
A number inside a recycling symbol does not mean an item should be tossed into your recycling bucket. The numbers on plastic containers are resin codes used by the plastics industry to identify the type of plastic used to make the container. Unfortunately, given the current problems in the recycling market not all plastics with the 1 through 7 symbol are recyclable at this time. As of August 2018, residents should only recycle plastic bottles and jugs. If it has an opening or a neck that's more narrow than the body, it can be placed in recycling.
In some cases, yes. For example, area stores - including Giant Eagle, Whole Foods, and Target - accept plastic bags and plastic film for recycling. View our community recycling events for opportunities to recycle computer equipment and shredded paper. TerraCycle is another way to recycle many items not allowed in your in-home recycling container.
Check the "What do I do with ... " database at CuyahogaRecycles.org for up-to-date information on where materials can be recycled.
Visit Cuyahoga Recycles for detailed information about how to recycle in our County, including here in Shaker Heights. We also recommend following the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram for ongoing advice and information about recycling in our region.
The Service Center (Recycling Center) is located at 15600 Chagrin Blvd.
Saturdays & Sundays, 8 am-4 pm
Please note: Residents may bring recyclables to the Service Center on both Saturdays and Sundays. Large item drop off is Saturdays only.
Brush refers to tree branches and cuttings from large shrubs. Please visit Leaves, Grass & Brush Collection for information on preparing brush for pick up by our crews.
Most likely because your yard waste bag was contaminated with a non-organic item. The City will not collect yard waste bags contaminated with non-organic materials. Crews will place stickers reading "Unable to Pick Up" on contaminated bags. Residents may remove the contamination and place the bag out for delivery the following week. View a video about what belongs in yard-waste bags (and what doesn't). Visit Leaves, Grass & Brush Collection for more information.
Crews will also not collect yard waste bags that exceed the 40 pound weight limit.
Yes. In December 2019, Shaker Heights City Council approved legislation authorizing new local sewer fees to be phased in over four years starting in 2020.
The new fixed fee will appear starting with the water bill you receive in June for usage in May 2020. This fee will be phased in over four years through 2023. The monthly fixed fee will increase by $2.50 each year.
No. This is the first time Shaker Heights will have a fixed sewer fee. Other communities such as University Heights, Twinsburg, Bay Village and South Euclid utilize fixed fees. (View a chart comparing fixed fees of other communities).
The current local usage rate (per thousand cubic feet of water used or MCF) is $10.50/MCF. Starting with the water bill you receive in June for usage in May 2020, the local usage (MCF) rate will increase by 50 cents each year through 2023.
In Shaker Heights, the last local MCF rate increase was in 2001, when the fee was raised to $10.50 per MCF where it remained until June 2020.
It is the unit of measurement (1000 cubic feet of water) for water usage. Your local MCF fee is calculated based on the local MCF rate and the number of MCFs used in your household.
Yes, it is variable. The number of MCFs consumed in each household will vary from month to month depending on water consumption. The less water you use, the less you pay.
Yes. These fees apply to each water account for all properties in the City, both residential and commercial.
After 4 years when fully implemented, the fixed fee will generate approximately $1 million per year and the variable local MCF fee will generate approximately an additional $200,000 per year (subject to change due to usage).
Our sewers were built to last 50 years but are now approaching 100 years old. The sewer infrastructure needs an aggressive maintenance and rehabilitation plan that requires more funding than is currently available in the City’s budget and through the current local MCF fee.
The fees will generate a funding stream for long term planning and continued aggressive maintenance of existing sewers and capital costs related to infrastructure such as new laterals and connections from the sewer main to private property, sewer linings and replacements. This will ensure that the sewer system remains viable for at least another 50 years.
The City’s sewer maintenance, repairs and replacement costs have been funded through (1) a Sewer Fund which is funded by fees generated solely from the current local MCF rate (which has not changed since 2001), and (2) an additional approximately $2.7M subsidy from the City’s general operating funds. However, the Sewer Fund has not been able to adequately cover rising operating and capital costs.
The fees will allow budget funds currently being used for sewer projects to be used instead for much-needed capital projects and other initiatives that will enable the City to achieve goals set forth by Council and the community.
In addition, prior to the new fees going into effect, the amount allocated for sewer repair and maintenance has been tied to the annual budget process so funds gets appropriated yearly and can change depending on other budget demands. This has made it difficult to plan ahead and leverage outside dollars for sewer projects. The new fees will result in a stable funding stream thus enabling the City to fully leverage grants and other funding sources.
The City has spent $10.54 million in capital improvements since the 2014 storm when we implemented a Sewer Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program following this 50-year flood. These expenditures have been funded by the current local MCF fee and subsidies from the City’s general operating fund. An additional $5.5 million has been spent on maintenance.
Shaker’s sewer rates are among the lowest in Cuyahoga County.
Both Cleveland Water and the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District offer assistance programs for eligible customers.
To determine your discount consumption charges per MCF under this program, review the chart in the link below. Note: Shaker is the 2nd and 3rd high rate areas (determined by your address; Shaker is divided roughly at Warrensville Center Road---2nd high to the west and 3rd high to the east). Learn more and apply.
Currently, there are five EV charging stations in Shaker Heights: