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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.
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 as part of the permit application process.
Applications for building permits must be submitted online on the City's CitizenServe platform, where you can apply, pay for and track the status of applications 24/7.
The cost of permits vary depending upon the work that is planned. View the permit fee schedule.
Most construction activity beyond the application of finishes (paint, flooring, window coverings) requires a permit (plan approval). Apply for building permits on the City's CitizenServe platform.
The below list specifically details what type of construction work is exempt from a permit. Please note that certain exterior modifications, additions, and landscape structures require Planning Department approval, even if the work is exempt from Building Department approval and permit requirements.
Where equipment replacements and repairs must be performed in an emergency situation, an application for approval shall be submitted within the next working business day to the building official.
Minor repairs to residential structures may be made without application or notice to the residential building official. Such repairs shall not include the cutting away of any wall, partition or portion thereof; the removal or cutting of any structural beam or load bearing support, or the removal or change of any required means of egress, or rearrangement of parts of a structure affecting the egress requirements; nor shall ordinary repairs include addition to, alteration of, replacement or relocation of any standpipe, water supply, sewer, drainage, drain leader, gas, soil, waste, vent or similar piping, electric wiring or mechanical or other work affecting public health or general safety. Exterior modifications require design review with the Planning Department. Please check with the Planning Department before proceeding with exterior modifications.
Many building projects require a building plan review as part of the permitting process. Three sets of drawings are required for building plan review. All commercial plans must be stamped by a registered architect. Residential plans must conform to specifications outlined in the Building Code. Learn more about the building plan review.
Most construction projects require a permit regardless of whether structural changes are made. Learn more.
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. Learn more.
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. Learn more.
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.
You can request an inspection by:
Most building projects require a plan review. Per state codes, both residential and commercial projects require a plan review to ensure that the proposed work conforms to the building codes. Plans are reviewed by the building code plans examiner; depending on the scope of the project, plans may also be reviewed by the Planning Department, Fire Department, Public Works Department, and the City Engineer. Once an approval is granted and the fees have been paid, the permits will be issued, authorizing construction to begin. Please note:
The plan review process depends on the type of project. Projects that affect only the interior of an existing structure require review only by the Department of Building & Housing. Projects that affect the exterior of the structure — including new construction and projects affecting both the interior and exterior (i.e. additions) — require an additional review by the Architectural Board of Review (ABR). Specifically:
Any modifications or additions to the exterior of a building (residential or commercial) and all new construction projects require review and approval by the Architectural Board of Review (ABR) before being reviewed for code compliance by the Department of Building & Housing.
The ABR’s review ensures changes to the exterior appearance of buildings in Shaker Heights maintain the high standard of architectural quality in the community. The Planning Department manages this process for the ABR.
Please also note:
Get started with the Architectural Board of Review process.
Alterations to the interior only of a building (residential or commercial) require a plan review by only the Department of Building & Housing. Certain projects, such as concrete work, repaving, roofs, fences, hot water heaters, HVAC, and other simple projects can be submitted without plans and are typically approved on the spot, provided proper documentation is included. If you are unsure if your project requires plans, please call us at 216-491-1461.
You must submit a Building Permit Application to initiate the plan review process with the Department of Building & Housing.
In order to ensure a thorough and timely review of your Building Permit Application, please make sure your plans meet the minimum requirements. Three sets of drawings are required. All commercial plans must be stamped by a state registered design professional. View minimum residential plan requirements.
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.
There are a variety of ways the City communicates with residents:
Visit Stay Connected to sign up for email newsletters and learn how to follow us on social media.
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.
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.
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 June of 2023.
In the current market for renewable energy, 100 percent renewable electric power supply must be provided for an independent aggregation program, like the City has created, 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 electric 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.
Energy Harbor has purchased, on the City's behalf, national wind Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to cover 100% of the electric supply of participating customers in the City. These RECs ensure that the dollars participants spend on their electric supply go to support the further development of green energy infrastructure.
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 in mid-April 2023. 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 (i.e. starting with the first electricity billing cycle in June 2023).
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's rate for its electric aggregation program can be found on the City's webpage: Electric Aggregation Program
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.
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.
No, our electric supplier, Energy Harbor, is unable to support net metering at this time for the City’s aggregation program. We are working to include net metering customers in the future. There are two providers that we are aware of that offer net metering with a 100 percent renewable electric supply. They are:
AEP – 877-648-1922
Dynegy – 833-277-8472
Residents who are net metering customers can call these companies directly to purchase their electric supply.
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.
In extreme weather events, especially when accompanied by power outages, the Shaker Heights Fire Department provides the following assistance.
In periods of extreme heat, residents experiencing power outage or who live without air conditioning and are a risk of health consequences should call 911. The Fire Department will accommodate residents in a cooling center.
In periods of extreme cold, residents who are without heat should call 911. The Fire Department will accommodate residents in a warming center.
Stay in the know! Sign up for emergency communications from Cuyahoga County, emergency alerts and advisories from the City, a monthly e-newsletter from the City and more on this page.
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.
Yes. Please view our Food Distribution calendar for upcoming events in and near Shaker Heights. In addition, there are three Little Free Pantries within City limits. These are located at:
Little Free Pantries also accept donations. Donated items should be non-perishable (canned or jarred goods, dry goods etc.). Please leave your donation inside the LFP.
The City provides a variety of services for seniors, including transportation. Click here to learn more.
In addition, residents can dial 2-1-1 from their phone to reach United Way of Greater Cleveland. Counselors are available to help seniors (and their families) connect with state and local services they may be eligible for.
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 contact Theo Darden, 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.
In the aftermath of the 2008 Housing Crisis, the City used demolition, among other tools, to combat blight. This was done to combat vacancy, foreclosures, and blight across the City. To ensure that vacant lots blend into the neighborhood, the City adds landscaping towards the front and a fence at the back of the property after demolition. The City owns roughly 200 vacant lots across all neighborhoods.
Infill housing is a term used to describe new housing being built in a “built-out” or historic neighborhood. Infill housing is used to attract new development and residents to neighborhoods to fill in vacant home sites and add new housing options for new and current residents. The City attracts new development to promote the physical and social neighborhood fabric – to jointly strengthen households and neighborhoods. The City previously used demolition to successfully remove blight caused by the 2008 Housing Crisis and is now focused on rebuilding homes, connecting communities, and creating a sense of place in Shaker Heights.
Please email Brendan Zak, Neighborhood Development Specialist or call (216) 491-1473 to request further information on a specific project and provide feedback.
The plan sets goals for multiple City departments to attract and retain new residents, increase demand for houses, increase property values, preserve existing housing, and increase the cohesiveness, desirability, attractiveness, and stability of neighborhoods in Shaker Heights. More information can be found here.
Tax abatement is the City exempting a property owner from paying property taxes due to an investment of over $125,000 in new construction. Tax abatement is only granted for the increased value of a property – tax abated properties continue to pay property tax on the value of the land. City Council has authorized two Residential Tax Abatement Districts – both in the Moreland neighborhood. Newly built homes may be eligible for a property tax abatement of up to 10 or 15 years, depending on the location. More information can be found here.
A City landbank is a way that cities temporarily hold foreclosed or donated properties (primarily vacant land) to help stabilize neighborhoods and encourage the re-use or redevelopment of land. The City uses land in its Landbank for our side yard program, infill housing program, community use program, as well as a way of hold land for strategic future development. More information on these programs can be found here.
The Architectural Board of Review is responsible for reviewing plans for all new buildings and exterior changes to existing buildings. The ABR ensures that changes to the exterior of buildings in Shaker Heights maintain the high standard of architectural quality in the community. More information on the ABR can be found here. The City Planning Commission is responsible for reviewing projects relative to the City’s Zoning Code, including site plan review for new homes. More information on the CPC can be found here.
Please visit the vacant lot webpage.
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.
Over 40 percent of all food ends up in landfills where it rots amongst other waste and emits methane. Methane is a toxic greenhouse gas 27 times more powerful than carbon. Composting turns this waste into nutrient-rich soil, which in turn helps to grow more food.
Sign up here! After sign up, a welcome email is sent to you with details about the program AND has the 4 digit code to access the bins at Lomond School.
The bins are on a wooden platform in the northwest corner of the Lomond School parking lot. Please note: The parking lot is closed to resident car traffic on school days 8:45-9:15 am and 3-3:40 pm.
We encourage participants to use a reusable bucket or container with a lid to transport your food scrap to the drop site.
All specific compostable products can be found on the Betterbin app. A username and password are required to use this app. It is a free searchable database that addresses EVERY item and if it is allowed in the bins.
All compostable serviceware products must be BPI certified. Otherwise they are NOT allowed in the containers.You may use a BPI certified compostable bag to line your bucket or bin with but we prefer you use a brown paper bag!
Below is the BPI Logo: Your item MUST have this logo on it in order for it to be included in our bins.
The following material is NOT accepted:
The bins are serviced weekly on Fridays. Rust Belt Riders is the service provider. Rust Belt Riders is a worker-owned cooperative dedicated to the health of the environment and of its employees. Their mission is to “Feed People, Not Landfills.” They provide businesses, organizations, and individuals with an alternative to the landfill for their food waste. They believe in creating and operating within a circular economy and actively practice workplace democracy. To them: “How they do their work is equally as important as the work they do.”
Yes! Please email Rust Belt Riders and they can help get you transferred over.
This is a pilot program with limited funding. The City hopes to expand the program in the future. The blue area on the map are the historical boundaries of the neighborhood as defined by the City’s Planning Department.
Sign up for ENews and Public meeting updates.
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.
Visit Building Permits to find information on the permitting process and permit applications.
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.
You will have to terminate your contract early or wait until your contract ends and then enroll in the City’s gas aggregation program. Please note that some suppliers charge an early-termination fee.
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 at the Court's website. 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.
Tree maintenance, like pruning and trimming, play an important role in the healthy growth of trees, including street trees. While trimming 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/trimming, ranging from Young Tree Training, to pruning 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 trimming young trees (typically 2-3 years old) to 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 maintenance activity 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.
Read "Caring for Our Urban Forest," a feature about how the City cares for its tens of thousands of street trees, in the spring 2022 issue of Shaker Life.
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.
Currently, there are five EV charging stations in Shaker Heights:
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).