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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: https://www.clevelandmetroparks.com/about/conservation/natural-resources/current-issues/deer-management.
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 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 requires owners of dogs to renew their dog license each year between December 1st and January 31st. Residents may purchase a license from Cuyahoga County.
All exterior changes or additions to a building or structure on a property require ABR approval.
The board meets on the first and third Monday of the month. Meetings are held in the morning and begin at 8:00 a.m. Visit Architectural Board of Review for the current meeting schedule and information about appearing before the Board.
A complete submission, including several specific details and plans, must be submitted by the deadline for the meeting at which you would like to appear. Visit Architectural Board of Review for the current meeting schedule and information about appearing before the Board.
The Board meets on the first Tuesday of the month. Find the current schedule on the Landmark Commission page.
A complete submission, including several specific details and plans, must be submitted by the submission deadline. Find application materials on the Landmark Commission page. For questions, call 491-1430.
Yes, it can be placed on the house, behind the highest peak of the roof, not visible to the street. Please call 491-1430 for complete information.
Generally, at the rear of the house screened from view or in the front yard completely screened by shrubs. Please call the Planning Department at 216-491-1430 or see the Air Conditioning Regulations (PDF) guidelines for complete information.
Generally, it can be placed in the rear yard and be up to 6 feet tall. Landscape screening is required when visible to the street. Please call 491-1430 for complete information.
Yes. See Guidelines for Home Businesses (PDF).
Yes. New POS applications will be subject to the same point of sale procedures in place before the COVID-19 crisis, including an in-person interior inspection by a certified Shaker Heights Housing Inspector. In-person inspections will be subject to rigid social distancing protocols.
No, effective June 5, the City will no longer issue the Emergency and Limited Certificate of Compliance. Prior to June 5, this was issued on a temporary basis for the sole purpose of allowing properties to transfer during the COVID-19 crisis. Effective June 5, the City will resume its normal point of sale process in place before the COVID-19 crisis with rigid social distancing protocols in place for the inspections process.
Please note that properties that were issued an Emergency and Limited Certificate of Compliance on or before June 5 that have not yet transferred will be subject to the following:
No. You will need to schedule an inspection and either correct any outstanding violations prior to transfer or establish an escrow account to cover the cost of the repairs.
Shaker Heights Codified Ordinance 1415.01 requires that an application be submitted and an inspection performed PRIOR to entering into a purchase agreement. Effective June 5, Emergency and Limited Certificates of Compliance are no longer being issued. Therefore, an inspection will need to be scheduled. This is the same policy and practice that existed prior to the temporary suspension of new POS inspections.
Before entering a property, the City will ask several screening questions designed to determine whether anyone in the household has been or is currently ill; or if they have been recently exposed to someone who has tested positive to COVID-19. Inspections will be rescheduled if necessary.
Housing Inspectors will wear masks at all times when outside their vehicles. In addition, when entering a property, inspectors will wear protective shoe coverings and gloves. Upon returning to their vehicles, inspectors will dispose of their gloves and use hand sanitizer.
During the inspection process, the City will only allow one individual to accompany the inspector. A minimum distance of six feet must be maintained between this individual and the inspector at all times. We request that the individual wear a mask as well.
If you have specific concerns, please call us (216-491-1471) to discuss how the inspection can be further safely conducted.
Resinpections of interior violations will also resume in-person on June 15. However, where there are no more than 15 total remaining violations, with at least one interior violation, the reinspection is required to be performed by Remote Video Inspection.
As has been our standard practice, you can withdraw a POS application at any point prior to an inspection occurring without consequence. Simply submit a request to the Building and Housing Department in writing or by email to Laura Lanovara. to withdraw your POS application. All application fees paid, if any, will be refunded within 30 days of a valid request.
If title transfers with a valid Emergency and Limited Certificate of Compliance (Purchase agreement signed prior to June 15, 2020, and the property transfers before September 13, 2020), no further inspections will be performed in connection with this POS. Therefore, buyers are encouraged to seek the services of a private home inspector to the extent such services are available during the COVID-19 crisis. Keep in mind, rental properties are subject to interior/exterior inspections every three years, and all owner occupied homes are subject to exterior inspections every 5 years by neighborhood.
The permitting process is proceeding with some modifications. Specifically, permits for minor corrections, smaller projects and/or housing reinspections will be done via the City’s new Remote Video Inspection (RVI) process.
Permits for additions and major renovations will proceed in person with adequate social distancing measures.
The program is temporarily suspended. Instead of receiving the systematic exterior inspection in 2020, residents of the Moreland and Boulevard neighborhoods will receive the inspection in 2021.
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.
The City's minimum requirements are $100,000 per person and $300,000 per occurrence for bodily injury; $50,000 per occurrence for property damage.
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.
No. Homeowners may pull a permit only for work you are doing yourself or if paying a licensed contractor to do the work. The City requires that anyone doing permit work in the City be insured. Homeowners pulling their own permits must complete a Homeowner's Affidavit (PDF).
Visit Building Permits to find information on the permitting process and permit applications.
The cost of permits vary depending upon the work that is planned. Visit Permit Fees to find fees applicable to your project.
Certain projects and repairs require permits; others do not. View construction activity not requiring a permit.
Three sets of drawings are required. All commercial plans must be stamped by a registered architect. Residential plans must conform to specifications outlined in the Building Code. For more information, visit Plan Review or call 216-491-1460.
Most construction projects require a permit regardless of whether structural changes are made. View a list of activities that are exempt from obtaining a building permit (or approval).
Most kitchen and bathroom remodels require permits (approvals). A counter or cabinet installation where plumbing and electrical work is not impacted likely does not require a permit. However, if replacing/installing a counter installation with a sink or a cabinet installation where there is a built-in oven/range or dishwasher does require a permit. View a list of activities that are exempt from obtaining a permit.
Kitchen remodels, bathroom remodels, replacement of driveways, garages, mechanical equipment (furnaces, A/C, boilers, water heater, etc.) all require permits (approvals). There are certain limited exceptions, such as simple replacements of light fixtures or switches. View a list of activities that are exempt from obtaining a permit.
All modifications, renovations, or additions to anywhere on the exterior of your property require approval from the Planning Department and may require approval from the Architectural Board of Review. This includes projects like roof, window, door replacement, or landscape structures.
Projects that are interior only, require approval from the Building Department.
Permits protect you and your family by ensuring that work done at your property meets required building codes. That’s because our certified inspectors inspect all permitted work in the City to make sure it meets those codes. Furthermore, it is a violation of City ordinances not to obtain permits where they are required. Not obtaining a permit could result in a fine and require you to repair – at your own expense – any work that is not in compliance with required building codes. If any work has been covered, electrical wiring by drywall for instance, you will be required to expose the work for inspection.
Learn how to schedule your inspection.
Scaled drawings are required for most residential projects, except roofs, windows, and mechanical equipment. Installation/replacement of HVAC equipment requires load calculations (instructions are on the permit application). An architect is not required for residential projects, but is recommended for large projects and additions. Include cut sheets for any new equipment or devices. Written narratives of the proposed work is often necessary to fully explain the scope of the work. View a complete list of residential plan requirements.
Yes. Plans for commercial projects must be prepared and stamped by a state licensed design professional.
The specific process depends on the project. Visit the Plan Review page to learn what types of project require a plan review.
Most projects will require a plan review. Visit our Plan Review page to learn what projects require a plan review.
In mid-March, a mailing went to most households in the United States. The majority of those mailings have instructions to complete the Census by phone or online. Some households, including in places with limited internet access or with older populations, also received a paper form to submit by mail. The Census takes about 10 minutes to complete.
For some residents, the online Census form will show your city as “Beachwood” or “Cleveland.” Please ignore this and continue with your submission. As long as the street address and zip code are correct, your submission will be processed as a household in Shaker Heights.
The federal government, which runs the Census, is asking households to respond no later than September 30 via internet, phone or mail. The Census Bureau has resumed door-to-door visits to try and reach those who have yet to respond to the Census. Social distancing and safety protocols will be followed, including the wearing of face masks, practicing hand hygiene, and conducting interviews outside as much as possible or practical.
The results of the 2020 Census will help determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding will be spent over the next decade. This includes spending on social service programs and infrastructure right here in Shaker Heights. For this reason, it’s important every household in our community be counted. Learn more at Census2020.gov.
Not to worry. You will receive 2-3 more mailings with instructions on how to submit your Census. If you don’t respond by April 1, you will receive a paper Census form to submit by mail.
If you do not receive any of these mailings, you may respond online or visit our by phone. Please remember that only one response per household is required, so each household receives one invitation.
If you don’t respond by phone, mail or online, then the Census will come to you. Starting in May, Census workers will knock on doors of households that have not yet responded to the Census. (Note: the coronavirus crisis may delay this effort.) Participating in the Census is required by law.
Only one member of a household needs to respond to the Census. For families, this is typically a head of household, but it can be anyone who can accurately answer the questions on the Census. If you’re living with roommates, you are still considered a household and only one person needs to respond.
Learn more and get help, including by phone, at Census2020.gov.
The Census asks basic information about your household, including whether you rent or own, type of home, how many people live in your home, and the relationships of those people (parents, siblings, roommates etc.). View the questions at Census2020.gov.
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.
City officials are always available by phone or email. Please visit the website at shakeronline.com to view contact information for City Council, Mayor, CAO, and Department Directors. Also, the public is always invited to public meetings, which are listed on the meetings calendar on shakeronline.com.
Full question: Can the police be more proactive? Could this presentation be done for the community more broadly? It sounds like Marty did this at Boulevard but that is a K-4 school. We have so many other sites that could benefit from that information. Here is what the ACLU says we should teach our children: https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights/stopped-by-police/
Answer: Marty Dunn is currently the only officer in our Community Relations Unit, but he regularly attends meetings throughout the community and would be glad to present this information anywhere it would be helpful. During the pandemic, some of these opportunities for engagement have been limited, but Officer Dunn is available for Zoom meetings until in person meetings can take place. Because of the importance of community engagement, increasing our staff in the Community Relations Unit continues to be an organizational goal.
Full question: How do we create a police department that engages the community and lessens the divide? I look at some of the things that Camden, NJ police force has done to build greater rapport such as having new officers introduce themselves to the neighborhood they patrol. Also, I feel it’s important that communities that have been historically oppressed by LE must find a way to inspire youth to serve. The police must reflect the communities they serve and should/must include those from the community. A two way effort needs to happen for the future. All about the long game.
Answer: See answer above. In addition, all of our officers work to find ways to engage the community. For example, officers are often found playing basketball on local playgrounds, practicing skateboarding with kids, throwing a football when they see a game underway, handing out “tickets” for a Frosty at Wendy’s for being “caught” doing a good deed, or chatting with residents while out on bike patrol. Officers are encouraged to find ways to get out of their cars and connect with residents in the community, not only because it’s part of their job, but also because they value getting to know residents.
Regarding inspiring people to serve: We agree and take this very seriously, which is why we have worked hard to transform our recruitment practices https://www.shakeronline.com/720/Recruitment-Hiring to expand the number of qualified applicants who chose to apply.
As the Chief of Police, I am unaware of any recommendation made to our Department to join this group. We would certainly be open to the idea.
Full question: We hear a lot about what parents tell their Black children about how to interact with the police to hopefully stay safe, but I would like to hear from the police about what they want to tell all children, teens and adults about what to do and not do when interacting with the police to reduce the risk of things escalating. I think it would also be a good idea for the police to know the specific information parents are telling their children so the police are aware of those instructions and won’t be surprised or confused about someone behaving a certain way.
Answer: Our Department regularly presents this kind of information to groups throughout the City, though it has been difficult during the pandemic. Our presentations focus on what to do when questioned by the police, either as a driver of a car, a witness, or a victim.
As an aspect of these interactions and presentations, we discuss appropriate actions when stopped by the police in a car. These appropriate actions include keeping your hands where a police officer can see them, limiting movements while in the car, especially at night and simply not running away from the police. We always talk about issues surrounding a person’s refusal to identify themselves and what to do when officers may be executing a search warrant and what it means to give consent to searches. We have had some conversations with SHHS students, residents and specific community groups to learn more about what parents are telling their children about what to do if they are stopped by police. It is incredibly helpful for us to understand this better and we appreciate this kind of dialogue. We are always open to learning more.
Full question: Would it be possible for our officers to be more proactive? For instance, for the two examples shared tonight: Visit each place of worship 2-3 times/year. Work with high school groups regularly - even create a youth advisory group.
Answer: Our Department is continually looking for new and additional opportunities for community engagement. Click here for examples of recent community engagement work. Please fill out our community engagement request form or direct suggestions should be directed to Sgt. Tim Grafton.
Young people have something important to say. We learn more about them through conversation. For example – 3 officers met with 3 African American male students at the high school. Students asked questions and officers were able to offer explanations and let them know they were empathetic to the young men’s concerns.
The students left with a better understanding of what officers go through. In addition, the officers gained a better understanding of the young peoples’ perceptions. Everyone agreed at the end of the evening that honest and open communication can be extremely beneficial to the betterment of the relationship. Parents that observed were pleased with the interaction.
There are also visits by officers to the high school football practice, just to converse with the young men.
These types of exercises establish relationships. Research shows that through communication there is a correlative decline in allegations of bias based policing. Our Department understands that establishing these relationships and links in the community will allow us to become more successful and legitimized to our community as a police department.
We are working to develop a communication process for this. We do plan to post new policies on the Police webpage and will include the date of the most recent update.
We have given a great deal of thought to this concept, including possible a junior police academy that may be offered for high school credit.
Sgt. Tim Grafton supervises the Community Relations Unit. Ptl. Marty Dunn has been a Community Relations Officer since 2014 when he applied for the position. At that time, we had two officers in the unit and one has since retired. We have not been able to replace that officer due to staffing shortages that have not been filled through the hiring process.
Our department had a couple events planned focused on developing relationships with teen groups. Unfortunately, due to the type of event, we had place them on hold due to the pandemic. Tentatively, we have an interactive event with SAMS still in the planning stages wherein the youth and the officers will interact in ways that will include role playing, a Q & A session and finally a roundtable discussion. We are always looking for more opportunities. Click here for some examples of our community engagement work.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we participated with the Recreation Department on Zoom meetings with teens. We have also participated in the lunch give away where officers were present and interacting with the youth. When school began, our officers, through Zoom, have been instructing high school students on internet safety. Lastly, we have tentatively set up an interactive event with SAMS where youth and the officers participate virtually in role playing, a Q & A session and finally a roundtable discussion.
Shaker Heights police officers have utilized body cameras for more than five years and dash cams for more than 10 years. These cameras have malfunctioned periodically over the years and on occasion officers have failed to activate them. The frequency of both of these occurrences has declined substantially as officers are now accustomed to using them and the technical support for malfunctions has improved.
In circumstances when it should have been activated but was not, there is an investigation into why this occurred and officers may be subject to disciplinary action, if warranted. Presently, we are at the end of the useful life of our current body cam system. The age of the system can also cause malfunctions resulting in a failure to activate.
In 2020, City Council approved the purchase of a new camera system so we are in the process of purchasing and activating a new system. It has significant improvements due to new technology. One of the enhancements is that dash cams and body worn cams are automatically activated when cruiser lights are turned on.
Officers who violate the policies related to operation of the Body Worn Cameras are subject to progressive discipline up to and possibly including termination if the behavior is egregious and or continuous.
Full question: What resources are available to officers experiencing trauma? Are officers ever instructed to stand down or otherwise temporarily removed from active service to receive treatment for trauma or exceptional stress?
Answer: There are several resources available to officers who experience trauma or exceptional stress. These resources are provided through the City, the Cuyahoga County Critical Incident Stress Management Team, and there is also a private company that offers services upon retainer.
There are circumstances when officers are deemed to be unfit for duty due to trauma and consequently relieved from duty. This relief is more often temporary. However, in some rare or extraordinary circumstance, relief from duty could potentially be permanent.
The concept of a civilian oversight board regarding complaints against officers and the Department is one of several proposals being reviewed as part of overall police reform. A review process currently exists when officers are involved in critical incidents that includes citizens as members of the of the reviewing body.
Full question: Do you ask your prospective officers why do they want to serve? It can’t be just about benefits and a pension. This is a public servant job. Also are there plans to have a mental health trained officer to accompany officers on calls? Thank you.
Answer: Yes. We ask this question many times during the hiring process to be certain that candidates understand that, if hired, they will be serving the public.
There are no present plans for this.
Full question: I’m wondering if the Shaker Heights police department has received any military-grade weaponry or surplus military gear from the Pentagon or other federal agencies through the 1033 program or any other similar program?
Answer: Our Department has received equipment from the 1033 Program. Last year, we suspended our participation in the program.
Full question: It sounds like we have a lot of hiring efforts going on. What does the data look like? How many black candidates, female candidates, etc have joined the force since 2016? (the year it sounds like this started)
Answer: Since 2016, a total of five (5) black candidates and one (1) female candidate (African-American) has been hired by our department. Click here for the current demographic makeup of the department.
Our engagement through the bike patrol has been curtailed by two issues at the moment: the pandemic and manpower considerations. We still have officers out on bikes, but their mission has been focused more crime prevention rather than in person community interaction in an effort to keep everyone healthy.
Mayor Weiss has signed the Obama Foundation - Commit to Action Pledge.
Full question: Use of Force policies provide a roadmap for training. Items not written into the policy may or may not be covered in a training session. Written items provide a template for training. Items not specifically written in the Shake Heights Police Department’s Use of Force Policy are: a statement of the sanctity of life; detailed descriptions of objective reasonableness, necessity, proportionality, and de-escalation; de-escalation techniques; circumstances under which use of force is strictly prohibited; and, duty to intervene when any use of force is unauthorized. Will the Shaker Heights Police Department expand their use of force policy to include the items mentioned above?
Answer: Our Use of Force Policy is called Response to Threats Policy. It is one of a number of policies that we are reviewing during this process. Our review will include items outlined in this question. Once we have completed this review and made any necessary changes, the policy will be posted on our website.
Currently, only police officers are assigned to respond to calls involving residents with mental health issues. All of our officers have had some training in how to respond to these types of calls and are knowledgeable about outside resources they can call on for additional assistance.
Complaints, and the investigations that result from them, are kept in the personnel file for 10 years. If a suspension results from the complaint, it cannot be removed from a personnel file. If the resulting discipline is an oral or written reprimand, an officer can request that this disciplinary action be removed after three years.
Currently, the most significant challenge we are facing is related to recruitment, hiring, and retention practices and policies. The challenges are related to the current context in which police are working and the conversations around police reform. We are faced with an ever-shrinking pool of applicants and have challenges retaining those who are hired. Considerable time is spent refining our policies and practices around recruitment in an effort to meet our goals and overcome these obstacles.
There are indeed circumstances where it is unlawful to run from the police. However, each situation is different and based on the total set of circumstances, rendering it a real challenge if not an impossibility, to contemplate each and every scenario where it would be unlawful to run away from the police.
All complaints are turned over to the Office of Internal Affairs and the investigations surrounding those complaints are kept for 10 years.
During the pandemic, as always, officers will continue to lawfully stop individuals if there is a “reasonable and articulable suspicion” that would warrant further investigation by them. “Reasonable and articulable suspicion” is the constitutional guideline that an officer must use when stopping someone to further investigate a situation. It is important to note that there are also citizen-police encounters that are initiated by residents.
Full question: Police are often required to do more than policing. They are asked to be therapists, social workers, psychologists, etc. Why not partner with community agencies that have expertise in these areas to accompany officers on calls or when appropriate to handle the call?
Answer: Our Department frequently interacts with social service agencies during calls for service and subsequent investigations. At the present time, community agencies do not handle calls for service that originated with or involved the calling of the police.
Full question: Has the City considered instituting a civilian oversight component to serve those complainants who are less than comfortable with the notion that that the Department will adequately investigate itself?
Answer: The concept of a civilian oversight board regarding complaints against officers and the Department is one of several proposals being reviewed as part of overall police reform. A review process currently exists when officers are involved in critical incidents that includes citizens as members of the of the reviewing body.
Our General Order 0112 – Bias Free Policing speaks to both of these issues.
Our Racial Profile Statement was originally enacted on March 31, 2003. This statement is annually reviewed by our officers. Equally as important, our officers receive annual training in bias free policing wherein the subject of racial profiling is addressed.
Our Department does not use a discipline matrix. While there are types of officer misconduct where termination will be the discipline, there are likewise circumstances where discipline is progressive in nature with the predominate goal being corrective or curative.
Full question: What specific changes are being made to create a culture of intervention for excessive force or unnecessary detainment within the department; providing assurance and safety to those officers who choose to intervene. How is this clearly documented?
Answer: All hires are instructed/trained in these areas in new officer orientation during their Ethics Component which is specifically taught by the Chief of Police. It is also focus throughout their field training program with a senior officer. These expectations are then reinforced through annual review of the Bias Free Policing policy which includes our Racial Profile Statement and a requirement of a duty to intervene.
The principles of riot and crowd control prioritize the protection of people and then prioritize the protection of private homes and businesses.
The use of the LVNR (Lateral Vascular Neck Restraint) is presently being reviewed by our Department. As a practical matter, pending review, our Department has not trained officers in LVNR for several years and as a result have only approximately 3 officers currently employed with the Department who possess such training.
At the present time, we do not have any residency requirements.
The policy is labeled Response to Threats and is presently on our website.
Prior to appointment, all officer candidates go through extensive psychological testing.
All applicants must be at least 21 years of age at the time of appointment.
Full question: Are you reviewing the policy of having officers placed in our school buildings? Please address your perspective on why it is deemed necessary or constructive, given the message it sends to students about school climate?
Answer: Having police officers working in the school buildings is a decision made by the school system, not the police department. With that said, officers inside of the school buildings have found wonderful opportunities for relationship building between students and officers.
Full question: Besides unofficial friendship building, what is the department doing in terms of systematic relationship strengthening with (especially marginalized) Shaker community members. Mainly, does the department have awareness of or plan to institute restorative justice practices into the department/local criminal justice system?
Answer: Our department has participated in restorative justice exercises in collaboration with the high school and exercises authorized by the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court in lieu of prosecution. The City’s website lists some of our community engagement activities which documents some of how we participate in community relationship building.
The Mayor, Council and members of the Management Team have met with representatives from both of this group to discuss the proposal. The proposal presents recommendations for police reforms, many of which are being discussed within the larger context of reform work related to the SHPD. We anticipate that the suggestions contained in the proposal will positively influence the work of the City throughout our comprehensive evaluation of police policies and reform work.
Full question: The community has expressed fear of the police despite efforts to make inroads in community engagement. An obvious solution to this is reducing the police that carry guns to the absolute essential cases such as a report of a violent gunman. Would you be open to creating a police task force for traffic/non-violent crime that would not carry guns?
Answer: We are unable to support this suggestion. The safety of officers and the public precludes such support. In many cases, calls for service don’t provide the full context for the situation, so it would be too risky for the officers to respond without being fully prepared for what they may encounter.
Full question: In providing context for how difficult it is for officers to conduct traffic stops, is officer Dunn perhaps insinuating that we should explore shifting that responsibility to unarmed public works officers as Berkeley, CA. City Council has recently done?
Answer: No. Officer Dunn was explaining how he educates the public so that they can better understand how their behavior affects the way officers respond during interactions with the police.
Full question: What alternatives exist in Shaker to calling an armed officer to respond to conflict? Is there a mediation program available or are there social service organizations that will respond to community problems?
Answer: When a resident feels it is necessary to call SHPD in regard to what they consider a conflict, officers will arrive armed, as they do to every call for service for reasons explained above. There isn’t a mediation program or social service agency that provides services described here, but SHPD officers are trained and aware of how and when to call upon specific social service organizations for additional assistance.
Full question: Who have you been listening to and what have you been reading to help you think innovatively about what policing needs to be in modern society? If you have not yet done so, please consider listening to an interview with Christy Lopez, Professor and co-leader of Georgetown Law’s Program on Innovative Policing. Link is attached below. https://www.cityclub.org/forums/2020/07/17/what-does-it-mean-to-defund-the-police.
Answer: The Supervision, Command Staff, and Officers of the Police Department read, listen and learn from a wide variety of resources to help shape the Department to be more innovative in our responsiveness to our community needs. In addition, they have attended and will continue to attend short and long-term professional training in search of learning and to reach a better understanding modern policing. We appreciate the suggestion concerning Professor Lopez’s podcast at The City Club of Cleveland and will review its contents.
Police reform is extraordinarily important and complex, and as a result takes time. While we have been engaged in transformation for many years, we know that many opportunities to improve and innovate still exist. Effective and lasting change requires resources, and well-thought-out approaches, which we are committed to. We are actively engaged in this process and hope you will stay up to date about our progress by visiting the police webpage which will be updated as we implement changes.
We can assure you that we are dedicated to meaningful and positive reform no matter the timeline for its implantation and recognize the importance of efficiency.
Our Department encourages suggestions and feedback from the community we serve and will continue to do so. Many of the ideas we use in Community Engagement have come directly from community suggestions. In addition, streamlining overnight permission to park and development of the Mission of the Department are additional examples.
We are committed to ongoing evaluation and updating of police policies and practices and consider this a constant work in progress. We believe a modern police department is one that works in partnership with the community to respond to its specific needs and expectations. Community input, directives from the Governor, and requirements from our accreditation agency, CALEA, will continue to guide our work.
We always listen to input from teens. It helps us understand how policies and practices impact them. However, due to complex process for changing practices and policies, often involving our accrediting agency, we can’t point directly to a policy or practice that we’ve changed solely due to a conversation with a teen.
The Shaker Heights Police Department has actively participated in restorative justice exercises in connection with both our Community Diversion Program and with the Shaker Heights school system. Information on officer training in the areas of unconscious bias and anti-racism for the last five years is available on the City’s website. As part of the City’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion work, Council and the Management Team have participated in a training session with Erica Merritt from Equius Group. Additional sessions are being scheduled.
Full question: Aside from Prosecutor Keller and bias free training, who develops the curriculum for each substantive training area that Shaker officers are required to attend? To what extent does the Department rely on OPOTA for the training of its officers?
Answer: Our officers attend a vast array of annual training from an equally vast array of sources and resources. The sources and resources for the development of curriculum do include OPOTA, various other national and state training entities, as well as internal instruction from supervisors or other officers that are certified instructors in the training subject matter.
The discharge of a service weapon is a use of deadly force and is subject to evaluation under the guidelines set forth in the Department’s current general order entitled Response To Threats, which is posted on the website. Any use of deadly force and its justification are legally required to be evaluated in the backdrop of that general order and on the total set of circumstances that resulted in its use. Officers receive extensive training in response to threats and the use of deadly force.
Full question: The Department’s website talks about bias-free training including classes, roll-call meetings and handouts. How much active training (as opposed to passive reading or listening to a lecture) is required of officers annually? What kind of additional training do officers receive on trauma-responsiveness, de-escalation, mental health issues, etc? How are these trainings evaluated for effectiveness?
Answer: While some of our training occurs in classroom settings, the Department also utilizes several other forums. We utilize role play and dynamic simulation training. The annual flagship training course on bias free policing has a significant amount of interactive participation, requiring officers to participate in scenario-based examples during which they participate in panel discussions and focus groups. Officers are frequently asked to advocate and comment on positions other than that of law enforcement to ensure they fully understand different perspectives on any given situation.
Mental health, stress and trauma, and de-escalation are circumstances that are continuously and regularly included in and related to our bias free police training and in several other training areas and exercises.
Our training effectiveness is evaluated during our biannual evaluation by CALEA, our national accreditation organization. CALEA sets several benchmarks associated with bias-free policing that we must meet to maintain our accreditation. We also have maintained compliance with the Ohio Collaborative recommendations in this area of policing. Currently, we are looking at the myriad of suggested reforms and input about bias free policing.
Lastly, we evaluate our effectiveness based on the number of complaints we receive pertaining to biased behavior in a citizen-police encounter.
Full question: In many fields there is required continuing education. How is the Shaker Heights Police Department and administration continuing their education on racial and social disparities? Is everyone required to read books like “How to be an Anti-Racist” or “White Fragility”, etc.”?
Answer: Continuing professional education is mandated by policy within our Department. As outlined by on our website, much of this training is centered on racial and social disparities. When the opportunity arises, we do watch movies and documentaries that help to illuminate these issues. For example, we recently watched the documentary 13th, which gave officers a whole new understanding of the 13th amendment. Our officers have not been required to read the books mentioned in this question.
All records related to Departmental training are lawfully available via a public records request.
Officer re-instruction is informally handled through supervisory counseling sessions. More formally it is handled through documentation on performance evaluations of areas in need of training and how that training is received, which includes individualized Performance Improvement Plans.
Full question: It is encouraging to see the Department include a few select policies on the website. Does the City plan to make all of the Department’s policies readily accessible on line? In the spirit of transparency, it would be very helpful to have access to all of them, especially those on search and seizure, use of force (all levels) as well as any policies on youth interactions.
Answer: We are in the process of updating and revising additional policies in preparation for posting on the website. They will be added to what is already available. In order to post all of the Department’s policies, we will need time to do research about the most cost effective way to post them so that they are searchable. Posting all of them would total approximately 1000 pages of documents. In the meantime, the public can request specific policies of interest through a public records request.
All collective bargaining agreements in the State of Ohio can be found on the State Employment Relations Board (SERB) website: https://serb.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/serb/documents-and-decisions/collective-bargaining-agreements
As with the vast majority of records of the Shaker Heights Police Department, records that pertain to complaints, compliments, and concerns can be obtained through a public records request.
By policy, the Critical Incident Review Committee is comprised of the following: the Law Director or designee, an Investigative Unit Supervsor; the Officer-in-Charge at the time of the incident and two citizen members chosen by the Chief of Police. Historically, these meetings have not been public meetings although any and all documents prepared in connection with the meetings, that are not subject to a privilege, may be made available through a public records request.
See previous answer.
Historically, these meetings have not been public meetings. The results of the Committee deliberations are memorialized in memorandum form and provided to the Chief of Police. These can be requested through a public records request.
Commander John Cole is in charge of our Internal Affairs function.
One officer of color has been hired from our last entrance exam, that was conducted in August and September of 2019. He remains with our Department. Click here for the demographics of our department.
We are striving to ensure that our police department reflects the diversity of the community. Click here for our current demographic makeup.
There was a short period of time wherein the City did require new police hires to live in the City. That requirement was dropped a number of years ago for a variety of reasons including being a deterrent to potential new hires who don’t want to move for personal or financial reasons.
We hope that the information we’ve shared about social distancing, hand washing and mask wearing will help Shaker residents feel confident during COVID.
All complaints can be made through a Police Complaint Form which are available at the Police Department window at the Police/Court Complex (3355 Lee Road), which is then forwarded to our Internal Affairs Unit for investigation.
If you would like to join an existing community garden in the City of Shaker Heights, here is a list of gardens (PDF) with contact information.
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 Department of Neighborhood Revitalization at 216-491-1370.
Contact the City 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 216-491-1370 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.
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, 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. A schedule will be posted to this website before flushing begins. Signs will also be posted in your neighborhood. Please drive with caution when Fire Department crews are in the streets flushing hydrants.
If tap water is used during flushing, it may contain sediment and some discoloration. If the water is discolored, simply shut the water off and wait a few minutes. Then run cold water for a few minutes to allow new water to enter your pipes. If the water is still discolored, wait a few more minutes and run the water again. In some cases, discoloration will occur for a few hours. This discoloration only affects the appearance of the water – it does not affect the taste or quality. Avoid washing laundry during scheduled flushing times, as the flushed sediment could discolor white clothing. Wait until the water runs clear at the tap, then wash a load of dark clothes first.
During winter months when the snow and ice piles high, Shaker’s 1,500 fire hydrants often are buried. If you are able, please clear snow from around hydrants and avoid shoveling snow on top of them so that fire crews can quickly gain access during an emergency.
However, if fire hydrants are buried in snow and you are unable to dig them out, don’t worry! The Shaker Heights Fire Department has detailed maps indicating the specific locations of all hydrants. In the event of a fire where a hydrant is not immediately accessible, each truck is equipped with 700 gallons of water, enough to fight a fire for approximately 10 minutes, while crews simultaneously dig out the closest hydrant.
Email Public Works. Please include the address of the house/building nearest the leaking or damaged hydrant. Public Works will report the issue to Cleveland Water, which is responsible for repairing and replacing the City’s fire hydrants.
The Fire Department is in the process of painting the City’s 1,500-plus fire hydrants green. This work is done only during the summer and only when staff are available. Rest assured, all the hydrants will eventually be painted. Please note: New hydrants are installed by Cleveland Water and are orange. These new hydrants must be given time to “settle” before being painted by our staff.
Photoelectric smoke detectors/smoke alarms are required in Shaker Heights. This type of detector/alarm is more reliable (earlier detection) for the kinds of fires that can occur in the City’s homes and buildings. Photoelectric smoke detectors/smoke alarms also have a lower rate of false (nuisance) alarms. You will know it is a photoelectric smoke detector/smoke alarm if you see a [P] inside a square on the packaging (see photo below). We recommend residents use interconnected smoke alarms/CO detectors. That way when one goes off, they all will go off.
At a minimum, there should be one smoke detector/smoke alarm on every level of your home. Smoke detectors/smoke alarms should be installed on the ceiling, which is where heat and smoke go first during a fire.
Place detectors/alarms as follows:
Other location notes:
It’s recommended that you also install a detector/alarm on the ceiling of each bedroom (near the door).
Yes, we highly recommend installing at least one carbon monoxide (CO) detector in your home. Detectors with digital read-outs are preferred, so you can monitor and report CO levels in the event of an alarm. We also recommend interconnected CO detectors or CO/photoelectric smoke alarm combos. That way when one goes off, they all will go off.
The carbon monoxide (CO) detector should be placed in the hallway between bedrooms, so that in the event of a carbon monoxide leak while you’re sleeping, you and your family members will hear the alarm. A second CO detector can be placed in the basement. If you have an attached garage, avoid placing CO detectors near garage entrance.
Yes. The Fire Department offers free installation and safety checks on car and booster seats required by the state, by appointment only. Call 216-491-1215 (Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-5 pm) for details and to make an appointment.
Residents may dispose of fire extinguishers at the Household Hazardous Waste Roundup, held each spring and fall at the Service Center. It’s time to replace an extinguisher when the gauge is no longer in the green zone; very old extinguishers should also be replaced, regardless of whether the gauge is in the green zone.
Smoke detectors can be placed in your regular garbage for disposal. Remove the battery, so they don’t beep. Smoke detectors have a 10-year life span and should be replaced after 10 years.
Please use the City’s public records request form to request a fire report. Be sure to include your first and last name and the date and address where the incident occurred. Select Fire as the department receiving the request.
Please use the public records request form to request an EMS report. Be sure to include your first and last name and the date and address where the incident occurred. Additionally please include the patient(s). Select Fire as the department receiving the request.
IMPORTANT: EMS reports containing medical information will not be released without a completed and signed HIPAA Authorization Form (available at the Fire Station at 17000 Chagrin Blvd.). Please bring a current state identification when presenting your documents in person at the Fire Department. If you are requesting an EMS report containing medical information for an individual other than yourself, you will also be required to submit Power of Attorney documentation.
The Fire Department does provide station tours for small groups. To get more information or to schedule a tour, please call 216-491-1215 (Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-5 pm).
If the tent is more 400 square feet, you will need a tent permit. The Fire Dept will inspect the tent prior to the event for safety. To obtain a permit, call the Fire Dept. at 216-491-1215. The fee is $25.
On January 1, 2018, the City of Shaker Heights closed its Health Department and joined the Cuyahoga County Board of Health (CCBH). The services offered through the County are identical to those formerly offered by the City except for blood pressure screenings.
The decision to close was made because of State of Ohio requirements that all city health departments become accredited by 2020. Achieving accreditation would have required substantial additional resources and reorganization. Please email CAO Jeri Chaikin or call at 216-491-1421 if you have any questions.
Please contact the CCBH at 216-201-2000 to learn how to obtain health services, including those available at the County’s new Eastside clinic at South Pointe Hospital, 20000 Harvard Avenue in Warrensville Heights.
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 Colin Compton, 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 Colin Compton, Neighborhood and Housing Specialist at 216-491-1433.
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 Colin Compton, Neighborhood and Housing Specialist at 216-491-1433.
The City offers a periodic Landlord Training Seminar and access to reduced cost tenant screening (highly recommended). Visit the Landlord Connection or call Colin Compton, Neighborhood and Housing Specialist at 216-491-1433 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 use the Housing Rental License (Certificate of Occupancy) application form because part of the home is tenant occupied.
Instead of filling out the Certificate of Occupancy application, you should fill out the Certificate of Occupancy Exemption Form (PDF) and mail it to:
Housing Inspection Department3450 Lee RoadShaker Heights, OH 44120
The Housing Code requires owners of all rental property to annually obtain a Housing Rental License (PDF) and all owners of two-family dwellings to annually obtain either a Housing Rental License or an Exemption (PDF).
The City offers a periodic Landlord Training Seminar and access to reduced cost tenant screening (highly recommended). Visit the Landlord Connection page to learn more or email Colin Compton, Neighborhood and Housing Specialist, for additional information.
Find the application and instructions on the Housing Rental License page.
New landlords must obtain a Housing Rental License (Certificate of Occupancy) 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.
In the absence of health or safety violations, the standard compliance period is 90 days.
Please contact Keith Williams by email or by calling 216-491-1474. If you and he are unable to resolve the issue over the phone, Mr. Williams can meet you at the site to review the violation. If after meeting Mr. Williams you still disagree, you may file a formal appeal with the Board of Appeals. Refer to your violations notice for the appeals process.
The first step is to talk to your inspector. His or her phone number is on page 1 of your report. If, after discussing it on the phone, you and the inspector would like to meet, please call 216-491-1471 to schedule an advisory appointment.
The City requests that homeowners prioritize health and safety violations and those that negatively impact the appearance of the property. If you are experiencing financial difficulties or other life challenges, please email or call Housing Specialist Colin Compton at 216-491-1333 for assistance.
While the City is sensitive to individual situations and makes every effort to work with property owners to develop reasonable repair plans, violations must be corrected. Property owners who neglect their maintenance responsibilities or allow their properties to become a blight on the neighborhood are subject to both criminal and civil penalties including prosecution and nuisance abatement intervention. Certainly, those are options the City prefers to avoid, so please convey your intentions if repair progress is limited so there is no confusion as to your plans.
The Landmark Commission must review all exterior changes proposed for individual landmarks and properties located in the Winslow Road and Shaker Square local landmark districts. This includes building changes and environmental/landscape changes. Visit the Landmark Commission page for additional information or call 216-491-1436.
Visit the HistoricShaker.com to:
Children are not allowed to play or ride in the street unless it has been barricaded for a block party.
All bicycle operators and passengers over the age of five must wear properly sized ANSI or SNELL approved helmets with fastened chinstraps. (Section 381.07) Bicyclists who ride on the street are required to have a front white-light lamp and rear red lamp. (Section 1173.06)
Residential garage sales should conform with these guidelines from the City’s zoning code:
For additional information, call the Planning Department at 491-1430. Please refer to the Zoning Code for full ordinance requirements.
Such a vehicle may be parked in a driveway for no more than 15 days. Thereafter, any non-functioning vehicle must be stored out of sight in a garage or other enclosed building. See Sections 1151.16, 1151.17, and 1262.15(c) of Codified Ordinances.
Grass over six inches tall is a violation of the Housing Code and is classified as a nuisance. The City may issue a notice once in a growing season to the owner of a property that any violations of the ordinance may result in the City cutting the grass and sending the owner an invoice for the City’s cost, which will be, at minimum, $100. If the invoice is not paid, the amount is placed on the property taxes for that owner. (See Sections 1412.03 and 1411.25, and Chapter 107 of Codified Ordinances.)
Access them at Codified Ordinances.
Many types of noise disturbances are not permitted in Shaker Heights. View the complete ordinance. This includes the operation of any mechanically powered tool, other than a snow blower, between the hours of 9 pm and 7 am, Monday to Friday or before the hour of 9 am on Saturday and Sunday.
Only two types of outdoor swimming pools are permitted in Shaker Heights:
Hot tubs are also permitted in Shaker Heights, either below or above grade. Hot tubs may not exceed eight feet in exterior diameter (and seven feet in interior diameter) or four feet in depth or height as measured from finished grade. Hot tubs that exceed these size requirements are considered swimming pools.
View the ordinance (1262.17) for outdoor swimming pools and hot tubs in Shaker Heights.
Violations of certain City laws (i.e., ordinances) at a residential property, or within 300 feet of the property, may be declared nuisances if they are engaged in by the owner, any occupant, or any guest of the owner or any occupant. If the police find that two or more violations occur within an 18-month period, the owner may be sent a notice declaring the property a “nuisance,” and then after a third violation, the police may send a notice and charge police response costs for the third and any subsequent violation within 18 months. (Chapter 109 of Codified Ordinances)
Note that Domestic violence is not considered a criminal activity nuisance for which the owner may be charged.
Yes, the owner may file an appeal with the Chief of Police for any notice sent under this law within 30 days of the date of the notice. If the Chief determines the facts do not support the declaration of nuisance, the Chief will rescind the notice. If the Chief finds that the facts do support the declaration, the Board of Appeals will hear the appeal. An appeal will not stop the City from taking enforcement action or pursuing criminal prosecution.
On appeal, in order to overturn the nuisance declaration, the owner must show that:
The cost to owners is the hourly rate for each officer responding times 75% times number of hours (plus $20 per hour for the cruiser).
Discrimination in housing unfortunately still occurs – but it tends to be subtle. Reporting an incident like this in a timely manner is critical so that an investigation can begin. Sometimes, our office can engage an organization to conduct testing to determine whether discrimination based on race, or even familial status, occurred. Testing involves the use of trained volunteers to pose as persons interested in renting out that particular unit. If you think you encountered housing discrimination, call the Fair Housing Office.
No! Property owners are required to provide a reasonable accommodation to persons with disabilities, so that they can have an equal opportunity to enjoy their dwelling unit. Sometimes, this may mean doing something different for the person with a disability – such as making an accommodation to a usual rule or procedure You have the right to request a reasonable accommodation from your housing provider. Contact the Fair Housing Office to learn more.
While you are free to place an ad for your second floor vacancy, you must ensure that you follow the fair housing laws when creating your ad. It is a violation of fair housing laws to express a preference for a certain kind of tenant, or to specifically exclude protected classes of persons. For example, stating that only single or married people can apply would exclude families with kids, and that would be a fair housing violation. It’s a good practice when writing a rental ad to focus on the property itself and the amenities, not the kind of tenant you are seeking.
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Recycling in Shaker Heights is easy.
1. Calling Public Works at 216-491-1490 for your free recycling buckets.
2. Follow the current recycling guidelines.
3. Check out our recycling events, like the Household Hazardous Waste Roundup or Computer Roundup.
The City collects yard waste from your tree lawn. View Leaves, Grass & Brush Collection to learn more.
Visit Construction Zone to keep up with current construction to the public infrastructure (roads, utilities, etc.).
We're proud to offer a wide array of amenities to our residents. This includes a 50-meter pool, tennis courts, a basketball court, a skate park, numerous multi-purpose trails, and lots more. Search for the amenity you're seeking with our Facilities module or visit our Parks & Recreation pages to learn more.
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 three ways to sign up for any Recreation program, including camps.
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:
The Recreation Department offers quality care before and after school for children in grades K-6 in the Shaker Schools. Learn more about our School Age Care program. Register online (select Catalog, then School Age Care; call 216-491-1295 or 216-491-1360; or register in person at Thornton Park (3301 Warrensville Center Rd.) or the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Community Building (3450 Lee Rd.).
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.
Yes, financial assistance is available to those who qualify. Assistance is available for programs such as summer camp, learn to swim, etc. Assistance cannot be used for one-on-one or personal programming such as private lessons. Call 216-491-1295 for more information.
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.
During the school year, Fundaze provides all-day childcare when Shaker Schools are not in session. Learn more about Fundaze.
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). Learn more at Summer Camp.
Please call Shaker Recreation at 216-491-1295 for help with summer camp registrations.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Visit our page on Hockey Programs to learn more about playing hockey in Shaker Heights, including the Recreation Department’s partnership with the Shaker Youth Hockey Association.
Visit our page on Ice Skating Programs to learn more about figure skating in Shaker Heights, including the Recreation Department’s partnership with the Shaker Figure Skating Club.
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 after January 3 for the current year.
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, Summer Figure Skating School, School Age Care, 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 as child care, camps, and one-nighters handled on case-by-case basis.
Recreation catalogs are published three times/year and the camp catalog is published once/year. Brochures are mailed, at no charge, to residents of the Shaker City School District.
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.
Make an overnight parking request online or by calling 216-491-1234. If you do not request overnight parking, your vehicle may be ticketed.
For streetlight outages, please use the Report a Streetlight Outage form and we will share the information with the Illuminating Co., which is responsible for our community's streetlights.
For problems with traffic signals and street signs, please use the Report a Problem with a Traffic Signal or Street Sign form.
Call 911 or 216-491-1234 to report suspicious activity.
Please note, the 216-491-1234 is the preferred number to call when using a cell phone, as it will route your call directly to our dispatch center. Calling 911 on a cell phone will first reach Cuyahoga Emergency Communications System (CECOMS).
Call 911 or 216-491-1234 to report a crime.
Please note, the 216-491-1234 is the best number to call when using a cell phone, as it will route your call directly to our dispatch center. Calling 911 on a cell phone will first reach Cuyahoga Emergency Communications System (CECOMS).
Call 216-491-1234 to report a public nuisance.
Call 216-491-1234 to report a traffic incident.
You may pay your traffic violations in person at the Shaker Municipal Court at 3355 Lee Rd. from 8:30 am-4:30 pm, Monday to Friday. Parking and waiverable traffic tickets — i.e. tickets that do not require you to appear in court — may also be paid online. After hours, you may pay parking and waiverable traffic tickets at the Shaker Heights Police Department, also at 3355 Lee Rd. After hours payments are cash only.
Find information on requesting police reports here.
The Shaker Heights Police Department does digital and ink rolled fingerprinting for residents and non-residents. Visit our page on Fingerprinting to get information on fees and making an appointment.
Dogs are required to be on leashes in certain parts of the City, including Horseshoe Lake, Lower Lake, and Southerly parks. Certain other parks and playgrounds may prohibit dogs altogether; signage will designate those parks and playgrounds that prohibit dogs. Outside these parks (and on private property), dogs are required to be on leashes or under the control of their owners at all times so as not to create a nuisance.
The Shaker Heights Police Department does not offer background checks for the general public. However, the Department does offer fingerprinting services. Visit our page on Fingerprinting to get information on fees and making an appointment.
Violations of certain City laws (i.e. ordinances) at a residential or commercial property may be declared nuisances if they are engaged in by (a) the owner, (b) any occupant, or (c) any guest of the owner. If the Police find that two or more violations occur within an 18-month period, the owner may be sent a notice declaring the property a "nuisance," and then after a third violation, the Police may send a notice and charge police response costs for the third and any subsequent violation within 18 months. (The cost to owners is the hourly rate for each officer responding x 75% x number of hours, plus $20 per hour for the cruiser.)
Nuisance activity includes:
Owners may file an appeal with the Chief of Police for any notice sent under this law within 30 days of the date of the notice. If the Chief determines the facts do not support the declaration of nuisance, the Chief will rescind the notice. If the Chief finds that the facts do support the declaration, the Board of Appeals will hear the appeal. An appeal will not stop the City from taking enforcement action or pursuing criminal prosecution. On appeal, in order to overturn the nuisance declaration, the owner must show that:
Call 216-491-1220 for information about towed vehicles.
You must appear in person at the Shaker Heights Police Department at 3355 Lee Rd. with a valid driver’s license and the title for the towed vehicle. After presenting these documents, you will receive a Tow Release Form. You can bring the Tow Release Form to Shaker Auto Hospital 16101 Chagrin Blvd. Upon payment of your fees, your vehicle will be released. Call 216-491-1220 with questions for the Shaker Heights Police Department. Call the Shaker Auto Hospital at 216-921-4455 for information about towing fees, which must be paid in cash.
Visit the Shaker Municipal Court’s website to get phone numbers, hours, and location.
Court fines can be paid in person at the Shaker Municipal Court at 3355 Lee Rd. View the Court’s webpage for hours, directions, and additional information.
Call 216-491-1234 to request a welfare check.
The Department makes every effort to identify owners of found property that has been turned into or recovered by the Department. However, if the owner is not located after 90 days, any unclaimed property is either destroyed or auctioned.
Property must be claimed by the owner with a government issued picture I.D. Property may be claimed by a third party with an original, notarized letter from the owner of the property and a government issued I.D.
Property Release HoursMonday-Thursday8 am-4 pmBy appointment only—call 216-491-1269Excluding holidays
Unclaimed property held by the Shaker Heights Police Department for more than 90 days is either destroyed or auctioned. Auctions are typically held once per year at the Shaker Heights Police Department (3355 Lee Rd.). Auctions are open to the public; there is no set list of auctioned items available. To receive alerts about upcoming police auctions, subscribe to City ENews and/or follow the Department on Facebook.
Call 216-491-1234 to report dog incidents.
All bicycle operators and passengers over five years of age must wear properly sized ANSI or SNELL approved helmets with fastened chinstraps.
A bike license allows the Shaker Heights Police Department to reunite you with your bike, in the event your bike is stolen. Learn how to get a license on the Bike Licenses page.
If your stolen licensed bicycle is recovered, we will contact you using the information you provided when purchasing your license. Unlicensed recovered bicycles are kept at the Shaker Heights Police Department at 3355 Lee Rd. and sold at a year-end property auction if not claimed. Call the 24-hour, non-emergency line, 216-491-1220 for more information.
Dispose of unused, unwanted, or expired prescription drugs at the Drug Drop Box located in the lobby of the Shaker Heights Police Department, 3355 Lee Rd. The lobby is open 24/7. Pills only; no needles or liquids. Properly dispose of liquid medication by mixing it with coffee grounds, cat litter, sawdust or something similar to make it undesirable or unusable. Once the liquid is in an unusable state, place it in the regular trash.
Please contact the Shaker Municipal Court at 216-491-1300.
View our Citizens Police Academy page for detailed information about the program.
Members of the press may contact Commander John Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org or 216-491-1246 with inquiries.
Bonds may be posted at the Shaker Heights Municipal Court at 3355 Lee Rd. during regular business hours. Visit the Court’s website for hours, directions, and more information. When the Court is closed, bonds may be posted in cash only at the Shaker Heights Police Department, also at 3355 Lee Rd.
Call the 24-hour, non-emergency line, 216-491-1220, for questions/information.
Please call Extra Duty Solutions at 206-408-8114 to hire an off-duty Shaker Heights police officer.
The Shaker Heights Police Department is pleased to participate in community events. Please use the Community Service Request form to make your request.
The Shaker Police Department encourages residents to sign up for Vacation Watch, so that the police are aware that you are away and your home is temporarily unoccupied. Providing this type of notice enables the department to better manage resources, while monitoring activities in, and around, the City.
In 2014, City Council enacted legislation to prohibit the use by all drivers, except in certain limited circumstances, of hand-held (including lap-held) electronic communications devices, including cell phone use for phone calls and texting. View the ordinance.
The Shaker Heights Police Department responds to more than 2,000 alarms annually. Unfortunately, about 50 percent of these are false alarms. This diverts resources away from more important police matters in our community.
The City's codified ordinances require home and business owners to pay fines for excessive false alarms. Specifically, two false alarms are allowed within a two-year period. A third false alarm during this period will result in a $50 fine; each additional false alarm will result in a $100 fine. There is an appeals process.
Remember any contractor performing work that requires a permit, exterior painting, landscaping, or hot work activity is required to be registered with the City. The list of currently registered contractors can be accessed here.
In general, you'll want to understand the City's building requirements before starting your construction project. Please view the Home & Property Improvements guide to get started.
The minimum maintenance standards for commercial and residential properties are outlined in the Codified Ordinances of the City of Shaker Heights and can be found below:
The Shaker Heights Landmark Commission maintains a list of specialty contractors (PDF) with experience in repairing original building materials. The Cleveland Restoration Society is another wonderful resource for information about original materials for your older home. Talk to your neighbors and get references! Visit the Landmark Commission page for additional resources.
All residential work that requires a building permit must be inspected for compliance with the Residential Code of Ohio. Likewise, all commercial buildings must comply with the Ohio Buidling Code. View a complete list of applicable codes.
The Historic Building Cards database includes information gathered from over 10,000 index cards formerly housed in the Building department. The original cards were created for each new building in Shaker Heights and typically include information such as the date the home was built, the names of the home's architect, builder, original owner, and the estimated cost to build the home. To find your home's information, visit Shaker Building Card Index. The City only retains residential plans for a period of three years. However, local history archives at the Shaker Library may have plans for your home.
The national safety standard recommendation is that chimneys, fireplaces and vents should be checked annually. If unused for some time, or if you have just moved into a new house, then they should be checked first. Use a certified chimney sweep who brushes from the top down (not just from the inside). A certified sweep will also put a camera or a mirror down the chimney first to check the condition of the flue liners.
Please use our online form to submit a property complaint. While we would prefer to have your name and phone number so we can contact you with any questions, we will take and investigate anonymous complaints.
In any home built before 1978, lead paint may be present. Lead can be in paint or in the water as a result of leaching from older pipes.
Any construction work that creates a noise disturbance in a residential area is not permitted during the following times:
Monday–Friday, 7 pm to 7 am
Saturday and Sunday, 5 pm to 9 am
Under certain circumstances, a variance to work outside of the permitted hours may be granted on a case-by-case basis. To request a variance, please email or call Shaker Heights Police Commander Mike Rowe at 216-491-1245. Include dates and hours for the work, equipment used, location, and a justification for your request.
The City does not regulate paint colors. However, Shaker Village Colors (PDF), a publication describing historic home colors, is available for download at no charge. This book describes the architectural styles prevalent in Shaker Heights and provides appropriate paint schemes for each. You may purchase a printed copy of the book in the Planning Department office for $6.50.
Abrasive cleaning methods (sandblasting) are not safe for historic masonry. Chemical cleaners are another option for cleaning your historic masonry. Do not use in cold weather (same hazards as water cleaning). Test first: Chemicals can stain, etch, or burn the surface. Always rinse thoroughly and test the surface for a neutral pH.
Use on non-acid sensitive masonry, such as:
Use on acid-sensitive masonry, such as:
Paint removal is most successful with alkaline, organic solvent, or other chemical paint removers.
Please see the pre-approved shingle colors (PDF) for general shingle color guidelines. Please call 491-1430 for complete information.
Use binoculars to see what's going on in the fall, before the freeze/thaw cycles; in the spring, see what the freeze/thaw did to your roof, checking for loose, cracked or missing slates.
It is also important to look in the attic for evidence of leaks, and to make sure gutters and downspouts are in good working order. If there is a leak, it is often the metal flashing at the seams, valleys and ridges of the roof is the real culprit. Slates usually outlive their flashing. Even copper flashing, the best in the business, typically lasts only 60 years (a spry and youthful age for most types of slate). Often, slate and wood shingle roofs are removed because of problems with flashings.
Sindelar, who coordinated a City-sponsored workshop on slate and shake shingles in 2001, cautions that before replacing a slate roof with something else, "You have to look at the economics of it." Because building codes prohibit putting new roofing material over a slate roof, the existing slates must be removed before their replacement may be laid down. That cost should be factored in.
According to the National Park Service, if over 20% of the slates on a roof or roof slope are broken, cracked, missing or sliding out of position, it is usually less expensive to replace the roof than to execute individual repairs. This is especially true of older roofs nearing the end of their serviceable lives, because even the most experienced slater will likely damage additional slates while attempting repairs.
The slates reaching the end of their serviceable lives are flaking and crumbling. At that point layers of mud that make up the slate are separating.
Slate is one of the three original, acceptable roofing materials for new homes constructed by the Van Sweringen company. The City urges owners of homes with slate roofs to maintain them and consider carefully before replacing them with any other material.
Slate roofs can last 200 years or longer, depending on the type of slate used, the configuration of the roof and the geographical location of the property, according to a bulletin published by the Technical Preservation Services arm of the National Park Service. By contrast, the average life span of an asphalt roof is about 30 years.
Two additional factors help determine a slate roof's life span: how the roof was installed and how well it has been maintained. In Ohio, well-maintained slate roofs on farmhouses and barns often date to the late 1700's.
Wood windows are the soundest option. They are structurally strong, weather well against the elements (many Shaker Heights homes still have their original windows, which are averaging 80 years old), and they allow flexibility with exterior and interior color schemes. Wood windows are also available with aluminium cladding on the exterior to increase weather resistance and lower maintenance.
The installation of vinyl windows can have a significant visual impact on a house. The color selections are limited and the frames of the windows are wider, as vinyl is not as strong as wood. The wide frames make the new windows look very heavy and can create an unbalanced proportion to the appearance of the house. Shop around. Window replacements, regardless of material, can be an expensive project. Paying a little more up front for quality materials, flexibility in color and increased details will ultimately add value to your home.
Vinyl windows are not permitted in local landmark properties or districts.
Not necessarily. Often only the defective parts of a window may actually need repair or replacement. Consult with contractors who specialize in older window repair before replacing the entire unit. Repair of existing windows is often far less expensive than replacement.
The Shaker Heights Landmark Commission maintains a list of specialty contractors (PDF) with experience in repairing original building materials such as wood windows.
Before undertaking any project, look at your house critically. Notice the fine details of craftsmanship and compare the new product against what is currently installed on your home. How drastic is the proposed change? There are a large number of window manufacturers that fabricate new wood windows that replicate those fine profiles found on older windows.
Another important thing to do is determine the architectural style of your house. Most Shaker houses fall into one of three broad architectural styles: English, French and Colonial. Traditionally, the windows are the same color as the trim on the house. Shaker Village Colors (PDF) describes these styles of architecture (along with other common styles) and shows the appropriate color schemes for these styles of houses.
No. The City requires contractors to meet certain insurance, bond, and Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board requirements based on the type of contractor registration.
Property owners are responsible for maintaining the public sidewalk adjacent to their property. The Public Works Department manages the City’s sidewalk repair program. Please view the Sidewalks page for detailed information.
Certain repairs require permits; others do not. Start by viewing our list of projects that do NOT require building permits. If your project is not on this list, then visit Building Permits to get started with your permit applications.
Many residents receive solicitations from utility companies offering utility line protection, a type of insurance policy that’s also called a “home protection program” and a “utility line warranty.” This additional protection covers the cost of repairs to utility lines that run to or inside a home. Insurance and warranty plans are offered by all major utility companies, including FirstEnergy (Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co.), Dominion Gas, Cleveland Division of Water, and IGS Energy, as well as other providers.
In many cases, homeowners almost never need to replace or repair their utility lines. However, when a water line, sewer line or electrical line does break, it can cost thousands of dollars to repair.
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 (PDF).
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.
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 (everything up to 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 Health 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 p.m. on the streets around school buildings when school is in session.
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.
Clearing snow from more than 100 miles of streets is the priority for the City's crews. Once the streets are clear, sidewalks will be plowed by the City when snow reaches at least six inches and crews are available.
City sidewalk plowing is conducted in the following order:
The schools are responsible for snow removal on their own sidewalks. With any snowfall, the Public Works snow crews work to keep sidewalk arteries adjacent to school sidewalks clear, as well.
The low traffic volume overnight minimizes the effectiveness of salt and can worsen conditions. Instead of salting during those hours, crews plow to provide passable roadways and salt only intersections, curves, bridges and hills.
No. The use of powered snow removal equipment is a specific exception to the law prohibiting domestic power tool use late at night and in the early morning hours. There is no time restriction for the use of such equipment.
There are three ways to report a missed trash and/or recycling pick-up:
Contact the Public Works Dept. within 24 hours of your regular pick-up day to request collection the next day. Reporting a trash/recycling miss more than 24 hours after your regular day results in pick-up the following week.
2. Follow the current recycling guidelines.
3. Check out our annual recycling events, like the Household Hazardous Waste Roundup or Computer Roundup.
Email Public Works or call 216-491-1490 to request free green recycling buckets. Remember: Do not bag recyclables—leave them loose in recycling buckets.
Until recently, most plastics recycled in the United States were sent to China. But as of January 2018, China began enforcing its "National Sword" policy, which bans 24 types of solid waste, including mixed plastics and mixed papers. It also sets a much tougher standard for contamination levels for the materials China does still accept. This has left communities across the United States in a bind, as the market for certain recyclables has been constricted considerably. Unfortunately, that's meant more plastics - including some that were once recyclable - must go in the trash.It's also meant that recycling facilities - including those that process recyclables from Cuyahoga County - are cracking down on contamination. Communities throughout the County, including Shaker Heights, must lower contamination levels or risk fines and/or their recyclables being sent to the landfill.This article helps explain the current crisis.
A number inside a recycling symbol does not mean an item should be tossed into your recycling bucket. The numbers on plastic containers are resin codes used by the plastics industry to identify the type of plastic used to make the container. Unfortunately, given the current problems in the recycling market not all plastics with the 1 through 7 symbol are recyclable at this time. As of August 2018, residents should only recycle plastic bottles and jugs. If it has an opening or a neck that's more narrow than the body, it can be placed in recycling.
In some cases, yes. For example, area stores - including Giant Eagle, Whole Foods, and Target - accept plastic bags and plastic film for recycling. View our community recycling events for opportunities to recycle computer equipment and shredded paper. TerraCycle is another way to recycle many items not allowed in your in-home recycling container.
Check the "What do I do with ... " database at CuyahogaRecycles.org for up-to-date information on where materials can be recycled.
Visit Cuyahoga Recycles for detailed information about how to recycle in our County, including here in Shaker Heights. We also recommend following the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram for ongoing advice and information about recycling in our region.
The Service Center (Recycling Center) is located at 15600 Chagrin Blvd.
Saturdays & Sundays, 8 am-4 pm
Please note: Residents may bring recyclables to the Service Center on both Saturdays and Sundays. Large item drop off is Saturdays only.
Brush refers to tree branches and cuttings from large shrubs. Please visit Leaves, Grass & Brush Collection for information on preparing brush for pick up by our crews.
Most likely because your yard waste bag was contaminated with a non-organic item. The City will not collect yard waste bags contaminated with non-organic materials. Crews will place stickers reading "Unable to Pick Up" on contaminated bags. Residents may remove the contamination and place the bag out for delivery the following week. View a video about what belongs in yard-waste bags (and what doesn't). Visit Leaves, Grass & Brush Collection for more information.
Crews will also not collect yard waste bags that exceed the 40 pound weight limit.
Yes. In December 2019, Shaker Heights City Council approved legislation authorizing new local sewer fees to be phased in over four years starting in 2020.
The new fixed fee will appear starting with the water bill you receive in June for usage in May 2020. This fee will be phased in over four years through 2023. The monthly fixed fee will increase by $2.50 each year.
No. This is the first time Shaker Heights will have a fixed sewer fee. Other communities such as University Heights, Twinsburg, Bay Village and South Euclid utilize fixed fees. (View a chart comparing fixed fees of other communities).
The current local usage rate (per thousand cubic feet of water used or MCF) is $10.50/MCF. Starting with the water bill you receive in June for usage in May 2020, the local usage (MCF) rate will increase by 50 cents each year through 2023.
In Shaker Heights, the last local MCF rate increase was in 2001, when the fee was raised to $10.50 per MCF where it remained until June 2020.
It is the unit of measurement (1000 cubic feet of water) for water usage. Your local MCF fee is calculated based on the local MCF rate and the number of MCFs used in your household.
Yes, it is variable. The number of MCFs consumed in each household will vary from month to month depending on water consumption. The less water you use, the less you pay.
Yes. These fees apply to each water account for all properties in the City, both residential and commercial.
After 4 years when fully implemented, the fixed fee will generate approximately $1 million per year and the variable local MCF fee will generate approximately an additional $200,000 per year (subject to change due to usage).
Our sewers were built to last 50 years but are now approaching 100 years old. The sewer infrastructure needs an aggressive maintenance and rehabilitation plan that requires more funding than is currently available in the City’s budget and through the current local MCF fee.
The fees will generate a funding stream for long term planning and continued aggressive maintenance of existing sewers and capital costs related to infrastructure such as new laterals and connections from the sewer main to private property, sewer linings and replacements. This will ensure that the sewer system remains viable for at least another 50 years.
The City’s sewer maintenance, repairs and replacement costs have been funded through (1) a Sewer Fund which is funded by fees generated solely from the current local MCF rate (which has not changed since 2001), and (2) an additional approximately $2.7M subsidy from the City’s general operating funds. However, the Sewer Fund has not been able to adequately cover rising operating and capital costs.
The fees will allow budget funds currently being used for sewer projects to be used instead for much-needed capital projects and other initiatives that will enable the City to achieve goals set forth by Council and the community.
In addition, prior to the new fees going into effect, the amount allocated for sewer repair and maintenance has been tied to the annual budget process so funds gets appropriated yearly and can change depending on other budget demands. This has made it difficult to plan ahead and leverage outside dollars for sewer projects. The new fees will result in a stable funding stream thus enabling the City to fully leverage grants and other funding sources.
The City has spent $10.54 million in capital improvements since the 2014 storm when we implemented a Sewer Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program following this 50-year flood. These expenditures have been funded by the current local MCF fee and subsidies from the City’s general operating fund. An additional $5.5 million has been spent on maintenance.
Shaker’s sewer rates are among the lowest in Cuyahoga County.
Both Cleveland Water and the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District offer assistance programs for eligible customers.
To determine your discount consumption charges per MCF under this program, review the chart in the link below. Note: Shaker is the 2nd and 3rd high rate areas (determined by your address; Shaker is divided roughly at Warrensville Center Road---2nd high to the west and 3rd high to the east). Learn more and apply.
The City has its own Natural Gas Aggregation program for residents and small businesses of the City. Learn more about the program.
As the rate is not consistently fixed, 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.
The City is a member of the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) for its electric aggregation program. NOPEC is a not-for-profit made up of more than 220 Ohio communities (including Shaker Heights) that buys electric in bulk from NextEra Energy Services Ohio, LLC (NESO). Residents in NOPEC communities are automatically enrolled, but may opt out at any time. NOPEC customers have several choices, including a fixed-rate option and 100 percent renewable option.
Customers may switch to another supplier by canceling their NOPEC/NextEra contract at no cost. For more information and to compare rates visit the NOPEC website or the PUCO's Apples to Apples Comparison website.