The City Planning Commission, established in 1915 (as the "City Plan Commission"), is a body of seven members. Six are appointed by the Mayor and one is a member of City Council.
The Commission is supported by a staff of professional planners and architects.
The City Charter gives the Commission responsibility for preparing plans to guide "development and improvement" of the City and its neighborhoods, and for reviewing all legislation and other matters that concern the "use or development of land.”
Zoning regulations control the use of land and the development of buildings. The City Planning office prepares changes to the Zoning Code and the Zoning Map and advises the Board of Zoning Appeals on the granting of Zoning Variances. Individuals seeking a change in the Zoning Map work with the City Planning staff who, in turn, work with the local City Council member to adopt the necessary legislation. This process takes about 2 to 4 months and involves at least two public meetings, with notices sent to nearby property owners.
Individuals seeking a Zoning Variance work with staff of the Board of Zoning Appeals as well as staff of the Building and Housing Department and City Planning office. This process takes about 4-6 weeks and includes a public meeting with notices mailed to nearby property owners. There is a fee of $25-$150 for a Variance depending on the type of case.
Certain development projects are subject to “design review” before the City can issue a Building Permit. Design review ensures that new development and exterior alterations will complement and enhance the character of surrounding neighborhoods and districts. Typically, a local Design Review Advisory Committee that reports to the City Planning Commission will see projects subject to design review. The Design Review Applicant’s Guide explains the design review process in detail.
The City Planning Commission works in partnership with the Landmarks Commission, which ensures the preservation of historically and architecturally significant buildings and districts in the City of Cleveland. The Commission does this by designating landmarks and reviewing new development and property alterations in designated areas. The Landmarks Commission is advised by a network of local advisory committees. The Commission’s office is located in Room 516 on the 5th floor of City Hall. The Commission meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month at 9 a.m. in City Hall, Room 514.
The City Planning staff prepares plans for neighborhoods and districts throughout the City of Cleveland. In most instances, the City Planning staff participates in preparing plans as part of a team that may include a community organization and a consultant.
These plans make recommendations that are used to guide development decisions, prioritize capital improvements, and address issues to improve the quality of life for residents and to promote economic development. Completed plans can be adopted by the City Planning Commission and then used to guide future decisions of the Commission and the City government.
The City Planning Commission provides maps and data in electronic form and on paper. Most of the mapping and data items are available on the City Planning web site (through the links shown above). The Interactive GIS Map is the easiest to use and offers the broadest range of information, including property characteristics, zoning, land use, aerial photos, ward boundaries, neighborhood boundaries, etc. US Census information available on the City Planning web site provides data for each of the City’s 36 neighborhood areas and for City Council wards.
The staff of the City Planning Commission assists individuals seeking to develop, improve or re-use properties in Cleveland. Staff members can provide information on zoning, design review, property characteristics, neighborhood plans, demographics, maps, and various development approval processes.
Dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Clevelanders and creating economic vitality throughout the city and its region. The Commission and its staff pursue these goals by promoting the highest standards for development and revitalization in all of Cleveland's neighborhoods and employment centers.