The Time is Right

An icon of the industrial age, Cleveland is pivoting to its new future: a green city on a blue lake. This direction has been set by the Mayor Frank G. Jackson Administration with the directive to leave no neighborhood behind. New buildings and new residents are rejuvenating long dormant portions of the city at an ever quickening pace. The rebuilding of these neighborhoods with modern housing, retail, office and industrial spaces have laid bare the need for new development policies and tools that support 21st century development trends. One of the development tools will be the strategic implementation of a new zoning code that fosters sustainable development patterns and addresses the challenges Cleveland faces in the 21st century.  

A New Era

For more than 80 years, the Cleveland zoning code has served the city and its residents well. The zoning code responded to the challenges of its time by protecting and separating residential areas from the ill effects of neighboring factories, managing the reality of a populace in love with the automobile and providing for greenspace in a rapidly developing city. The city has moved on from some of these issues, some remain relevant and some challenges are entirely new.  Through noble attempts to respond to changing patterns of development since its adoption in 1929, the zoning code has become layered and cumbersome to navigate. In many ways, the zoning code is at odds with the vision of what Cleveland will be in the 21st century. 

A New Approach to Zoning

 In response to the mixed signals being sent by the current zoning code, the Cleveland City Planning Commission has endeavored to realign its zoning regulations with this new vision. The goal is an entirely new zoning code that embodies the Mayor’s mantra of Health, Sustainability and Equity – this new approach to zoning is called Form-Based Code The Cleveland Form-Based Code will be piloted in a few geographies to start – the City Planning Commission has identified sections of the Detroit Shoreway and Cudell neighborhoods as the first areas for implementation of this tool. 

Project GOALs



REDUCE Approval Time

Project Team

City Planning Commission Core Team
Freddy Collier, City Planning Director
Kyle Reisz, FBC Project Manager
Maurice Ruelens, City Planner
Kim Scott, City Planner
Marka Fields, City Planner
Adam Davenport, City Planner
Matt Moss, City Planner
Sharonda Whatley, City Planner
Shannan Leonard, City Planner

Consultant Team
Code Studio – Austin, TX
YARD & Company – Cincinnati, OH
Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates – Cleveland, OH

Project Timeline