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How to Approach Design Guidelines

Design guidelines can be a helpful tool to ensure infill homes are compatible with their surrounding neighborhoods. However, for many communities, design-related issues can act as a significant barrier to infill homes being built in the first place. In fact, through engagement of First Suburb communities and local development professionals in Cuyahoga County, the design review process and design requirements were identified as top challenges to building single-family infill homes. It was found that most First Suburbs in Cuyahoga County require infill development to go before an architectural review board; however, many communities did not have design guidelines in place or provided minimal design guidance. To address these issues, local partners produced a Design Guidelines Guidebook to provide First Suburb communities with strategies for how to approach developing and administering design guidelines. In this session representatives of the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission will discuss more about what design guidelines are, the actions communities can take to help inform them, the topics and features that can be included, and the different approaches to administering them. This guidebook was largely shaped by local examples, including Berea, Ohio. In this session you will hear about Berea's experience and the impact of design guidelines on single-family infill locally. Overall, you will leave this session with a better understanding of design guidelines and how you can tackle design guidelines in your community.


Laura Mendez Ortiz

Paul Triolo

Matthew J. Madzy, Esq.

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