Infill Housing

Infill home on Ludgate Rd.

An infill house built by Knez Homes on Ludgate Rd. in Shaker Heights.

Infill housing in a term used to describe new housing that is built in existing neighborhood, including here in Shaker Heights. Infill housing is used to attract new development and residents to neighborhoods to fill in vacant home sites and modernize the City’s housing stock. Learn more about the City's infill housing program below.


The City is proactively preserving its high-quality historic housing while simultaneously keeping pace with changing market demands for a broader range of housing choices for all ages and stages of life. The City’s 2015 Housing and Neighborhood Plan seeks to attract and retain new residents, increase demand for homes in the City, increase property values, diversify the City’s housing stock, and create community and stability in our neighborhoods. Updated in 2022, the Plan prioritizes the expansion of infill housing development to accomplish these objectives as well as to stabilize neighborhoods that were hardest hit by the 2008 housing crisis.

Application Process

Developers and owner-occupants apply to the City to purchase vacant residential lots owned by the City.. These applications are reviewed by City Staff. After thorough vetting, if merited, the application is then reviewed by the Neighborhood and Economic Development Committee, the Finance Committee, and City Council.  City Council must approve a development agreement allowing the sale of the land for purposes of constructing the proposed new house(s). As part of this process, City Staff notify nearby residents to let them know the upcoming dates of these meetings and to solicit feedback, comments, and questions from neighbors about the proposal. All feedback received from neighbors is presented to the committees and City Council.

If the project is approved by City Council, the project must then be approved by the City’s Architectural Board of Review and the City Planning Commission, and must comply with the Ohio Residential Building Code before construction begins.

Active Infill Development

The City provides interactive tools where you can learn more about properties available for development as infill housing or about the status of properties currently under development as infill housing. These are: 

  • City-Owned Vacant Lots (Currently available development sites):
  • Infill Development Steps (Projects actively under development):

Projects actively under development are assigned a status to reflect where they are in the process:

1. Application Received

A developer or owner-occupant has submitted an application and has submitted preliminary sketches City staff reviews the application.

2. Council/Committee Review Process

City staff have reviewed the application and intend to request formal action from City Council to approve an agreement between the Developer and the City. Before Committees and City Council review the application, City staff send a notification of Committee and City Council meeting dates to neighbors within 5 houses in either direction, across the street, or behind the proposed project. City Council takes public comment at public meetings.

3. Under Contract; On Hold

Properties are assigned this status if City Council has approved the application but the applicant does not plan to begin construction in the current year.

4. Design Review

Properties are assigned this status while they are under review by the City’s Architectural Board of Review and City Planning Commission. City staff send a mail notification to surrounding property owners when a proposal is reviewed by the City Planning Commission. City staff will hold community meetings for blocks that have more than two infill homes proposed at the same time before the City Planning Commission holds a public hearing on the project. Notifications on public meetings regarding infill projects will be included in the Neighborhood ENews, when possible. Please find more information on the ENews here.

5. Construction Imminent

Properties are assigned this status when the applicant has received all City approvals, have been issued building permits, and the contractors have registered with the City. City Staff send out a final neighbor notification before construction begins to the same group of neighbors that received the notification in step two. This notification includes information on when the Developer anticipates construction starting, how long the Developer anticipates construction to take, and City staff contact information for questions or concerns.

6. Under Construction

Properties are assigned this status when they have begun construction. City staff will regularly visit the property to inspect the property against the Residential Code of Ohio and the City’s Zoning requirements.

7. Sold to an Owner-Occupant

Properties are assigned this status when they have been purchased and/or occupied by an owner-occupant. Properties must be purchased by an owner-occupant to be eligible for a tax abatement.

Questions? View our FAQs in the right-hand column of this page (or below if you're on a mobile device) or contact Brendan Zak, Neighborhood Development Specialist.