Cuyahoga Heights Building Department
Norm Casini | Building Commissioner
Ken LaBella | Assistant Commissioner
Mr. Casini currently serves as the Village of Cuyahoga Heights’ Building Commissioner and has held the job since 2000. He is a registered engineer and architect. Mr. Casini is also certified as a CBO and plan examiner.
On March 16, 2015, Ken LaBella began working as Assistant Building Commissioner.
Building Department hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.
Building Department Update
Building Department Forms
Maintaining an Attractive and Desirable Community
One of the keys to keeping Cuyahoga Heights a great place to live and work is ensuring that each of our homes and yards are properly maintained. A clean, well-maintained community does much more than just makes our Village a pleasant place to live. Neighborhoods where homeowners perform routine, basic maintenance on their structures and yards consistently enjoy substantially higher property values. In most cases, the Village has enforceable codes that mandate certain maintenance related responsibilities. Adherence to these codes, along with some good common sense, will make certain that our Village remain a desirable place to live and work. As a neighbor and resident, I hope you will join the rest of our community in taking an active role in helping keep the Village of Cuyahoga Heights a great place to live! Here are just a few things to keep in mind.
Exterior of Houses and General Maintenance
Every structure or accessory structure, including fences, shall be maintained in good repair and be free of conditions reflective of deterioration or inadequate maintenance. For example: siding materials must be maintained and in good repair without holes, loose or rotting materials, or peeling paint. Roof shingles must be in good repair, not worn or missing.
Garbage, Junk, Debris, Trash, Litter and Similar Items
These items shall not be allowed to accumulate on any property.
Motor Vehicle Storage and Repair
Motor vehicles parked outdoors must be in operable condition and have a current license and registration.
Please be advised that residents are required by law to maintain their lawns. Grass and weeds shall be maintained, controlled and cut with an orderly and neat appearance. Grass length shall not exceed six (6) inches. In addition, all trees, shrubs or plants shall be trimmed; dead, decayed or broken portions thereof shall be removed. Residents that do not comply are in violation of the Codified Ordinances of the Village of Cuyahoga Heights, Chapter 1490.11 of the Exterior Property Maintenance Code. Village Ordinances can be found on our web site at under the “Legal Department.”
Heritage Home Program – 2014 Update
In addition to rehab and technical assistance, The Heritage Home Program now offers a home purchase program. To learn more about this new initiative, please visit the Purchase Program page on their website. Here is a brief overview and some of the details:
- Find available house at least 50 years old
- Work with the Cleveland Restoration Society (CRS) to determine wanted/needed repairs and improvements
- Obtain contractor quotes with the help of CRS
- Apply to First Federal Lakewood for both a home purchase loan and a Heritage Home Program SM rehab loan
- First Federal Lakewood will lend to qualified buyers up to 90% of the appraised after-rehab value
Heritage Home Program
The Heritage Home Program is available to owners of Cuyahoga Heights homes that are 50 years and older. Specialists working for the Program answer home maintenance and rehab questions and provide an impartial opinion – one that doesn’t include trying to sell a product or service. This advice is absolutely FREE. This component of the Heritage Home Program is what sets it apart from other programs of its kind. Now any homeowner wishing to do work on their older home can have the help and answers they need in order to get the project done properly. We urge you to take advantage of the following FREE services:
- Site visits to the property to answer home repair, improvement and maintenance questions
- Advice about increasing energy efficiency
- Contractor Resources
- Evaluation of contractor bids and estimates
Qualified homeowners also have the option of obtaining a low-interest, fixed-rate Heritage Home Program loan, with rates as low as 1.4% for up to 10 years! There are no maximum income restrictions. The owner just needs to have good credit and sufficient equity in the home to support the loan. There are no points involved with the Heritage Home Program loan and the interest is tax deductible! Here is the link to the program: www.heritagehomeprogram.org.
For the protection of our residents, our Village code requires that all contractors, both large and small, be registered with the Village prior to starting any job. The Building Department requires the following information when a contractor is registering to work in the Village:
- Certificate of Insurance indicating evidence of insurance for bodily injury in the amount of $1,000,000 for each occurrence, subject to an aggregate limit of $1,000,000 and for property damage in the amount of $100,000 for each occurrence, subject to an aggregate limit of $100,000. The Village of Cuyahoga Heights must be named certificate holder.
- Proof of Workers’ Compensation insurance.
- A check in the amount of $100 payable to the Village of Cuyahoga Heights.
- A self-addressed, stamped envelope for return of the registration.
Contractors who register as Electrical, HVAC, Hydronics, Plumbing,Refrigeration, and Sprinkler contractors must submit a copy of their current State License. The contractor must be registered with the local tax agency, R.I.T.A.
The Village of Cuyahoga Heights is a Certified Residential and Commercial Building Department. A one-percent (1%) State Assessment Fee will be applied to residential permits, and a three-percent (3%) State Assessment Fee to commercial permits. Contractors performing work on residential property must conform to the new Residential Code of Ohio.
Building Department News
The Village Council passed eleven ordinances that effected various areas of the Village’s building code. Law Director Jon Greenberg and Building Commissioner Norm Casini reviewed the building codes and made recommendations to the Planning Commission and Zoning Board. The Board reviewed and forwarded their recommendations to the Village Council. The following changes were made:
- Amending Section 1440.03 of the Codified Ordinances enhancing the purpose and application of our Building and Housing Code.
- Amending Section 1442.15 of the Codified Ordinances by changing the amount of permit fees and adding general work permit fees.
- Increasing the Building Standards Assessment fund from $500.00 to $1000.00
- Amending Section 1444.03 of the Codified Ordinances defining the intervals of site inspection by the Village Building Commissioner and Village engineer of all buildings being constructed in the Village.
- Amending Section 1448.02 of the Codified Ordinances individually listing the type of contractors that must register with the Building Department.
- Amending Section 1464.04 of the Codified Ordinances requiring property owners, prior to constructing a fence within two feet or less from the lot property lines, the owner of the lot shall have the lot surveyed by a registered surveyor and submitted along with a drawing of the fence to the Building Commissioner for approval.
- Enacting a new chapter 1486 that regulates the mandating of protective barriers and safety devises for all swimming pools in the Village.
- Two ordinances amending Sections 1490.11, 1026.02, 1026.03 and 1260.04 and creating a new section 1026.05 pertaining to the installation and location of driveways.
- Enacting new sections 1490.14 and 1490.15 of the Codified Ordinances allowing the Building Commissioner to make biannual exteriors inspections of all building within the Village and a right of entry to perform any duty imposed upon the Commissioner.
- Enacting a new chapter 1492 the regulates residential dwellings within the Village. This chapter establishes minimum standards necessary to make all dwelling structures safe and inhabitable to avoid a blighting or deteriorating influence on our community.
- An ordinance amending Chapter 1494 of the Codified Ordinance pertaining to Rental Properties. The Village Council passed on September 10, 2008 a comprehensive rental property ordinance that encompasses compliance, rental certificates, inspections, and right of entry.