Planning and Development | The City of Lakewood, Ohio

Planning and Development

Lakewood Businesses: click here for information about resources for businesses affected by Coronavirus/COVID-19.

It’s About Planning and Development

Lakewood is a robust place to do business, with over 1,900 employers and a labor force of 33,000 people.  The top occupation categories include (1) educational services, healthcare and social assistance, (2) sales and office occupations, and (3) service occupations.  Lakewood has seen over $65 million invested on Detroit and Madison Avenues from 2007-2012, with one third of the investment being in the downtown core and over 25 businesses participating.

The city of Lakewood’s Department of Planning and Development coordinates long-range planning, zoning, and economic development for the city, in addition to administering the federal Community Development Block Grant Funds awarded to Lakewood by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The department works directly with the Lakewood Planning Commission, the Board of Zoning Appeals, the Board of Building Standards/Architectural Board of Review and Sign Review Board, the Lakewood Heritage Advisory Board, and the Citizens Advisory Committee.


  • Commercial Development+-

    Click here for information about Commercial Development in Lakewood

  • Community Vision+-

    The Lakewood Community Vision is an expression of where we stand as a community and where we hope to be in the future. To see the Vision, click here.

  • Lakewood Small Business Grant Program+-

    The Lakewood Small Business Grant Program (SBPG) offers local business owners and entrepreneurs seeking to locate in/relocate to the City a 100% forgivable loan up to 15% of total start-up or expansion project costs. Funding is scaled to fill the gap between total project costs and the sum of 75%+ SBA-financing and the business owner’s required 10% equity contribution.


    • Minimum 10% owner equity contribution
    • Minimum 75%+ SBA loan financing
    • SBA Small Business Development Center (SBDC) consultation
    • New Job creation & reporting

    Loan Terms

    • Forgiven over 3-5 years
    • 0% interest
    • No payments

    Eligible Uses

    • Leasehold improvements
    • Real estate acquisition
    • New construction
    • Exterior building improvements
    • Signage
    • Selected equipment

    *other uses considered on a case-by-case basis

    Application Evaluation Criteria

    • # full-time equivalent jobs created
    • Return on investment (e.g. annual payroll * 1.5% municipal income tax rate)
    • Repayment period (# years to repay grant via payroll taxes)
    • Owner/entrepreneur’s experience & track record
    • Neighborhood/commercial district & overall economic impact

    Get started by completing the SBPG Intake Form!

    For additional information contact  Dan Wyman @ 216.529.7680 /



  • Proposed Development at Wingstar and Educators Music properties+-

    Click here to see presentation that was given at the meeting with neighbors on November 27, 2018 about the proposed development at the Wingstar and Educators Music properties.

    The presentation covers the proposed plans as well as the process the project is required to go through.

    2019 UPDATE: The project was scaled back from the original proposal presented in 2018.  Rather than going through Planned Development rezoning for the property, the project is now proposed utilizing the existing zoning. The revised plans presented to Architectural Board of Review are available here.

  • Madison on the Move+-

    Madison on the Move is the collective name for a number of ongoing projects along Madison Avenue. The city has invested millions of dollars to transform the city’s second-busiest commercial district, with investments ranging from a complete resurfacing project to a focused storefront renovation program.


  • StartUp Lakewood+-

    Help Lakewood’s community of soon-to-be entrepreneurs turn their ideas into business realities. Startup Lakewood Initiative is a program approved by the City of Lakewood, which is geared toward making Lakewood a more appealing place for entrepreneurs to build and grow ideas into legitimate businesses.

    To get more information, or to find out how to get involved, email

  • Boards/commissions+-

    • The Board of Building Standards reviews applications for variances to the city’s Building Code.
    • The Architectural Board of Review considers architectural proposal for commercial and residential properties.
    • The Sign Review Board reviews all sign proposals, including those that require a variance.
    • The Planning Commission reviews requests for lot consolidations, lot splits, major and minor subdivisions, determination of similar and conditional use.
    • The seven-member Loan Approval Board reviews and approves applications for the various rehabilitation programs offered by the City of Lakewood’s Division of Community Development (DCD).
    • The Board of Zoning Appeals reviews applications for variances to the zoning code.
    • The Lakewood Heritage Advisory Board has been established to serve in an advisory capacity for the purpose of educating, informing, and making recommendations to City Officials, Departments, Boards and Commissions, and the community on matters relating to historic preservation.

    For more information about any of the boards or commissions, or to request past agendas or related materials, call the planning department at 216-529-6630.

  • Reports and Studies+-