Frequently Asked Questions

What projects require a zoning certificate?
Any project that results in additional lot coverage requires a zoning certificate including but not limited to sheds, driveway expansions, fences and patios and decks – covered and uncovered. Additionally interior alterations that result in construction changes require a zoning certificate. Examples of projects that do not require a zoning certificate include window and roof replacements that do not change the size or height of the structure or cosmetic projects such as painting, replacement of flooring, and electrical and plumbing work. Note that even if a zoning certificate is not required from the township, there still may be a county requirement for a building permit (440-279-1780). Please call if there is any question regarding the need for a zoning certificate.
Do new businesses need a zoning certificate?
Businesses moving into or relocating within Bainbridge Township need to apply for a commercial use zoning certificate. It is in the permitting process that it is determined that the proposed use is permitted at a given location and the new business is registered with the township with contact information and of the business owner.
Do I need a zoning certificate to move or put up a sign?
Ground, wall, marquee and window signs require zoning certificates. When an old sign is moved to a new location on the property or structure a zoning certificate is required. Changing the text of a changeable copy sign does not require a zoning certificate.
Are temporary signs permitted?
Temporary signs are permitted with a zoning certificate under very specific circumstances in the residential zoning districts. Contact the zoning department regarding temporary signs.
Are signs permitted in the road right of way or on utility poles?
Signs are not permitted on in the road right of way or on utility poles.
Do zoning certificates require a fee?
Yes – see the fee schedule.
May I run a business from my home?
Some businesses are permitted in residential homes under very specific and limited circumstances. A home business requires a Home Occupation zoning certificate. Anyone needing further information on the permitting process may contact the zoning department at Bainbridge Town Hall (440-543-9871).
Where can I get a zoning certificate application?
The applications for zoning certificates are available at Bainbridge Town Hall located at 17826 Chillicothe Road behind the Fire Department. Applications are also available at the Bainbridge Township website under zoning forms and fees.
Do I need to provide all of the information requested on the application? What documentation is needed?
All information on the application needs to be provided to be considered a complete application.
There needs to be an authorization paper trail to demonstrate that the applicant has standing to submit the application.
In most cases the property deed is the best record to use since the deed documents both the legal description and the property owner.
In the case where the applicant is a third party such as a contractor, the property owner needs to supply along with the deed, a signed document giving the third party authorization to submit the zoning application.
Projects with more than 300 sq’ of soil disturbance require a sediment control plan approved by Geauga Soil and Water (440-834-1122).
The zoning map is on the Bainbridge Township website for use in determining the property’s zoning district.
The property’s parcel number may be obtained at the Geauga County Auditor’s website –
Building plans and a site plan with setback dimensions are required for construction projects and ground signs.
How do I contact the zoning inspector?
Karen Endres, the Bainbridge Township Zoning Inspector, may be contacted at the Bainbridge Town Hall at 440-543-9871 or by e-mail at