Bainbridge township

protection from unrestricted development

Zoning Department

The objective of Bainbridge Township zoning is to protect the area from unrestricted development. The township created a Zoning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals in 1949. Each group has five members who serve a five-year, staggered term basis. Members are appointed by the Board of Trustees. Linda Zimmerman is the secretary for both boards.

The Zoning Commission creates zoning regulations and makes recommendations on amendments for zoning changes that are directed to trustees for a final decision. The township has zoning for residential, convenience business, light industrial, mixed use (PUD), active public park, passive public park, and professional office uses.

The Board of Zoning Appeals considers requests from residents seeking “area” and/or “use” variances from current regulations. The BZA also grants conditional permits as provided for in the zoning regulations. The Zoning Inspector can instruct residents on whether changes to their property will require review by the BZA.

The township’s zoning department is staffed by Zoning Inspector Steven Averill, Zoning and Planning Coordinator and Assistant Zoning Inspector David Dietrich, and Administrative Assistant Linda Zimmerman.

how to reach us

Get in Touch

17826 Chillicothe Road, Chagrin Falls, Ohio 44023

Phone: (440) 543-9871
Email: smaverill@bainbridgetwp.com

Hours:  8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Monday through Friday
Evening Hours: 4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. on the 4th Monday and 3rd Thursday of each month.

Appointments are recommended.

meet the

Zoning Staff

Zoning Inspector
Steve Averill
Planning and Zoning Coordinator and Assistant Zoning Inspector
Dave Dietrich
Zoning Secretary
Linda Zimmerman

Board of Zoning Appeals members


The Board of Zoning Appeals meets the third Thursday of each month at 7:00 P.M.

Emeil Soryal – 12/31/2025

Michael Lamanna, Chair – 12/31/2026

Ted DeWater – 12/31/2027

Joseph Gutoskey – 12/31/2028

Todd Lewis, Vice Chair – 12/31/2024

Brent Barr, Alternate – 12/31/2024

Devon Gamble, Alternate – 12/31/2025

zoning commission members


The Zoning Commission meets the last Tuesday of each month at 7:00 P.M.

Lorrie Sass Benza– 12/31/2025

Marlene Walkush, Chair – 12/31/2026

Stephanie Puzzo, Vice Chair – 12/31/2027

Kristina Alaei – 12/31/2028

John Lateulere – 12/31/2024

Laura Weber, Alternate – 12/31/2024

Jill Adams, Alternate – 12/31/2025

important documents

Zoning Information

frequently asked questions

Zoning Certificates

What projects require a zoning certificate?

If new construction or property improvements are in your future, here are the requirements to obtain a zoning certificate (permit).  Permits are required to be applied for and received prior to any construction, erection, enlargement, addition, or alteration of a building or structure as well as a change in use in any zoning district.  Zoning permits are not required when replacing shingles on a roof, windows, doors, siding, interior remodeling, electrical or plumbing work.    Your Homeowner’s or Condominium Association may have specific rules on what types of structures are allowed in your subdivision or development.  Please contact your association before applying for a zoning permit.  There still may be a county requirement for a building permit (440-279-1780).   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 the contact information of the business owner.

Do I need a zoning certificate to move or erect 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 may be permitted with a zoning certificate.  Contact the Zoning Department regarding temporary signs.

Are signs permitted in the road right of way or on utility poles?

Signs are not permitted 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 subject to approval by the Zoning Inspector.

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?

Steven Averill, the Bainbridge Township Zoning Inspector, may be contacted at the Bainbridge Town Hall at 440-543-9871 or by e-mail at smaverill@bainbridgetwp.com.