The Planning Department is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Mentor Zoning Code.  The purpose of the code is to protect the public health, safety, convenience, comfort, prosperity, and general welfare of the city by regulating the use of buildings and land.   The Planning Department is often the first step in “planning” your development projects and obtaining proper permits. Some of the varied responsibilities of the planning staff include:

Process applications for:

  • Planning Commission
  • Board of Building & Zoning Appeals

Review of the following items for compliance with the Mentor Zoning Code:

  • site development plans and subdivisions for residential, commercial and industrial projects
  • residential building permit applications for accessory structures such as patios, decks, swimming pools, sheds, and detached garages
  • sheds, fences, signs, driveway permits
  • re-occupancy applications for new businesses within an existing tenant space

The Mentor Planning and Zoning Code is accessible through the link below.  Select Part Eleven – Planning and Zoning Code.

Site Plan Review Process

Site development plans are required for all new construction, reconstruction, or the expansion of structures within all zoning districts, except for single-family dwelling or duplex dwelling units in residential zones.  Site development plans shall also be submitted for proposed changes to previously-approved development plans.  Such plans must be prepared by professionally qualified persons; including certified architects, engineers, surveyors.  Mentor’s review procedures require a preliminary site plan review and final site plan review by the Mentor Planning Commission.  More information is available in the Guide to the Mentor Municipal Planning Commission Plan Review Process document below.

Design Guidelines

The Design Guidelines for Commercial and Industrial Corridors provides recommendations for architectural design, parking, lighting, landscaping and signage for any new or updated development proposals and redevelopment projects within the commercial and industrial districts.  The guidelines are utilized by the Planning Commission and planning staff during the plan review process. Follow the link below to download the complete set of Mentor Design Guidelines.

The Municipal Planning Commission reviews all new or improved development plans for multi-family, commercial, or industrial projects, proposed residential subdivisions, conditional use permits and any proposed rezoning of land.

The Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) hears and determines proposed variations or exceptions to the city zoning or building codes, assuring the proposed variances remain in harmony with the intent of city ordinances and will not adversely affect the public health, safety, morals and general welfare.

Meeting schedules, agendas, and minutes, can be found on the Boards & Commissions page.

Permits are required for construction, reconstruction and expansion. Examples of such projects would include decks, pools, siding, sheds, porches, enclosures, etc.

Visit the Permit page for additional information and download links.

The City of Mentor Comprehensive Plan is a major planning effort to guide the community toward what it will be like in the future as a place to live, work, and invest. It is developed through an open process driven by four broad-reaching questions:

The Comprehensive Plan identifies a vision, and broadly addresses the needed elements that build a community including transportation, housing, open space and natural resources, sense of place, government services, the impacts of new developments and more.

PDF versions of the most commonly requested maps are available for download.

Contact the Planning Staff

To contact any member of the staff by phone, please call
(440) 974-5740 or email us at

Kathy Mitchell
Planning Director 

Larry Rastatter, AICP

John McFarland
Planner / Landscape Architect

Kaela Ciancibello

Jen Potoczak
Administrative Assistant II

Jaclyn Garrett
Office Assistant II