Welcome to the Submittable page for City of Akron, Office of Integrated Development (OID). OID uses this page to collect applications for various programs. Only active applications will appear for submission. 

Guidelines

Please read the guidelines and requirements in full.

The City of Akron has created a free Temporary Summer Patio program to help food serving establishments maintain social distancing of their customers.  Non-food serving establishments are also welcome to apply to provide open space. 

While the City will not be closing streets for this permit, businesses are welcome to utilize sidewalks, alleyways, public parking lots, or street parking spaces for their temporary patio. The proposed location MUST be adjacent to the property.

Applicants must still comply with the following State and Federal Requirements. 

  

Note: In order to comply with social distancing requirements, tables will need to be spaced greater than 6 feet apart to allow for at least 6 feet of distance between guests while seated.

Timeline

Application Period: May 3, 2021 - Oct 29,  2021

Application Review: Rolling Review period.  Estimated wait period 1 week after submission. Turn around times may be delayed as Public Health officials are working COVID-19 Vaccination sites in addition to regular duties. 

Permits Expire: November 30, 2021 at 11:59pm


Site Plan Requirements

Clearly specify in the site plan what area is existing patio space (if any) and the proposed temporary expansion. 

  • Location and dimensions of the patio
  • Location of all entrance/ exits to patio and establishment
  • May not obstruct emergency exits or fire standpipes
  • Include Fencing clearances in the site plan (if applicable)
  • All clearance measurements inside the patio space are taken from when patrons are seated.
  • Allow for at least 6 feet of distance between guests while seated.
  • Note the location and distance to all right‐of‐way objects (e.g. street lights, street trees, mail boxes, catch basins, curb)
  • Show all tables and chairs as to how they will be arranged with in the patio space
  • Show location of ADA accessible seating; five percent( 5%) or a minimum of one (1) table
  • All seating may not consist of “high” or “bar stool” height tables and chairs.
  • Show location of all other equipment that will be located with in the patio space

Fence Requirements

Fencing is only required by the state if you intend to serve alcohol in your temporary patio. The state has made adjustments to fencing requirements for the temporary portion of your patio. 

 Temporary or removable items may be used to define the expanded premises.  These may include planters, snow fencing, etc.  The goal is to limit ingress and egress (people leaving or entering with alcohol) but still remain compliant with any fire code requirements that may exist.  If the expanded area will be streets or alleys that are shared by multiple permit holders, the Division will require some sort of identifier be used by each permit holder to identify its tables (certain table cloths, temporary signage by the tables, etc.).


Awning Requirements

  • Permanent structures must meet Ohio Building Code requirements (Obtain separate permit from Summit County Department of Building Standards 330‐630‐7280)
  • Cannot over hang past the patio area
  • Enclosures, side flaps, or temporary/permanent banners are not allowed

Insurance Requirements

The applicant must submit a copy of their insurance policy naming City of Akron as insured for $1,000,000.00 

Email notifications

Please take a moment to whitelist the domain @email.submittable.com to ensure you get our email correspondences. If you are not sure how to do that, here is a helpful link.

GREAT STREETS AKRON MATCHING FAÇADE GRANT PROGRAM GUIDELINES

NOTE: These federal funds REQUIRE historic coordination for buildings over 50 years and for buildings in a historic district (Aster Ave, Kenmore Blvd).  If funds are approved, businesses with historic designation MUST work with architect specializing in historic renovation AND accept their recommendations.

Notes about Federal Funds

· This program is funded with Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). As such, the program is subject to federal regulation and review by federal.

· Please note: businesses are qualified at the federal level based on household earnings of the census block in which they are located. Businesses in the Wallhaven and Ellet districts do not qualify for the Matching Façade Grant.

Program Eligibility and Application

· Owners of business property in specified Great Streets areas are eligible to apply for financial assistance under this program. Preference is given to established businesses. All applicants must be pre-qualified by the City to receive assistance according to Federal guidelines.  Applications will be ranked based on pre-determined criteria provided on page 16 of this packet. It is not guaranteed that all applicants will receive assistance.

· Property owners must be current on taxes OR have been making faithful payments for six months prior to applying. Property owners must continue to make faithful payments and/or stay current on taxes until the project is completed.

· Project eligibility must be confirmed by the Office of Integrated Development. Application forms may be obtained online at www.greatstreetsakron.com, or from the Office of Integrated Development Staff at (330) 375-2355.

· A DUNS number (Dun & Bradstreet) is required for use of federal funds. The application takes only a few minutes to fill out, and you should be assigned a DUNS number within 30 days, or as soon as 48 hours. Go online to www.dnb.com to apply. If awarded a grant, you MUST submit a DUNS number BEFORE your contract can proceed.

· After receipt of an application and confirmation of a possible grant award, a representative of the Office of Integrated Development will contact the applicant. The representative will meet with eligible applicants to review their property, offer recommendations for building and site improvements, and assist the applicant through the review process.

Matching Grants for Façade and Site Improvements

· Matching grants from the City are available only for exterior improvements and/or site improvements. Eligible items include façade renovation, brick and masonry cleaning, installation of new doors and windows, signage improvements, outdoor lighting, outdoor security cameras, roofing, paving and landscaping of on-site parking areas and architectural fees. HVAC and building additions do not generally qualify for assistance.

· Proposed improvements will be reviewed for compliance with building and zoning code standards, including hard surfacing and landscape screening of parking areas.

· Grants must be matched dollar-for-dollar by private funds. Applicants must provide proof of financial means for their share of project funding to the City prior to the start of construction. Architectural fees may be used as part of private matching share.

· Grant funds will be disbursed only AFTER the City has verified the completion of work, and final paid invoices have been submitted. Please note these are REIMBURSEMENT grant funds for completed work.

· Project improvement costs are eligible for payment only if completed AFTER approval by the Office of Integrated Development and subject to the dates specified within the signed contract between the City and the recipient.

· Maximum grant is $30,000.

· Grants are awarded by building, rather than address or parcel. This means a strip mall/plaza would be eligible for one grant; an owner with multiple separate structures on the same parcel would be able to apply for each structure.

· Since these façade improvement grants are public funds, participants will be expected to get at least three bids for their project. This allows for some assurance that the project pricing is competitive and that there is an opportunity to support local businesses.

· As stated above, two or more official construction bids are encouraged before the application goes to final approval. For this purpose, preliminary construction estimates from a licensed contractor are strongly encouraged with your application. This puts the scope of the project in context to the applicant and speeds up the final approval phase. It is highly recommended that an applicant begin collecting construction bids once they receive a preliminary approval letter.

· The selected contractor(s) are required to maintain a business license with Summit County, as well as, insurance coverage in the type and amounts deemed necessary by the City. Additionally, selected contractors must comply with Federal requirements and restrictions related to fair labor standards, equal opportunity employment, conflict of interest and certain environmental protection issues.

· ALL contractors must be registered in the SAM’s.

· All required permits for renovation activities will be verified for each project and must be submitted with invoices. If permits are not obtained prior to renovation activities, invoices will not be paid. For information on required permits, please contact the Summit County Building Department at 330-630-7280.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Applications released – Rolling

Applications due – Rolling

Preliminary Approval Letters – As awarded

Site Visits – As scheduled

Application Review: Varies (See Below)

Application Review Process:

· After site visits, buildings 50yrs or older OR buildings residing in a historic districts (Kenmore Blvd, Aster Ave), applications will be sent for review by an architect specializing in historic renovation. Projects in historic districts must be approved by historic architect.

· Once final construction bids and proof of matching funds are received, application is then sent to committee for final review. We cannot move forward with processing your application if finalized bids are not submitted.

· The duration of this process varies. The more complete your application is when submitted, the more expedited the process (ie. Including a detailed scope of the project, all supplementary documentation, all construction bids, and visual architectural renderings (highly encouraged).

· Once approved by the review committee, a contract will be prepared and sent for signature. None of the work outlined in your application should begin before you have signed a contract.  This is to your benefit, as receipts submitted outside the timeline of the contract may be delayed or denied.

· A DUNS number (Dun & Bradstreet) MUST be submitted before your contract can proceed.

· Grant awardees must submit a copy of their certificate of insurance, with the city of Akron added on as an additional insured, including additional insured endorsement for commercial general liability.

· Upon receipt of your signed contract, you will be notified that your contractors may secure permits and begin work.

Payment upon receipt of invoices: The City makes payment upon receipt of invoices and successful completion of work. You may submit invoices as work is completed; you do not have to wait until the entire project is complete. Ten percent is withheld on each payment until the overall project is completely finished. Checks are usually issued 2-4 weeks after invoices are received if a contract is in place.

PROJECT SUGGESTIONS AND OTHER NOTES

Our committee often encounters business owners who want to do something but they aren’t quite sure what to do. Here are some best practices, things we like to see, and comments we typically make when reviewing applications. If you are still uncertain about what you would like to do, please contact Mark Greer at mark.greer@akronohio.gov, 330-375-2355.

· Improved lighting to all sides of the building and parking lots (lighting side streets and side/back alleys serve to improve safety and increase walkability)

· Install awnings over doors and windows

· Install outdoor security cameras

· Install outdoor patio seating

· Adding green space/planters.

· Invest in signage (see signage guidelines for more details.)

· Mural installation on exposed wall

· Installing large storefront windows/opening closed off windows

· Landscaping improvements

· Power washing building façade

· Creating landscaping in large parking lots/landscaping edge to parking lot

· Beautifying the rear and sides of the building especially where there is access to alleys and parking lots.

Other things to note:

· Coordinating with neighbors on shared parking, landscaping, signage, awnings, lighting, etc., helps create a cohesive look and feel to the neighborhood and can reduce costs if choosing the same company/contractor.

· Parking lot repairs, roof repairs, and other general maintenance work should typically not be the ONLY improvements done. Projects with these repairs should also include an improvement to the façade of the business (see above list for suggestions).

Visit the resources section of our website Greatstreetsakron.com for additional resources, design guide and reference documents.

What is Akron's Residential CRA Tax Abatement Program?

  • The abatement allows owners to pay taxes solely on the pre-improvement assessed value of their residential property for 15 years after improvements are completed. Property owners will not be required to pay property taxes on any increase in value that resulted from renovation or new construction on the property for a period of 15 years.
  • The abatement stays with the property for the 15-year duration of the abatement. If it is sold during the 15-year period of the abatement, the new owner continues to receive the abatement. 
  • At the end of the 15 years of abatement the property will be taxed at its total post-improvement assessed value. 

What types of improvements qualify? 

Major Improvements that MAY qualify homeowner for tax abatement. 

  • Building a new porch
  • Remodel a basement/attic into living space
  • New additions to an existing structure
  • Install a sunroom
  • New construction
  • Gut and renovate a home or apartment building
  • Build or enlarge a garage
  • Install indoor fireplace
  • Install new additional bathroom

Are there any restrictions? 

  • Appropriate building permits must be issues to qualify for the tax abatement. Certificates of Occupancy or final inspections signed PRIOR TO APRIL 24, 2017 WILL NOT qualify for the property abatement.
  • The property must be located in the City of Akron and identified on the Summit County Fiscal Office Auditor property card as being located within the City of Akron.
  • Property Taxes and assessments cannot be delinquent.
  • The property must be appropriately maintained or the tax exemption may be revoked.
  • Only residential structures are eligible of the abatement. For mixed-use structures, only the residential portion will be eligible.
  • Property must meet City of Akron zoning requirements.
  • A minimum of $5,000 investment in renovation or construction is required to apply.
  • Per Ohio Revised Code Section 3735.67, if the housing structure qualifies as a historic structure, the appropriateness of the remodeling must be certified, in writing, by an authorized person or organization prior to issuance of the abatement. 

What are the steps in the process?

Step 1 - The developer or owner must pull a building permit with the Summit County Building Department located at 1030 E, Tallmadge Ave. #3, Akron, OH 44310

Step 2 - Upon pulling a permit, provide a copy of the permit and complete the City of Akron Community Reinvestment Tax Abatement - Residential Application. The application can be summited online or mail to:        

                   City of Akron Tax Abatement

                   Department of Planning and Urban Development

                   Long Range Planning

                   166 S. High Street, Room 401

                   Akron, OH 44308

Step 3 - The City of Akron Department of Planning and Urban Development reviews the applications for completeness. If the Application and supporting documentation meet the requirements, the application will be processed for tax abatement. The application will be forwarded to the County Auditor's Office.

Step 4 - The Summit County Auditor will conduct a field inspection and verify the new construction/rehabilitation. Value (if appropriate) will be added to the property. Tax adjustments will be made accordingly. 

The tax abatement program does NOT guarantee abatement for county periodic reassessments. The abatement is only for the increase in assessed property tax value triggered by the current remodeling or new construction improvements.


For more information about the City of Akron's Community Reinvestment Area Tax Abatement Program or download a copy of the application visit our website: 

 https://www.akronohio.gov/cms/ResidentialTaxAbatement/



Congratulations on completing the Space award and identifying a great home for your business.

Rubber City Match has two additional awards to assist you in moving your business forward.

Level 3 – Design. Design awards are for businesses that have secured a space but need help planning for renovations. Awardees must own the space or have a signed lease or letter of intent for the space. As an awardee, you will receive design assistance and financial planning assistance.


Level 4 – Cash. Cash awards are for business owners who know the full cost of their projects and have 10% of the cost ready to invest, but require financial assistance to get open. Awardees will receive the opportunity for loan assistance by having our lending partners review their application. Awardees may then receive grants to fill any financial gap not covered by the loan for their project. In order to compete for cash, applicants must have located in a move-in ready space or have all their design documents and construction bids completed if their project requires a renovation.





City of Akron