Zoning FAQ's

What are the Hours of Operation?

  • The Zoning Counter is open to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on weekdays, except City holidays. 
  • We recommend arriving earlier than 2 p.m. to file a new application.

Do Building Permits Require Zoning Approval?

  • All building permits, which are issued by the Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections, require zoning approval, including those for interior renovations. 
  • However, only some will require a plot plan (change of use, new parking, fences, additions, etc.). 
  • Please consult a zoning specialist. 

Can I Come in to Look at Someone's Plan or a Specific File?

  • Yes.  Once an application has been filed, it is public record. 
  • Viewing public records is free, but copies are $0.50 per page. 
  • The Zoning Counter accepts check or money order only, payable to “Treasurer, City of Pittsburgh.”

How Can I Find Out if there is an Occupancy Permit for a Property?

  • We suggest that you contact the File Room in the Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections at 412-255-2175. They have on file all the occupancy permits that have ever been issued for a property.

Can a Single-Family Home be Turned into a Two-Family Home if the Zoning is R2? 

  • Not necessarily.  The district may allow a two-family dwelling but certain code requirements must be met, including side yard setbacks, lot area, and parking requirements. 
  • Please consult a zoning specialist.

How do I Change the Zoning of a Parcel?

  • Please consult the Zoning Administrator. 
  • Make sure your intention is to change the zoning of a property rather than simply wanting to change the use of the property. If, so please set up a pre-application meeting.  

When is a Zoning Certificate Required? 

  • A zoning certificate is required whenever there is a real estate closing on a property or when the property is being refinanced.
    • It is a document intended for the benefit of a buyer or lender to let them know how the property is zoned, if there is an occupancy permit on file, if the property is in a historic district, and if there are any building code violations on file. 
    • It can be obtained for $100.00, check or money order made payable to "Treasurer, City of Pittsburgh", by mailing in the zoning certificate form.

How Can I Resolve a Dispute About a Property Line? 

  • Property line issues are not handled by the City.  You should contact a magistrate or an attorney.

Do I Need Special Approval to Run My Business Out of My Home? 

  • The Zoning Code refers to this as a home occupation. 
  • A home occupation can be approved at the Zoning Counter if it meets certain criteria listed in the zoning code.

Who Do I Contact About Consolidation and Subdivision of Property?

  • Please call the office of the Zoning Administrator at 412-255-2241.

Can I Obtain a Copy of the Zoning Code?

  • The zoning code is available on the Municode website.

How Can I Inquire About City-Owned Property?

  • Call the Real Estate Division in the Finance Department at 412-255-2300.

Whom Do I Contact Regarding Flood Plain Information?

  • Contact Josh Lippert, Environmental Planner, at joshua.lippert@pittsburghpa.gov or 412-255-2516.

How Can I Obtain a Handicapped Parking Space on the Street, Have Yellow Lines Painted, etc?

  • Contact the Traffic Division in the Department of Public Works at 412-255-2872.

Whom Do I Contact About Burglar Alarms?

  • Call: 412-255-2260.

Whom Do I Contact About Fire Alarms?

  • Call: 412-255-2181.