Zoning FAQ's

What are the Hours of Operation?

  • The Zoning Counter is open to the public weekdays 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM, excluding City holidays. 
  • We recommend arriving earlier than 2 PM 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.). See Survey Requirements for details.

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 at the Zoning Counter is free, but copies are $0.50 per page. 
  • The Zoning Counter accepts check or money order, payable to “Treasurer, City of Pittsburgh,” or credit card with a $0.25 fee plus 2% service charge.

How Can I Find Out if there is a Certificate of Occupancy for a Property?

  • All Certificates of Occupancy can be searched online here.

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

  • Not necessarily.  Even when the district allows a two-family dwelling, all applicable code requirements must be met in order for that use to be approved for a specific location. These requirements include side yard setbacks, lot area, and parking requirements. 
  • Please consult zoning staff.

How do I Change the Zoning District for a Parcel?

  • If the intent is to change the zoning district a property is in, please request a pre-application meeting
  • Make sure the intention is to change the zoning district of a property rather than simply wanting to change the use of the property. If the intent is to change the use of the property, please consult zoning staff for the appropriate process.  

When is a Property Certification Required? 

  • A property certification is required whenever there is a real estate closing on a property due to a sale or refinance. (Note: this is the same thing that used to be called the zoning certificate.)
    • It is a document intended for the benefit of a buyer or lender to let them know the zoning district of the property, the legality of use, if there is an occupancy permit on file, if the property is in a local historic district, and if there are any active 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 property certification form. Please be sure to follow the directions on the form completely to ensure an efficient response.

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 typically be approved through Basic Zoning Review. The Zoning Code criteria for review of a home occupation is listed in 912.05.

Who Do I Contact About Consolidation or Subdivision of Property?

Can I Obtain a Copy of the Zoning Code?

  • The Zoning Code is available on the Municode website. Select Title Nine for the Zoning Code.

How Can I Inquire About City-Owned Property?

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

Where Can I Learn about Floodplain Regulations?

How Can I Obtain a Handicapped Parking Space on the Street with Painted Yellow Lines?

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