What is a Pre-Application Meeting?
A pre-application meeting is an optional service provided by the Department of City Planning to advise prospective applicants on the applicable zoning and planning approval processes before an application is submitted. This initial discussion helps prospective applicants understand these processes. This is particularly helpful for those not familiar with the Zoning Code and related review processes.
The meeting is not required, but highly recommended for anyone considering a project that will require Zoning Review with Planning Commission or a project that will require a complex Site Plan Review.
Common topics discussed at these meetings are:
- Zoning district and requirements for the project
- Development review approval process
- Applicable public hearings and notices
- Design review process
- Development Activities Meeting(s)
- Local community groups
The purpose of these meetings is to discuss the processes under the jurisdiction of the Department of City Planning. Questions about building codes or other non-planning aspects will not be discussed.
What is the fee for the meeting?
As of January 1, 2019, there is a $50 fee for each pre-application meeting. This fee is due at the time of the meeting by check or money order payable to “Treasurer, City of Pittsburgh.”
Who can schedule a meeting?
Anyone with a proposed project in the City of Pittsburgh, such as new construction, renovation, master plan, high wall sign, or demolition can request a pre-application meeting. Prospective applicants with smaller, simpler projects which require Basic Zoning Review may find it faster to resolve questions at the Zoning Counter, but are still welcome to request a pre-application meeting.
Who Will be There?
City Planning staff relevant to the project may include the Zoning Administrator, zoning staff, design staff, and the neighborhood planner. For projects in the Uptown Public Realm District, representatives from the Green Building Alliance will attend. The applicant is welcome to bring anyone involved in the project such as the property owner, architect, developer, or other parties.
What materials should prospective applicants bring to the meeting?
The prospective applicant must bring a map of the development and surrounding parcels and be able to discuss the proposed use(s). The more information brought to the meeting, even in draft form, the more details staff can provide on relevant processes.
Helpful items to bring include:
- Site plan or survey
- Photos of site and context
- Landscape plan
- Building elevations
- Perspective renderings
- Date of Development Activities Meeting
How are meetings scheduled?
Prospective applicants wishing to schedule a pre-application meeting should email a completed Pre-application Request Form to firstname.lastname@example.org. After the form has been submitted, the requestor will be contacted to set up a meeting. The requestor will also be advised if zoning staff determine the questions may be answered more efficiently without a meeting.
Meetings are held at the Department of City Planning, 200 Ross Street, Pittsburgh. The specific meeting location will be determined once the meeting is scheduled. Please note that meetings may occur four or more weeks after the request has been reviewed.
What are the next steps after the meeting?
The prospective applicant will be advised at the meeting what the next steps will be as this will vary by project type.
Please contact other agencies such as the Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections, the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, the Department of Public Works, and Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Department to find out about their approval processes for a project.
For more information
For questions contact the Zoning Division at email@example.com or 412-255-2241.