Registered Community Organizations

What is an RCO?

A Registered Community Organization (RCO) is a designation that gives formal status to community organizations that register with the City of Pittsburgh and provides benefits to those organizations.

What are the benefits of becoming a RCO?

The benefits of becoming a RCO include:

  • Notification of public hearings
  • Guaranteed meeting with developer / applicant prior to public hearing
  • Adoption of Neighborhood Plan is a possibility
  • Placement on Official Maps, Brochures, and Directories

How does a group become a RCO?

The requirements to become a RCO include:

  • 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation in good standing with the state of Pennsylvania, or affiliation with a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation in good standing with the state of Pennsylvania via a Memorandum of Understanding
  • Adopted bylaws
  • Adopted a Conflict of Interest Policy
  • Adopted a statement of purpose or mission
  • An identified geographic boundary, identified either by approved bylaws or passed by another action of the organization
  • Open elections and term limits
  • A written communication strategy which includes the following provisions:
    • The methods the community organizations uses to reach out to community
    • The reasons they use those methods, including data to support these reasons
    • Strategy to inform residents and businesses about the community organization's communication strategy and where the community can access this information
    • Strategy to provide outreach to the community of upcoming meetings
  • Regular meetings, not less than twice per calendar year, which are open to all members of the public
  • Adopted a Policy Against Discrimination
  • A website which provides the following information:
    • Advance notification of meetings
    • Meeting Agendas, Decisions, and Minutes

Registration for RCO status occurs every January of each year.  Each RCO must renew their registration with the Department of City Planning every two years.  Registration is free.

What is the timeframe for this project?

City Planning staff are currently working with community groups, internal city staff, and elected officials to craft legislation and create the Planning Manual.  Staff anticipates legislation will be underway in the summer of 2017 with the first registration occurring in January 2018.