Zoning and Development Review Division
Zoning Counter Frequently Asked Questions

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) 255-2195. They have on file all the occupancy permits that have ever been issued for a property.  Click here for more information about obtaining an occupancy permit.

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.  Click here for more information about pre-application meetings. 

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. The Zoning Board of Adjustment is no longer mandatory.

Who Do I Contact About Consolidation and Subdivision of Property?

Please call the office of the Zoning Administrator at (412) 255-2241.  Click here for more information about consolidation and subdivision of property.

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 Susan Tymoczko, Senior Planner, at (412) 255-4897.

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.

City of Pittsburgh | Department of City Planning
200 Ross Street, Fourth Floor | Pittsburgh, PA 15219 | 412-255-2200 | Contact

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