What is Vacation?
A Street Vacation refers to the process where an individual (who owns property adjacent to the right-of-way) can petition the City Council and Mayor to acquire public right-of-way for private use. A right-of-way is generally only vacated when it is not in use for transportation or utility provision purposes.
How to Obtain a Vacation for a City Dedicated Right of Way:
Prepare a letter of request that clearly states that you are requesting a vacation at the identified location and why you are requesting said vacation addressed to:
Director of the Department of Mobility & Infrastructure
301 City-County Building
414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
- Attach drawings and/or plans relevant to the area.
- Prepare an undated check for $150.00 made payable to the “Treasurer, City of Pittsburgh”.
- Prepare a notarized petition signed by the applicant and the abutting property owner(s).
- Applicant submits letter, drawings/plans, check, and notarized and signed petition to DOMI Permit Counter at 611 Second Avenue and fills out Vacation Application.
- DOMI then distributes memo to various City Departments and agencies asking if there is any objection to the vacation such as Department of Mobility & Infrastructure (DOMI), Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA), Pennsylvania American Water Company, Other utility providers(as necessary), Department of City Planning, Law Department, Finance Department.
- A field inspection is completed by DOMI personnel.
- When the review and verification process is complete, legislation is submitted to City Council for approval.
- Final approval is obtained from the Mayor’s Office.
- The entire review process takes an average of three (3) months.”
General Information for Street Vacations
- If the requested street vacation has utility easements as part of the vacation, no building of structures will be allowed over the easement area.
- All vacated street areas are subject to the existing zoning requirements for the area in which they are located.
- When a street is vacated, half the reversionary rights go to the adjacent property owners on each side of the street.
- Most street vacations of unimproved or unopened streets have no additional cost other than the processing fee.
- The adjacent owners essentially own half of the street if it has never been opened after 21 years and are also responsible for half of the maintenance.
- The street vacation legislation essentially validates this ownership and allows for official map changes by the County.
- If a street vacation request is limited to one parcel or lot, it may be determined that it is feasible to vacate a larger portion of the street. The requester would then be responsible to have the adjacent property owners sign the petition to support the larger vacation.
- When legislation is passed supporting the street vacation, DOMI sends a copy of said legislation to the Allegheny County Board of Assessment. The area of the vacated street will then be assigned an assessed value for tax purposes.