Inclusionary Zoning Interim Planning Overlay District (IPOD-6)

The public hearing was held on:

Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at 2 p.m.
Civic Building, First Floor Hearing Room 
200 Ross Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 (Downtown)


Guidelines for Testifying at City Planning Commission 
Testimony presented by individuals will be limited to three (3) minutes per person. Prepared comments or reports in printed from may be presented to the commission to support testimony or in lieu of testimony. Testimony should not be read from a prepared statement, but may be generalized or summarized as testimony with the prepared statement handed to the commission for their review. 

An IPOD is a tool that provides temporary zoning controls in a specific area of the City where existing zoning doesn’t provide sufficient standards for the area’s current activities. To be approved, a proposed IPOD has to first go to the City’s Planning Commission, and then to City Council. Both of these steps require a public hearing. Once approved by City Council, an IPOD is in place for 18 months, and can be extended an additional six (6) months by Council.


Boundaries of the IPOD-6

The IPOD-6 is generally defined by properties located in the Lower, Central and Upper Lawrenceville neighborhoods. Please find the attached map in the supplemental information section below.


Need for Interim Zoning

The IPOD-6 is necessary to increase the production of affordable housing to meet existing and anticipated housing needs and to provide a diverse range of housing choices within the District boundaries. According to the Housing Needs Assessment report created in 2016, there is a need for a minimum of 17,000 additional housing units to serve low and moderate income households. The IPOD-6 is designed to help meet this need, working to preserve economically diverse neighborhoods and housing affordability. The updated zoning will provide adequate balances by ensuring that the neighborhood can continue to offer new housing units at a variety of price points.


What is Inclusionary Zoning?

Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) is one tool to help ensure that neighborhoods can offer new housing units by tying the construction of affordable housing to that of market-rate housing. It is used in a variety of cities across the country, and was identified by the City’s Affordable Housing Task Force (AHTF) as a tool that could work here in Pittsburgh to address the shortage of affordable units.


Supplemental Information


Frequently Asked Questions

How does Inclusionary Zoning work?

Inclusionary zoning requires or encourages new residential developments to make a percentage of the units affordable to low- or moderate-income residents. It can be mandatory — in which the developer is required to provide affordable units — or incentivized, in which developers provide affordable units in exchange for increase building height, reduction of parking requirements, etc.


Is Inclusionary Zoning new for Pittsburgh?

Pittsburgh already has incentivized inclusionary zoning in its Uptown and Riverfront neighborhoods. Developers in these areas can increase building height or proximity to the riverfront by including affordable units. The proposal for mandatory inclusionary zoning in the Lawrenceville neighborhood was created through a partnership between the Department of City Planning, the Office of Council District 7, and Lawrenceville community organizations.


What projects in Lawrenceville would be affected by Inclusionary Zoning?

Inclusionary Zoning would apply to new construction or major renovation of projects that include 20 or more residential units for sale or for rent. It would not apply to renovation or construction of single-family homes, or to renovation or construction of buildings with fewer than 20 residential units. Projects that meet the size threshold would need to price 10% of units affordably (rounding up if a fraction).


What do you mean by “affordable”?

Rent or sale prices are based at certain percentages of the Area Median Income (AMI), which is defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Department and varies by household size. For-rent inclusionary units will be set aside for households earning no more than 50% of AMI. For-sale inclusionary units, will be set aside for households earning no more than 80% of AMI. Inclusionary units will be priced at no more than 30% of income, based on these AMI standards. For example, using these pricing standards, a two-bedroom unit would rent for no more than $855, and a two-bedroom home would be listed for sale at no more than $128,000.