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.
The meeting may be required if any of the following thresholds are met:
- $100,000 for Exterior Renovations on Commercial Building Permits
- Any new commercial structure or additions of 5,000 sq. ft. or greater
- Any application with more than 20 parking spaces
- Any Master Plan/Rezoning Application
- Any Historic Nomination
- Any Zoning Protest Appeal
- Any Advertising Sign Application
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?
There is a $50 fee for each pre-application meeting. This fee is due prior to scheduling the meeting. It can be paid at the OneStopPGH online portal, in person at the OneStopPGH Counter, or by mail to Dept. of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections, 200 Ross St, Suite 320, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Credit cards and E-checks payment is available, with a service fee, and checks are accepted made payable to “Treasurer, City of Pittsburgh.”
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.
How are meetings scheduled?
Prospective applicants wishing to schedule a pre-application meeting should apply using the OneStopPGH online application portal. After an application that is filed online is reviewed, the applicant will be notified via email or through the online permitting system. 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-255-2241.