Registered Community Organizations
What is a Registered Community Organization (RCO)?
Pittsburgh is a city of neighborhoods. Strong community groups help residents and businesses obtain and share information and support cooperative networks and efforts to improve the quality of life in these neighborhoods. Having an organized community group empowers a neighborhood to be represented more effectively with local government.
Community organizations often tackle a great variety of issues such as social services and community cleanups. Community organizations that are concerned with the development of the community can become a Registered Community Organization (RCO) in order to have a formal role in the current development projects as well as neighborhood planning processes.
What are the benefits of becoming an RCO?
The benefits of becoming an RCO include:
- Notification of public hearings (for projects requiring a public hearing and meeting a development threshold)
- Guaranteed meeting with developer/applicant prior to a public hearing (for projects requiring a public hearing and meeting a development threshold)
- Neighborhood Plans developed with RCO(s) may be adopted by the Planning Commission
- Placement on official maps, brochures, and directories
How are RCOs related to development activities meetings?
RCOs are provided notice by the Department of City Planning whenever a public hearing for projects meeting a specific development threshold is formally proposed within their geographic boundaries. Where there is one affected RCO for a property, this organization coordinates with the applicant to convene the public meeting that applicants are required to attend and present their proposal at least 30 days prior to the public hearing. Where there is more than one RCO in an area, the Department of City Planning will coordinate the meeting in cooperation with all affected RCOs to convene the public meeting that applicants are required to attend and present their proposal at least 30 days prior to the public hearing.
Individual community members and/or organizations are entitled to testify and/or to send letters to the Boards and Commissions regardless of RCO status.
The Pittsburgh Administrative Code includes provisions for ensuring that neighbors of proposed developments are notified and have an opportunity to provide input regarding zoning decisions that may impact them. Additionally, the Pittsburgh Administrative Code includes provisions for ensuring that residents and stakeholders have a partnership in the creation of neighborhood plans that will be formally adopted by the City. The Department of City Planning is currently developing a Neighborhood Plan Guide to provide a framework and process that both the City and RCOs will use to develop neighborhood plans.
Want to be an RCO?
The Registered Community Organization (RCO) registration period is open. Registration is free. Applications will be accepted throughout the year. Please download an application HERE.
Resources for the registration process are available on the Become a RCO page.
If you have any questions, please contact Stephanie Joy Everett at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 412-334-2804.