Site Plan Review

What is site plan review?

Site Plan Review is the second of the three levels of Zoning Review, which is the primary component of most Zoning Development Review applications. During Site Plan Review, staff confirm that a proposed development complies with all applicable Zoning Code standards and has completed any other related components. While still an administrative review, Site Plan Review is a more detailed review than Basic Zoning Review.


Is a pre-application meeting required?

A pre-application meeting may be required for projects meeting or exceeding the following thresholds:

  • $100,000 for exterior renovations on Commercial Building Permits
  • Any new commercial structures 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

Applicants wishing to schedule a pre-application meeting should apply using the OneStopPGH online application portal. The applicant will be notified via email or through the online permitting system and will 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. For more information, see the Pre-Application website.


When is a site plan review required?

Site Plan Review is required in these situations:

  • Any new construction, building addition or use enlargement or exterior renovation of an existing structure in the NDO, LNC, NDI, UNC, or P zoning district on a lot of 2,400 sq. ft. or larger
  • Any new construction or building addition, enlargement, or exterior renovation of an existing structure in the HC, UI, or GI district on a lot of 8,000 sq. ft. or larger
  • Any off-street parking area in the NDO, NDI, LNC, UNC, UI, or P zoning districts that includes more than 10 parking spaces or more than 2,500 sq. ft. of surface area
  • Any construction (including additions and rehabilitations) in the H zoning district
  • Any new construction, enlargement or renovation of a multi-unit residence of 4 or more units
  • Any development requiring Site Plan Review listed in Section 911.04 - Use Standards
  • Any development subject to Residential Compatibility Standards in Section 916
  • Development meeting the Site Plan Review threshold for the RIV zoning district found in Section 905.04.C.1

Properties without a valid Certificate of Occupancy may also be subject to Site Plan Review.


Is there a public hearing for site plan review projects?

A public notice will be required if the proposal includes a request that qualifies for an Administrator Exception.

A public hearing at the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) will be required if the proposal includes:

  • Any request that requires a Special Exception
  • Any request that requires a Variance from any of the Zoning Code requirements

During Site Plan Review, Zoning staff will identify any Special Exception and/or Variance requests that the project would need from the ZBA in order to be approved as proposed. The applicant may choose to revise the proposal to bring the project into compliance with the Zoning Code requirements instead of proceeding with the public hearing.


Is there a fee for site plan review?

Yes. The fee for the Site Plan Review component is $750. Additional fees may apply for other applicable components (see the Fee Schedule for more information).


What are the submission requirements?

The Site Plan Review application package must include:

  • Zoning and Development Review Application form (completed and signed), or submitted online at OneStopPGH
  • Site Plan
  • Landscape plan with materials labeled
  • Other documentation as required depending on the scope and/or location of the project


What other information is needed for site plan review?

Depending on the scope of work and location of the site, additional documentation may be required. Zoning staff will help identify what these will be. Commonly required items include:

  • Complete Design Review submission
  • Grading plan
  • Geotechnical Report
  • Stormwater Management Plan
  • Construction Management Plan
  • Roof plan and screening illustrations for HVAC
  • Other drawings or documents as required for specific projects to fully demonstrate the scope of work and how it complies with the Zoning Code


What needs to be shown on the site plan?

Site plans must include, as a minimum, the following information:

  • Name of property owner
  • Date of preparation
  • Location and dimensions of all existing and proposed property lines
  • Locations and dimensions of all applicable utilities and other easements
  • North arrow
  • Width and name of all streets and ways
  • Locations, dimensions and heights of all existing and proposed structures, parking, and driveways, and any other features on the property
  • Landscaping, screening and street trees
  • Depending on the scope of work, additional information may be required as requested


Are professional drawings required?

All projects must meet site plan requirements, as outlined above. Additionally, the site plan or survey for all Zoning Site Plans must be professionally stamped, with exceptions as listed in the Process Guide for Site Plans Requirements. Professionals may include an architect, surveyor or engineer.

Zoning staff will make the final determination whether or not a project requires professionally stamped drawings.

Landscape plans should be stamped by a landscape architect.

Grading plans, geotechnical reports and stormwater management plans should be stamped by engineers certified in these fields.

Zoning staff will make the final determination whether or not a project requires professionally stamped drawings.


What other reviews may be required?

Depending on the scope of work and location, any of the additional Planning Reviews, Public Notices, and Public Hearings may apply. The most common ones are Design Review, Historic Review, and the Environmental Reviews.


What is the first step to apply for site plan review?

To begin the Site Plan Review process, please file a Zoning and Development Review Application and drawings, both of which may be submitted through the OneStopPGH online portal. A $50 filing fee is required to submit the application, paid via credit card or e-check (a service charge will apply). Hard copy applications and checks may still be mailed or dropped off at the OneStopPGH Counter, 200 Ross St, Suite 320, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, open daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. If hard copy drawings are filed, please note that the largest size we can accept is 11” x 17”.

If you are already working with Zoning staff, including at a pre-application meeting, email the Zoning and Development Rewview number to that staff member after the application was submitted. Otherwise, a staff member will be assigned to your application and will follow up as the review progresses.


How long will the process take?

Once a complete application is submitted, expect a reply from staff with initial review comments within 30 days. Review results include more information required, revisions requested or approved. Other required components may be running concurrently, but have different response times and outcomes.


When is the site plan review completed?

The Record of Zoning Approval (ROZA) will be issued once a project complies with all applicable Zoning Code requirements, has successfully completed all required components, and paid all applicable fees. At that time, staff will email the ROZA. A ROZA is required to submit for a building permit (if required) with the Department of Permits Licenses and Inspections.


For more information:

For more information about Site Plan Review, email questions to