Site Plan Requirements

What is a site plan?

A site plan (also named plot plan or survey) is a plan of the entire property, drawn to scale, that shows the location and dimensions of all property lines, any existing and proposed structures, and any proposed exterior work. 


Why is a site plan required?

Anytime a structure or use is added to a property (such as fence, shed, parking, addition, house, chicken coop, etc.) an accurate site plan or professional survey is required to determine if the project meets all Zoning Code requirements. Site plans are subject to Zoning Review.


Is a professional stamped plan required?

Yes, most projects must be submitted on a professionally stamped site plan completed by an architect, surveyor or engineer, except fences, residential HVAC/generators, chicken coop, and wall signs. If there is conflicting data about the location of a property line, a surveyor’s stamp will be required. Zoning staff will make the final determination of whether or not a project requires a professional survey.


Can an existing survey be used?

Existing stamped surveys showing current conditions can be used, as long as the proposed work is drawn to scale. 

If a prior application included a survey or site plan, that plan may be on file at the Division of Zoning and Development Review. To find out if Zoning has a suitable copy of a site plan or survey of a property, email


Can the applicant draw the site plan?

Yes, when the applicant knows where the property lines are and is applying for residential HVAC/generators, wall signs, or a fence no taller than 6 1/2 feet. Fences and the public sidewalk are not neccesarily installed on the property line and therefore cannot be used to determine where a property line is. If the applicant does not know where the property line is, then they will have to hire a licensed professional.

Note: Allegheny County Real Estate website maps and Google satellite maps are not accurate enough to meet the site plan requirement.


What are the steps to draw a site plan?

Anyone can draw a site plan with the right tools and information. 

Step 1: Get all the measurements: property line dimensions, building dimensions, accessory structure dimensions, and all distances between the structures and the property lines. The Allegheny County Real Estate website has the dimensions of property lines (maps tab) and most houses (image tab).

Step 2: Draw the site plan. Most residential properties will fit on an 8 1/2” x 11” piece of paper. Zoning cannot accept any plans on paper larger than 11” x 17”. 

Select the scale for the plan. It must be a standard architect’s or engineer’s scale. A regular ruler can use the scale 1 inch equals 16 feet (1”=16’). This means that every inch as measured on the plan is the equivalent to 16 feet on the property. 

Each inch on the ruler is divided into 16 lines, so each line represents 1 foot. If the lot is 100 feet long, count 100 lines on a ruler and draw a line that long on the paper.

Once the property line is drawn, add the house and all accessory structures using the measurements gathered and at 1”=16’, counting one line on the ruler for every foot measured. 

Step 3: Add details to the plan. The plan must also show:

  • Name of the property owner
  • Names of all streets, ways or alleys around the property
  • Street address of the property
  • Arrow indicating north
  • Scale
  • Labeled measurements of all property lines and structures
  • Labeled distance of all structures from the property lines


For more information

For more information, email, call 412-255-2241, or visit the Zoning Counter at 200 Ross Street, 3rd Floor, Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.