Online Facility Rentals - Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Q: What City facilities are available to rent online?

A: Most park shelters are available to rent online. Certain park shelters may not be available to rent if they are closed for maintenance or an open space that is not rented. Many of our shelters are open from the beginning of May through the 2nd week of October (weather permitting), while others are open year round (please refer to shelter info by clicking “View Facilities” selecting a park by clicking the name of park, and clicking “Info” box). Amenities can also be found in this section.

View Facilities button screenshot.

For inquiries regarding the Mellon Park Walled Garden, the Mount Washington Overlooks, sports fields, or a particular facility you cannot find, please email dpwfields&parkshelters@pittsburghpa.gov. These facilities cannot be booked directly online.

Q: Can I still rent facilities in person at the Public Works Permit Office?

A: At this time, in additional to online reservations, phone or person park shelter reservations will be done by appointment only. Please email Allison.Botti@pittsburghpa.gov to setup an appointment during the hours of 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM Monday – Friday. Email is preferred, but you can also call 412-255-2366. Our office is located at 611 Second Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Visitor parking is located in the lot behind the building up the hill off of Second Avenue. Take the steps or ramp to the entrance in the parking lot. A second entrance can be accessed directly off of Second Ave., as seen in the map/photo below. The office is on the third floor. The building has elevator access.

The office is on the third floor - Map

Q: I tried to create a new account online but I get a message that my email is already in the system. What should I do?

A: If you have rented a shelter from the City before, there’s a chance we may already have your email address in our system. In this case, click the ‘Sign In” button at the top of the screen then use the “Reset Password” link on the Login Page to reset your password. You will then be able to log into your account and proceed with the online rental process. If you experience any further issues, please contact our office.

click the Sign In button at the top of the screen  - Screenshot

Payment Questions

Q: What payment options will the City accept for rental of City facilities?

A: For online rentals, available payment methods include credit or debit transactions using Visa, MasterCard, or Discover. Those paying with a credit or debit card will incur a 2% + $0.25 service fee. These fees are charged by the City’s payment processor, JetPay, for all transactions. For those paying in person at the Department of Public Works Permit Office, the City will also accept money orders and business checks in addition to the payment options listed above for online transactions. Checks/money orders should be made out to “Treasurer, City of Pittsburgh.” Please note that the service fees for credit/debit cards apply for those renting at the Permit Office as well as those renting online. Cash will not be accepted.

Q: Why am I being charged a service fee for the use of a credit card?

A: The City of Pittsburgh contracts with JetPay to provide the convenience of credit and debit transactions for a variety of City services. These fees are charged by JetPay as part of processing
payments on behalf of the City. In addition, the City still accepts money orders and business checks if rentals are made at the Public Works Permit Office. Checks/money orders should be made out to “Treasurer, City of Pittsburgh.”

Park Shelter Permitting Questions

Q: What is the process for renting a shelter online?

A: Citizens who wish to rent a shelter online will first need to navigate https://registerparks.pittsburghpa.gov and create a new account. Once a new account has been created, users can search for available shelters, complete required rental information, reseverve a shelter.

*Please note that if the date shows up as "conflict" this means that the shelter is under a seasonal closure or it is already booked by someone else. You may find the "Facility Calendar" option on our website useful, which shows what shelters and dates are already booked.

Screenshot showing how to create a new account.

Q: When is the shelter available for me to use on the day of my event?

A: Most shelter permits are valid from 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM on the day of your event. Please note that some weekday rentals are valid only from 1:00 PM – 9:00 PM to accommodate CitiParks programming in certain locations. If you need time to prepare for your event, please plan accordingly since access to the shelter prior to the start date and time specified is non-negotiable. Similarly, the facility must be cleaned and vacated prior to the 9:00 PM end time.

Q: What if I only need to rent a shelter for several hours? Can I get a reduced permit fee since I won’t be using the shelter for the entire day?

A: All rentals are for the standard time period. Public Works schedules park employees to clean shelters to ensure they are ready for all rentals at the designated start time. However, we are only
able to accommodate one rental for each shelter on a given day. As a result, the full permit fee applies regardless of whether you will be using the shelter for the full time period or only for a portion of the day.

Q: Does a separate permit need to be obtained to have alcohol at my event?

A: *As of early 2019, all shelter fees include an alcohol permit. No additional payment or permit is needed. Please note while alcohol consumption is permitted, alcohol sales are prohibited without proper permitting. If you have any questions, please contact our office.

Q: I cannot find the permit that was emailed to me. Is there a way for me to get a copy of my permit?

A: Yes, first login to your account at https://registerparks.pittsburghpa.gov. Click the “My Account” link and then click on the “Rentals” link located under the “History” section of the “My Account” page to view all of your facility rental permits. From this page you can either email or print a copy of the permit.

Q: How far in advance am I able to rent a shelter?

A: Shelters are available for rent up to 365 days in advance on a rolling basis. All shelter rentals are available on a first come first serve basis. Shelter rentals must be completed at least four (4) days before your selected date; after this time, the shelter will no longer be available to rent online. If you wish to rent an available shelter but the four (4) day deadline has passed, please contact the Public Works Permit Office to see if it is still possible to get a permit for the shelter.

Q: Will the City refund my permit fee if my plans change?

A: The City will provide a refund if we receive cancellation notice at least thirty (30) days in advance of your permitted date. In these instances, the City retains a $10.00 processing fee but will refund all other fees associated with the rental. Once it is less than 30 days until your permitted date, we are unable to refund or transfer your permit to a new location or date. No permit fee shall be returned and no changes shall be made unless DPW receives a dated email or written request of cancellation or changes at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of the permit- weather is not considered a valid reason for cancellation or change of shelter/date location.

Q:  In what case would I need insurance for a shelter rental?

A: The permits issued entitles the permit holder to use the shelter and the grounds identified in the permit. If additional activities are planned (i.e.: inflatable bounce house, tent, etc.) the permit holder must provide a Certificate of Liability Insurance naming the City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Works as an additional insured. Click Here to see a sample certificate of insurance.

Q: What if I have a question about the shelter I rented on the day of my reservation?

A: Much of the information a permit holder needs to know is within the permit received. However, if you have additional questions or concerns, please email Allison.Botti@pittsburghpa.gov. Email is preferred, but you may also call 412-255-2366 during our normal office hours Monday – Friday, 7AM – 3PM. If your permit is not during these hours, please call 412-670-4185.

Recreation and Senior Center Permitting Questions

Q: Why am I required to submit a request to rent a room in a senior center or community center before I can pay for the rental and receive my permit?

A: Unlike the process for renting park shelters, the City needs to first ensure that staff is available at the selected senior or recreation center facility before confirming that a permit can be issued for a particular date and time. To request a City Senior or Recreation Center rental, please contact the center directly or ask to speak to the center director. Phone numbers for Recreation and Senior Centers can be found using the following links:

Q: How far in advance am I able to rent a Senior Center or Recreation Center room?

A: City Senior Center and Recreation Center rental requests may be submitted up to 90 days in advance of your selected date. Rental requests should be submitted at least 14 days in advance of your selected day.