Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions are listed below:

What is zoning?

Zoning regulates what structures and land are used for, where a structure may locate on a lot, and how big that structure can be. It also regulates other elements of site development, such as accessory structures, parking, and landscape. Zoning regulations are divided into zoning districts, so that use, bulk, yard and development regulations are tailored to the character of each particular zoning district.

Why does the City need a Riverfront Zoning Amendment?

A Riverfront Zoning Amendment is needed to ensure that new zoning along Pittsburgh’s riverfront proactively addresses the diverse needs of existing users and stakeholders, so that new development is responsive to the varied character of Pittsburgh’s riverfront neighborhoods.

What is the relationship between the Riverfront Zoning Amendment and the City’s other planning efforts?

The Riverfront Zoning Amendment will be a vital tool in implementing the City’s previous and ongoing planning efforts, such as the Allegheny Riverfront Vision Plan, and the forthcoming Comprehensive Plan. These documents contain specific guidance as to how land should be managed, and how development should occur within the City of Pittsburgh. The RZA process will work to incorporate policies established through these previous and ongoing planning efforts, and establish specific development regulations that are key to implementing those policies.

Where can I learn more about the City’s current Riverfront IPOD?

More information on the City of Pittsburgh’s Riverfront Interim Planning Overlay District can be found at this link.

How can I get involved in the Riverfront Zoning Amendment Process?

The Riverfront Zoning Amendment process will build on the City’s previous outreach efforts to ensure that it is transparent and community-informed. The City of Pittsburgh will lead a comprehensive outreach process that will provide numerous opportunities for all interested parties to provide feedback and inform the process.

There will be a number of opportunities for members of the public to learn about the project and provide feedback.  Opportunities for engagement will be posted on this website at the Upcoming Events page. Further, anyone interested in leaving feedback can comment through the form on this website, or by contacting Andrea Lavin Kossis, Riverfront Development Coordinator. You can also sign up to receive updates via email by entering your information on the sidebar to the right.

Is a setback from the river currently required?

Yes. In addition to setback standards of the underlying zoning districts, the Zoning Code (Section 906.03.E) has a pre-existing requirement of a 50-foot setback along all riverfronts.