When You Need a Demolition Permit
A Demolition Permit must be obtained prior to the removal or total demolition of any building, structure, or part thereof.
For interior demolition only, please see the requirements for Residential or Commercial Building Permits.
How to Get a Demolition Permit
Work shall be performed by a City of Pittsburgh registered General Contractor. Accessory structures associated with one or two family dwellings can be demolished by the property owner if the property serves as their primary residence.
1) Submit completed Private Demolition Application in person at PLI Engineering Counter at 200 Ross Street, 3rd Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. The application includes demolition specifications and affidavit that the application has notified adjoining and affected property owners of the intent to demolish.
- Please see Checklist for additional required documentation for application. Please note some documents may be identified by PLI at time of application.
2) Demolition of structures located in a City Historic District or City designated historic structures requires the approval of the Department of City Planning’s Historic Review Commission (HRC).
- A Certificate of Appropriateness (issued by the HRC) will be required to be submitted to PLI before the Demolition application will be completed.
3) Demolition of structures located Downtown or in a Planned Development Area requires the approval of the Department of City Planning’s Planning Commission.
- The Planning Commission’s written decision will be required to be submitted to PLI before the Demolition application will be completed.
4) A “Notice of Intent to Demolish” placard will be provided by PLI. The applicant must post this placard on the front of the structure.
5) The 15 day waiting period begins.
All documents identified as required on the Demo Checklist for permit review will need to be submitted in order for the application to be entered into the queue for review. All applications are logged into our queue and reviewed based in the order in which they are received. Additional documents may be requested, depending on characteristics of particular structure to be demolished.
After the Plans Examining Engineer has reviewed the application, they will notify the applicant of any revisions or of permit approval.
After the permit has been approved and the 15 day waiting period is complete, the following will be required in order to issue the permit:
- Any documents identified in Approval Notification.
- Submission of all required documents, as noted on Demo Checklist by PLI.
- Up to date General Contractor's registration (BL#).
- A check/money order to pay the permit fee, made payable to “Treasurer, City of Pittsburgh”.
Demolition work cannot begin until the permit is issued. A copy of the permit must be kept on site. Please be aware it is the responsibility of the applicant to arrange for the termination of all utility services.
The following regulations apply to the demolition of structures in the City of Pittsburgh. Be aware that this is a partial list and that other federal, state, and local regulations may apply.
- The applicant and/or owner is responsible for exterminating rodents and other pests, see below for more information.
- During the course of demolition and removal, the public right-of-way (sidewalks, adjoining walkways, streets & alleys) must be kept clear of debris and materials at all times. Citations will be issued for violation of this provision.
- Prior to the use or obstruction of any public right-of-way by dumpsters, barricades, equipment, material, or scaffolding, a permit must be obtained from the City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Works .
- All demolition debris must be disposed of at a landfill approved by the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD). A listing of approved landfills may be obtained from the ACHD.
- A Plumbing Permit issued by the Allegheny County Health Department Pluming Division is required for the termination of the water and sewer service lines.
Before demolition work is commenced, thorough and efficient measures shall be pursued in order to prevent the migration of rodents and other pests by exterminating them from all structures to be demolished. The following minimum requirements apply:
- Employ only experienced exterminators.
- Display warning signs in conspicuous places.
- Three days prior to beginning demolition of any building, bait shall be distributed. No demolition of any nature shall begin before the lapse of three days from the distribution of bait.
- Methods and materials used for baiting shall meet with the approval of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and shall be used in accordance with the manufacturer's label instructions.
Proof of extermination by an experienced exterminator must be submitted to the Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections and verified complete prior to any demolition work.
It is the responsibility of the permit holder to arrange for all required inspections by contacting the appropriate inspector. The inspector's name and phone number are printed in bold print on the permit. Required inspections include:
- Void - a picture must be taken by the inspector before backfilling.
- Water and Sewer termination – the Allegheny County Health Department Plumbing inspector must inspect the waterline and sewer line to see that it is properly terminated before backfilling.
- Final inspection – the site needs to be backfilled, graded, seeded and strawed.