Condemned Properties for Demolition

The Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections (PLI) routinely inspects structures to assess building integrity. When a structure has been declared a public safety hazard, PLI will condemn the building due to violations under the International Property Maintenance Code, as adopted and amended by City Code.

There may be several remedies for a property owner of a condemned structure to correct the violations present, such as obtaining a private demolition permit to raze the structure, or a building permit to repair. However, many condemned structures in the City of Pittsburgh do not have a responsible owner or agent to abate violations. As conditions worsen, PLI is empowered to demolish structures that become imminently dangerous, meaning that they have potential for the entire or portion of the structure to immediately collapse causing harm to people, property, or obstruct the right of away. The definition of imminent danger according to the International Property Maintenance Code is “a condition which could cause serious or life-threatening injury or death at any time. Due to limited resources, a structure may be condemned for a number of years before PLI considers a City-funded demolition.

What Does PLI Look For?

What Does PLI Look For?

PLI inspects all viewable elements of the structure to determine the extent of the damage, the potential for a collapse, the impact of the structure on adjacent structures, and impact to the public right of way. Structural elements would include the roof, walls, foundation, decorative features or overhanding elements, exterior stairs, decks, porches and balconies, chimneys and towers, and other façade features. Inspectors review the structure at least annually to review how conditions have changed and assess for imminent danger accordingly.

What Does DCP Look For?

What Does DCP Look For?

The Department of City Planning (DCP) examines the building or structure based on a series of factors related to its historical significance, its significance to the built environment, and its locational sustainability. These factors include: building age; building height; LNC or UNC zoning classification; presence on the National Register of Historic Places and the unofficial 1994 Pittsburgh Register of Historic Places; location outside of an environmentally sensitive area; and location on a street corner. Of these factors, a listing on the historic registers is given the highest priority for preservation.

How Will Public Input Be Used?

How Will Public Input Be Used?

PLI and DCP do not examine the broad impact a condemned property has on the surrounding community. Based on feedback from this page, we will be able to gain an understanding of this impact. In addition to the PLI score and the DCP score, the feedback provided will help PLI determine which properties should receive a city funded demolition.