Before designing a project for a vacant lot, make sure you know who the owner of the lot is. You have to have permission from the owner before starting to do work on a lot. To find the owner, you can click your lot on the Lots to Love map. Owner information will pop up on the right side of the screen.
If the lot is publicly owned (by the City of Pittsburgh, a municipality, or the county), you may need to go through the permission process defined by that entity. You can check out our information about Site Access to learn more about that.
Some lots are privately owned, either by an individual or an organization. The information on the Lots to Love map can tell you the name of the owner, and whether or not they have been paying taxes on the lot. However, it may take some sleuthing to find contact information for a private owner. If you’re unsure, try asking some neighbors who have been around for a while.
Sometimes, the private owner of a lot may have stopped paying their taxes on the lot. In other words, the lot is delinquent. In this case, it may be very difficult to get access to the site because the owner may have moved away or be long gone.