Policy Summary

This policy creates an adopt-a-lot program that allows the City to annually lease vacant lots for uses that include edible, rain, and/or flower gardens. Sales of unprocessed edibles or flowers grown on site under $10,000 annually are permitted under a market stand lease for $25/year.

Background Information

State Pennsylvania
Jurisdiction Name Pittsburgh
Jurisdiction Type City,
Population Size 50,000-200,000
Legal Strategies
  • Expressly allows something
  • Creates an incentive for a change
Reach Community-wide
Food System Category Grow; Get;

Policy Details

Refers to priority populations?

Emergency management?
Health-related linkage?

Environmental linkage?

The policy explicitly allows for a rain garden, which absorbs and slows storm water drainage in its design, to be installed as a vacant lot project. However the policy does not directly say this allowance is for the purpose of improving environmental conditions. §§ 454.01(h),(j).

Economic linkage?

Includes findings?

Has a stated intent or purpose?

Includes definitions?

§ 454.01

Addresses implementation?

The Open Space Specialist will execute Adopt-A-Lot Licenses and Adopt-A-Lot Leases; create rules, regulations, and/or a Vacant Lot Toolkit for participants; and the Director of the Department of City Planning shall file monthly reports with the City Council that lists all applications filed for Adopt-a-Lot Licenses and Adopt-a-Lot leases. § 454.02.

Enforcement provisions?

"Violation of the terms of this Chapter... or any rules...promulgated by the Director as authorized hereunder may result in an immediate termination of the license or lease and/or a permanent loss of the privilege to participate in the Program in addition to any remedies the City may have for violations of applicable law or contract." § 454.03(k).

Evaluation component?

The Director is required to file a monthly report with the city council that is incorporated into the council's meeting record and lists all applications filed for Adopt-A-Lot Licenses and Adopt-A-Lot Leases. §454.02 (d). However, it is unclear whether the monthly report is used to assess performance. §454.02 (d).

Requires extra investment?

It is unclear if the appointed position of open space specialist would be a new/paid position within the City. § 454.02(a).

Code context and ordinance history

This policy is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Code of Ordinances, Title 4 Public Places and Property, Article VII City Realty. History: Ord. No. 41-2015, § 1, eff. 11-2-15; Ord. No. 52-2015, § 1, eff. 12-9-15.


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