This neighborhood is very livable, but also very protected. All homeowners are encouraged to know and comply with the protections from the City of Pittsburgh:
1.) Review by and compliance with the Pgh City Historic Review Commission, pertinent for all plans of home exterior changes visible from public viewpoints,
2.) Adherence to zoning laws … specifically noting that all homes are for single families, or a maximum of three persons if unrelated,
3.) typical city Permit/Licensing/Inspection standards for construction and renovation.
LIVING IN AN HISTORIC DISTRICT
The neighborhood of Schenley Farms is designated as an Historic District, in the city and on the national registry.
What does this mean for homeowners?
(1) Any work that is done on the outside of the house that can be seen from the street is expected to be appropriate to the historical nature of the house,
(2) No alteration can be made to the exterior which is publically visible without review and approval of the Historic Review Commission (HRC) of the City of Pittsburgh.
HRC staff: 412-255–2243
Pittsburgh HRC meets monthly, on first Wednesday of month.
There are many benefits to living in an Historic District. These include: participation in a ‘living museum’ area dedicated to preservation; protection for a home investment; promise of ongoing neighborhood integrity; assurance that other buildings in the area will be maintained in accordance with high standards.
Points of note:
- HRC review applies to exterior appearance of home only, and only for those exterior views readily seen in public right-of-way areas
- HRC review does not apply for home interior changes.
- HRC staff and process can help if there are questions, and variances can be considered. It is obvious that older homes need updating and modernizing. However high priority is placed on preservation of the original and historical details and appearances.
- If alterations are started without approval, work can be stopped by city officials. There are potential fines for non-compliance.
- HRC had a useful website, and staff are a helpful resource to answer questions and provide advice.
Here is a map of the 1982 City Historic Designation.