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Grant Guidelines

Eligible Applicants:

1. Two or more municipalities committed to prepare a multi-municipal comprehensive plan as authorized in Article III and XI of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC);

2. Municipalities implementing components of multi-municipal comprehensive plans;

3. Municipalities participating in assessments of community-scale sustainability and forming implementation plans creating socially, economically and environmentally sustainable communities.
Eligible Use of Grant Funds:

      • A $500 total one-time grant is available to cover costs of conducting public education or meetings to convene municipal officials and citizens on multi-municipal planning or sustainable development. This grant may be requested by a letter from each participating municipality to the program manager. If desired, the program manager is available to assist with the workshops and public meetings. This grant is separate from subsequent requests.
      • Up to $8,500 per municipality may be used to hire assistance for:

1. Preparation of a multi-municipal comprehensive plan consistent with the MPC and smart land use principles.

2. Preparation of zoning and subdivision/land development ordinances that will implement the comprehensive plan and that are generally consistent with it.

3. Projects implementing multi-municipal planning priorities. Such projects could include:

a. Review, development and implementation of a Transfer of Development Rights program.

b. An in-depth analysis of the traffic on a highway corridor to determine if it can fulfill a complete streets concept (sidewalks, bike lanes, trees) or if traffic calming or expediting measures can be taken such as access management including frontage roads, traffic circles, etc.

c. Market analysis of a corridor to determine what goods and services can be offered with hope of commercial success.

d. Other implementation projects defined in the multi-municipal comprehensive plan which would affect more than one municipality but need a more in-depth analysis. Cooperative projects are intended to supplement, not replace, analysis that should be included in the comprehensive plan scope of work. Local Government Academy staff will review requests during its regular grant approval process to make this determination. LGA places a priority on the successful implementation of planning projects and will consider applications for implementing projects that may run concurrent to the comprehensive planning project.

4. Community Sustainability Grants to municipalities for the purpose of conducting full scale assessments of community sustainability and the formation of implementation plans creating socially, economically and environmentally sustainable communities, as part of a comprehensive planning process. Assessment tools can include the Sustainable Pennsylvania Community Certification, Sustainable Community Solutions Consultancy from Sustainable Pittsburgh, or other community sustainability assessment tools as approved by Local Government Academy.

 Multi-municipal Planning and Community Sustainability Grant Guidelines brochure

 Other Eligibility Requirements

• A meeting with the program manager (LGA) is required. This must include the individual who will be the lead person throughout the process from each municipality in a group wishing to produce a multi-municipal comprehensive plan.

• An Intergovernmental Cooperative Agreement generally consistent with the model available on this website, must be executed by each participating municipality.

• At least one member of each municipality’s governing board plus the staff person who would serve as the lead contact for the program must attend a two evening workshop that is offered free by LGA twice a year. Others are also welcome to attend the workshops.

• Completion of the Sustainable Community Essentials Rapid Assessment for Southwestern Pennsylvania on-line tool.

• Municipalities must provide at least 10 percent of the total cost in cash.


The LGA Planning Grant Committee will take the following into consideration for the purpose of determining funding.

• The urgency of social, economic and natural environmental issues that will be addressed in the planning process and the degree to which the process will attempt to deal with the causes of these issues;
• The number of municipalities in the group;
• Involvement of County and/or COG as demonstrated by their participation in the Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement (ICA) establishing the planning group.

Technical Assistance

LGA is prepared to provide advice and models of:

  1. Various authorizing resolutions
  2. The Intergovernmental Cooperative Agreement
  3. Request for Proposals for consultant services
  4. Cof online community sustainability assessment tools.

 Applications & Deadlines

There is no formal LGA application. A grant request of two pages or less should include:

• The name, address, phone, fax and email of the person authorized to submit the application on behalf of all participating municipalities and be responsible for all communications;
• All sources of expenditures by amounts of funds for the process and the specific use of LGA funds;
• A discussion of the extent to which the project addresses social, economic and environmental priorities;
• The program accepts applications at any time; however, reviews take place twice annually. Deadlines for these reviews are May 1 & Nov. 1.

Application should be submitted to:
Local Government Academy
1501 Preble Avenue, Suite 202
Pittsburgh, PA 15233
Phone: 412-586-5659