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Ms. Rouse concentrates her practice in real estate development, land use, zoning matters, and construction law. As a registered architect with three decades of experience in building design, urban planning and construction oversight, Ms. Rouse brings an unusually broad set of skills and insider knowledge to the practice of real estate development. As deputy director of the City of Pittsburgh’s Department of City Planning, Ms. Rouse worked closely with developers, contractors and design professionals to develop land use, historic preservation and urban design controls and to apply them to major development projects, including the recently constructed PNC Park, Heinz Field and Pittsburgh Convention Center projects. She managed the professional urban design, historic preservation, development, and zoning staff.

Community & Pro Bono

  • Named as a member of a nationwide team by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to provide historic preservation experience in New Orleans during rebuilding following Hurricane Katrina, 2005
  • Borough of Wenonah, N.J., former chair of combined Planning and Zoning Board
  • City of Pittsburgh, Department of City Planning, special consultant for the North Shore Development project


  • Duquesne University School of LawJ.D.1995
  • Drexel UniversityBachelor of Architecture1985

Bar Admissions

  • Pennsylvania, 1996

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association, member
  • Allegheny County Bar Association, member
  • American Institute of Architects, Pittsburgh chapter, ex officio member and former treasurer
  • Pennsylvania Society of Architects, member
  • School Facilities Development, president of the Board of Directors
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation, member

Other Distinctions

  • City of Pittsburgh, Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Historic Preservation, for the University of Pittsburgh campus improvements and renovation of the Masonic Temple
  • Association of University Architects, Case Study Award, for the adaptive reuse of the Masonic Temple
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers of America for Land Use and Zoning Law, 2018-2023; and Real Estate Law, 2021-2023

Representative Matters

Real Estate Development and Land Use Practice

Ms. Rouse has extensive experience representing developers, educational institutions, and community service organizations seeking land development, zoning, historic preservation, and building approval for major construction projects. Ms. Rouse has assisted the following clients to obtain local approval necessary for construction:

  • Allegheny County Airport Authority, land development and zoning approval for runway safety improvements required at Pittsburgh International Airport
  • Allegheny County Airport Authority, negotiation of land development agreements for major outparcel developments
  • College Development, use variance, dimensional variance, conditional use and land development approvals for the construction of a multi-unit housing project
  • College Development, negotiation of development, roadway construction and water and sewer agreements with the City of Pittsburgh and municipal authorities to facilitate the construction of a multi-unit housing development
  • Private client, rezoning of 35 acres in Butler Township to permit commercial retail development
  • Private client, nomination and listing of a complex of outstanding buildings to the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Propel Schools, conditional use and variance approvals necessary for the construction of three charter schools throughout Western Pennsylvania
  • Rankin Christian Center, conditional use, variance and land development approvals necessary for the construction of a $3 million addition
  • De Paul Institute, conditional use, variance, land development and building permit approvals permitting the completion of construction of a school for disabled children
  • Providence Connections, conditional use, use variance and historic preservation approvals necessary for the construction of a new community center.

Ms. Rouse represented the Allegheny County Airport Authority in its efforts to revise certain provisions of local zoning ordinances that conflicted with Federal Aviation Administration regulations.

Ms. Rouse has extensive experience in negotiating agreements of sale for commercial properties. She has also represented clients on appeals of cease and decease orders and citations for building ordinances.

Ms. Rouse has represented land developers planning mixed use, commercial and institutional structures and planned residential communities.

As deputy director of the City of Pittsburgh’s Department of City Planning, Ms. Rouse managed the development of the City of Pittsburgh’s new Zoning Ordinance, its implementation and its amendment. Ms. Rouse has spoken and written extensively on Pennsylvania’s Municipalities Planning Code and its local application to major construction projects.

Construction Practice

  • Ms. Rouse has negotiated and prepared design, development and construction contracts for industrial, institutional and developer clients. She negotiated design-build and construction agreements for new buildings and additions valued at more than $20 million erected by a private New England college. For a major mail order retailer, Ms. Rouse prepared a family of form construction agreements tailored to major construction projects, smaller renovation efforts, the purchase of discrete building or operating systems, and for design-build efforts.

Additional Background

  • Ms. Rouse was the university architect for the University of Pittsburgh and for Temple University. At Pitt, she was responsible for the planning and design of a $150 million campus expansion. This included the adaptive reuse of the Masonic Temple, the renovation of Hillman Library and the development of the new Multipurpose Academic Complex. At both Pitt and Temple, Ms. Rouse retained design and construction professionals, managed construction efforts and participated in dispute resolution.
  • In private architectural practice, Ms. Rouse was project manager for a number of major construction projects including a new 40,000 square-foot building for the Child Psychiatry Center, banking facilities for First Pennsylvania Bank, transit stations for SEPTA and office facilities for law firms, insurance companies and universities. She has extensive historic preservation and adaptive reuse experience.