South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

SS Neighborhood Plan has been 33 years in the making and counting

 


The next South Side Planning Forum at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 13 will include a discussion on the Infrastructures and Maintenance Policies in the ninth update to the South Side Neighborhood Plan (SSNP).

South Side was the first neighborhood in the City of Pittsburgh to adopt a neighborhood plan. The Planning Forum first began work on the plan in 1984.

Effort began on the Neighborhood Plan with the South Side Planning Task Force and before that the South Side Parking Task Force. In the five years of development, representatives of all South Side’s major community organizations at the time, as well as the health, education, social service and religious communities were involved.

Those representatives consulted with their own organizations and all Planning Forum meetings were publicly announced.

At the time, Maureen Hogan, principal planner for the Department of City Planning said no neighborhood had ever developed a plan quite like it and there was no precedent for how city departments would react.

The Neighborhood Plan received conditional approval in 1989 and, after reaching consensus, was fully approved in 1990.

Over the years, the plan served as a road map for development in South Side. One of the biggest accomplishments of the South Side Planning Forum and the Neighborhood Plan was guiding the development of the former LTV Site, now SouthSide Works.

In the beginning, the plan underwent revisions about every two years with all Planning Forum groups participating and agreeing to any changes and updates before it was approved. The plan would then be presented to city officials as a guide to development in South Side.

Pertinent studies in the neighborhood were included in the Neighborhood Plan as appendices.

As the South Side Development Company was discontinuing business, the format of the SSNP was changed and an easier to read and understand graph format was used for neighborhood conditions and action items.

The next revisions further refined the Neighborhood Plan to its current format. The last revision adopted in October 2016 includes background on South Side along with material on the Planning Forum.

Information is presented on current conditions in South Side and identifies a number of “Neighborhood Realities” such as the heavy truck traffic on East Carson Street, the high number of rental units and the maintenance challenges of the Slopes.

The bulk of the Neighborhood Plan is presented as a graph with various policies; whether those policies are important to South Side; which organizations the policy is important to; and, current organizational activities and recommendations.

Policy areas include: Overarching; Historic Preservation; Green Space; Housing; Business Development; Night-time Entertainment; Mobility; and, Infrastructure and Maintenance.

With the latest update, it was decided instead of updating the SSNP every two years, that it would be a “living document” with the ability to alter and update on an ongoing basis.

The Upcoming South Side Planning Forum meeting on June 13 will include discussion on Infrastructure and Maintenance Policies in the Neighborhood Plan.

Member organizations of the South Side Planning Forum are: The Brashear Association, South Side Chamber of Commerce, South Side Community Council and the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association. Duquesne University was recently added as a non-voting member along with sector representatives from the religious, education and health communities.

The South Side Neighborhood Plan is available online on at http://www.southsideslopes.org under The Neighborhood link and on The South Pittsburgh Reporter’s website, http://www.sopghreporter.com.

The South Side Planning Forum meets the second Tuesday of each month, except for a combined July-August meeting, at 5:30 p.m. in the Brashear Center, 2005 Sarah Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203.

 

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