South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

Planning forum updated on remapping status

 


Kevin Hanley, real estate development specialist for the South Side Local Development Co., reported to the South Side Planning Forum that the city Planning Commission, at its April 22 meeting, heard testimony about proposed South Side Flats zoning changes.

“All was well received,” said Hanley.

Major features include: retaining the current zoning of local neighborhood commercial for the East Carson St. business district; changing the land near the river, from the railroad tracks to Muriel St., that is zoned general industrial to urban industrial; and changing the current zoning of residential multi-unit with moderate density (density refers to lot size) to residential single-unit attached with very-high density for most of the neighborhood.

Carey Harris, executive director of the SSLDC, testified on behalf of the forum in favor of the remapping.

The goal of MAP Pittsburgh, begun by City Planning in 1999, is to develop a new zoning map that reflects land use realities and trends. Each of the city's 88 neighborhoods may examine its current zoning map and propose changes.

No opposition to the proposed changes was expressed at the meeting.

Hanley said he expects a positive vote at the planning commission's next meeting.  The issue will then go before city council.

But the main reason for Hanley's attendance at the forum meeting was to inform members that the SSLDC would like the Bingham St. Corridor Strategic Plan added to the neighborhood plan.  That plan, which the forum uses to guide its work, is updated every two years.

The “corridor” refers to Bingham St. from 10th to 17th streets, the cross streets, and Muriel St. to half-way between East Carson and Bingham streets.

The plan calls for a strong public-private partnership to implement the recommended urban development strategies.

Those strategies include: re-zone for flexibility and desired uses; reclaim key corners; solidify street edges with new buildings; rescue underutilized buildings for adaptive reuse; create defining gateways or entries; and implement strategic streetscape and parking improvements.

Perkins Eastman Architects PC conducted the study, which was guided by the SSLDC, and funded by a $10,000 grant from the Community Design Center of Pittsburgh.

Brannan told forum members that their organizations have time to consider SSLDC's request, as he doesn't expect to move on the matter for a few months. Hanley said he was willing to make presentations to individual organizations.

Janice Crum, of the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association, said the group's meetings have been moved from the Burning Bush Retreat Center to the St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center, 148 Monastery Ave. The monthly meeting days have also been changed from the second Mondays to the second Tuesdays at 7 p.m.

The forum's annual meeting will be held on Thursday, May 29, at 8:30 a.m. in the cafeteria of UPMC South Side. The informal gathering will feature a state-of-the-South-Side exit talk by Harris, who resigned from the SSLDC, effective May 31.  The event is open to the public. A continental breakfast will be served.

At the forum's June 10 regular meeting, representatives of the Greater Pittsburgh Sister Cities Association will discuss the Second Annual Dragon Boat Race planned for Saturday, Sept. 6, at Riverfront Park.

 

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