South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Margaret L. Smykla
Contributing Writer 

South Side Planning Forum is updated on latest developments


Last updated 9/17/2015 at 12:04pm

The Sept. 8 meeting of the South Side Planning Forum began with the report of the Development Review Committee (DRC) presented by Peter Kreuthmeier.

There were no presentations.

Mr. Kreuthmeier said the Soffer Organization is continuing to discuss blank precast panels for the Village Green apartments, but has not yet gone to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) of Pittsburgh about the issue.

The mock-up of the first and second stories appears to match the approved design.

Painting With a Twist, a franchise in which patrons paint while listening to music and sipping wine, and with artistic direction from instructors, is open and appears successful.

Regarding SouthSide Works, Building 2, at 2700 East Carson St., there was discussion of signage for office tenants. Soffer has two tenants interested in a single sign each, and is encouraging them to come before the DRC as soon as possible.

The final update was on the Windom/McArdle Gateway. There is $10,000 in legacy funds from the South Side Local Development Co. (SSLDC) to improve the intersection.

The city’s Department of Public Works has approved the plans. The project will next go to the Art Commission for approval.

Letters of support have been received from the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association (SSSNA) and the South Side Chamber of Commerce.

Next, Tracy Myers of the South Side Neighborhood Plan Committee said information needs to be collected before developing a comprehensive parking strategy. At the prior forum meeting, she said committee members agreed to take on the research of existing data, and the review of past work on parking initiatives.

Forum Chair Hugh Brannan said initial research yielded the first published study on South Side parking in 1966. That means problems existed at least back to that time, he said.

The issue arose a few months ago in response to the request of Thom Barry, of the South Side Chamber of Commerce, to convene a neighborhood planning process to address parking issues.

Ms. Myers responded the development of a comprehensive parking strategy should take place under the umbrella of the neighborhood plan.

In other news, Mr. Brannan said the forum sent new Zone 3 Commander Karen Dixon a letter inviting her to a forum meeting so members can meet her.

Hopefully, she will come to the next meeting, he said.

Next, Michael Calvert, the new principal of Phillips Elementary School, updated attendees on upcoming events. There will be a half-marathon to support the Pittsburgh Promise that will kick off at Phillips at 8 a.m. on Sept. 26. It will finish there also.

All proceeds will benefit the Pittsburgh Promise.

He also reported there will be a conversation on what is best for Phillips from 5 to 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 15 at the school. From then on, they will be held on the first Tuesdays.

Candice Gonzalez, executive director of the South Side Chamber of Commerce, reported 150 Duquesne University freshmen volunteered picking up litter and more for three hours in the neighborhood on Aug. 22.

Next, Ashley Holloway, City Planning’s neighborhood planner, said the city approved the residential permit parking area north of East Carson St. between 16th and 25th streets. Once signs are erected, it will be in effect.

He also said no one signed up for a petition for South 4th to South 16th streets along the river, so there will be no residential parking there.

In his brief remarks, city Councilman Bruce Kraus said he had a few good meetings recently in the Mayor’s Office about transportation and different policing strategies. Information will be coming out of the office soon.

He also reported nighttime economy manager Maya Henry left the position six weeks ago for family issues. He said he is enthusiastic about the candidate for the post.

Mary Ellen Solomon, Duquesne University’s director of government and community relations, was unable to attend the forum meeting. However, she sent a report. Among the information: Duquesne is working with the chamber and the community council to host the second annual neighborhood networking reception at the chamber’s Welcome Center from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 28.

Duquesne is also working on many South Side service projects this fall, such as tree pit projects, graffiti watches, Step Trek, and neighborhood cleanups. Student volunteers are also working with the chamber on space utilization plans for art shows.

As a reminder, if residents have any issues with student neighbors, they should contact Tim Lewis in Commuter Affairs at 412-396-6660 or

In other news, at noon on Oct. 22, the Brashear Association will hold its 98th Annual Awards luncheon at the LeMont Restaurant. The cost is $50.

The next forum meeting will be on Oct. 13.


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