By Margaret L. Smyklas
Contributing Writer 

South Side Neighborhood Plan revisions nearly complete


A brief June 14 meeting of the South Side Planning Forum began with news about the city’s upcoming budget forums.

The so-called capital budget deliberative forums will be conducted from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on June 21 and June 23. The June 21 forum will be held in Marshall-Shadeland/Northside at the Letter Carrier’s Union Hall, 841 California Ave., 15212.

The June 23 forum will be held in East Liberty at the Kingsley Association, 6435 Frankstown Ave., 15206.

At the forums, residents will learn about the budget and add their voices to the process as they engage with community leaders and city officials.

Sally Stadelman, the city’s deputy community affairs manager, said each session will feature a brief overview of the budget process; small-group discussions; and a question-and-answer period.

To ensure there are enough refreshments, residents who plan to attend are asked to pre-register at, or call 412-255-4773. Walk-ins will be welcome at the forums.

Ms. Stadelman then introduced Ernest Rajakone, the new community affairs liaison who will be attending local community meetings.

Next, Tracy Myers said the neighborhood plan revision group spent 90 minutes earlier that day with city Councilman Bruce Kraus going over the revision. She said they are getting close to a final document.

“It was a very productive meeting. We are on our way to having a good, productive document,” she said.

She said the group would meet again to tweak it; to figure out a timeline; and to determine the approval process. She will report on the timeline at the next forum meeting.

To a question of whether this was the first time Mr. Kraus was involved, Ms. Myers said he attended last month’s meeting also.

“We consider him a partner. We’re all in this together,” she said.

Ashley Holloway, City Planning’s neighborhood planner, said the city is in the process of putting a neighborhood plan guide together; he and his colleagues are working on this presently. He said the hope is to begin the public process in the first quarter of 2017.

 Mr. Holloway said the plan will include providing help to groups forming neighborhood plans.

 His vision is that existing neighborhood plans would remain as they are, while new ones would have a standard city format to follow.

 Next, Ms. Myers said the Development Review Committee (DRC) did not meet last month as there were no presentations.

 In updates, she reported PetValu opened in the former Nine West store in the SouthSide Works. The owners agreed not to cover the windows, which made Soffer and the DRC happy, she said.

 She also said the signage was approved for the Giant Eagle on Wharton St.

 In upcoming events, the family-friendly South Side Art Crawl was scheduled for June 18.

 A South Side App is launching now that will provide updates/information on South Side events. It is free to consumers, and costs $60 for businesses which want to place ads. It is sponsored by the South Side Chamber of Commerce, which engaged a consultant to set up the app.

For questions, call 412-368-0033.

In Brashear Association news, the organization›s “Christmas in July” toy drive will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on July 14 at the Rowdy Buck, 1321 E. Carson St.

Attendees are urged to bring a new, unwrapped toy or a $15 cash donation. The donation also covers food at the Rowdy Buck.

The annual toy drive begins in the summer so as not to run short of toys in December. Last year, more than 600 families were served at Christmas.

Next, forum Chair Hugh Brannan said a letter of support was sent to the Fourth Annual Lucky’s South Side Dog Festival, which will take place on June 26.

The event aims to create awareness regarding dogs while providing a fun-filled day for families with games, exhibits, adoption opportunities, and more.

The festival requested a letter of support from the planning forum.

The next forum meeting will be a combined July-August meeting on July 26.


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