6th Ward Block Watch Notes

Notes for 6th Ward Block Watch Meeting – 8/22/2016

Thanks to Pints on Penn for hosting! This meeting covered public safety, 2 construction projects, and a bar update. The other project notes will also be posted separately for clarity.

Public Safety Report – Zone 2 Community Relations Officer Antoine Davis

  • 2 burglaries (see attachment for full report)
  • Encourages residents to use silent complaint form
    • Especially good if you don’t want to be seen talking to police or don’t want to be involved
    • Many examples of these leading to arrests
    • Can fill these out at Lawrenceville United
  • Difference between 311 and 911
    • Call 911 for anything that requires immediate attention – even noise violations
    • Can take 311 much longer to route it to police or to get someone to attend to it
    • Looking to bring manager of 311 out to upcoming Block Watch
  • CCR # is issued for everything police respond to (not just police reports)
    • Hard for police or LU to follow up on anything without the CCR #, so make sure you record it.
  • Murder on Donson Street in 10th Ward
    • Actually in Zone 5’s area – contact Michael Gay, Community Relations Officer for Zone 5.
    • Tied to other crimes – investigation is ongoing, so can’t speak about where things are at

 

Roasted – Pete Landis

  • Feels like he is a part of Lawrenceville community now
  • Part of Market Square Association, which works with Zone 2 police often
    • Work together to improve community, reduce crime
  • Current status of Roasted
    • Back deck was an area of concern for nearby residents when building owned by Eclipse
      • Used to create a lot of noise complaints
      • No permit for it, not in compliance with zoning
    • During previous meeting with impacted residents, Pete had promised not to retain it in response to these community concerns
      • Created enclosed porch instead, where folks can do dinner/drinks
      • Doubled size, but no noise complaints – seems to be working out for everyone
    • Opened already
      • Not open for lunch yet but hoping to get there soon
      • Current hours:
        • Monday-Thursday: 5-11 PM
        • Friday-Saturday: 5 PM-2 AM
        • Ideally going to start doing lunch and eventually do Sundays as well
      • Renovations of space
        • Front façade: pulled off glass block from Bill’s Tavern and restored façade
          • Didn’t have to do this because not designated as historic, but preserved it to historic standards anyway
          • Wanted to keep historic look, make it look like it’s been there for years
          • Residents who remember Bill’s Tavern have told him that Bill would be proud!
          • Front windows can open during warmer months
            • Seats 8 people between inside and outside and creates communal table feel.
          • Menu
            • Back to basics: not modern deep-frying equipment, just good drinks and oven-roasted food
            • Cocktail program: easy highball drinks (different sizes offered), historical cocktails from 1800s-1960s
            • Food: everything is oven roasted, seasoned & slow-roasted, served “au jus”
            • Tweaking menu as they go, but available now online at roastedpgh.com
          • Collaboration with other 6th Ward businesses
            • Working to get all business owners together to create dialogue, contribute back to community
            • Working to resolve parking impact on the residential neighborhood: collaborative valet parking to a lease with parking lots
              • Thinking they will incentivize customers to use it with discounts
            • Vice President of the West Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association, so have lots of good connections with state and governmental agencies to help get some of these things done.
          • Hiring: growing and looking to hire

 

211-219 39th Street – Senko Construction & Moss Architects

Chris Senko

  • Purchased 211-219 38th Street with intent to create 5 new townhomes there
  • ZBA Hearing: September 22nd
  • History of owners, Senko Construction
    • # of projects completed locally in Northside, Oakland, Lawrenceville
      • Doughboy Square townhomes
      • Shops @ Doughboy
    • Begin in 1996, started development in 2004
      • Used to working in high density urban neighborhoods
    • Plans to mitigate impact on residents
      • Connecting with developers at 216 38th Street to coordinate street openings/closures, sidewalk closures, using same contractor most likely in order to minimize headache on neighbors
      • Keeping dumpsters off road if possible, keep on site is the goal
        • Ideally place port-a-johns on site as well
      • Timing: with ZBA approval, would break ground on 3/1/2017 with 8 months construction (to be completed end of October 2017)
        • Most inconveniences to neighbors would be at the front end of the timeline (e.g. road work)

Andrew Moss

  • Lives next door to site
  • White house on site to be torn down
  • Five 20’ lots
    • Plan to keep new houses on top of hill, set back from street
    • Keep site wall low, terracing of site for yards
    • Trying to maintain stone wall
    • 2-car garages at back of each house
    • Front = staircase, front year
    • Keeping slope of 38th Street, homes to step up with grade as go up the hill
    • 3 bedrooms, 2 bath
  • Variances needed
    • Relatively minor compared to other projects in the neighborhood
    • Side setbacks: zoning requires 5’, asking for 0’
      • Setbacks are internal to the site
    • Rear setback as well
    • No height variances needed
    • Balconies on front: classified as separate variance but also setbacks
  • Design
    • Masonry ground floor, steel panel for upper floors, top floors to be cement or siding panel
    • New street trees and sidewalks

 

Q&A

  • Rege Ricketts (255 38th St): When to start?
    • Chris Senko: March 1, 2017. 8 months maximum so expect to be done at the latest by late Octobrer
  • Jenna DiMenno (229 38th St): This will create extra traffic on Obregon Street, which is a blind turn. Any plans to create a mirror there?
    • Andrew Moss: Definitely open to it.
    • Matt Galluzzo: City does it in blind spots, can coordinate with them.
  • Pete Landis (Roasted): Setbacks are newer – why required in the rear?
    • Andrew Moss: How it’s written in the code, but doesn’t really reflect how homes have been built in Lawrenceville historically.
  • Cory Ricci (LU Board member): Price range?
    • Senko: Market-rate. Haven’t set the price yet but expecting around $570,000.
  • Erika Gidley (233 38th Street): If don’t get the zoning approval for the rear setback, what is Plan B?
    • Andrew Moss: Parking pads in the back.
    • Matt Galluzzo: Not providing parking would require an additional variance.
  • Jim Petruzzi (3918 Liberty Ave): Obregon is a very dangerous road.
    • Senko: No plans for Obregon, but talks with city to topcoat Foster Street.

 

216 38th Street – Moss Architects and E Properties

  • Andrew Moss
    • ZBA Hearing = 9/8
    • Coordinating between the developers to mitigate negative impact on neighbors
    • Proposing to build property line to property line and to front property line
    • Next to property currently under construction on 38th St
    • Garage to be accessed off alleyway, set back 5’ because alley so narrow
    • Variances
      • Almost identical to project across the street
      • No height variance
      • Setback variances, variance for rooftop deck
    • Design
      • Masonry base, cement board panel and siding up center
      • Small canopy covering front entrances
      • Same height as property under construction nextdoor
    • Emeka – E Properties
      • Offcie on 47th (?) and Butler
      • Currently doing McCleary School Condos project
      • Very active in Lawrenceville
      • Working with project across the street to address concerns about port-a-johns, construction, road openings
        • Looking to use same contractors
      • Size and scale of project is comparable to other projects in the area that E Properties has done
    • Q & A
      • Brandon Dunlevy (234 38th St): Large pothole on 38th Street resulted from other construction.
        • Emeka: Sub-contractor opened it, working to solve it with contractors and the city.
        • Matt: Timeline on getting this done.
        • Emeka: Hopefully next few weeks.
      • Rege Ricketts (255 38th St): Properties up from Cantina are huge eye sores – what’s going on with them? Someone was supposed to do something with them.
        • Matt: LC tried to take through the Treasurer’s Sale, but taxes were paid off before we could get them. Property owner still sitting on them, not doing anything.
      • Jenna DiMenno (229 38th Street): 1-car or 2-car garages?
        • Emeka: 1 each, 2 total
        • Andrew Moss: if small cars, can probably fit 2.
        • Jenna: Most people have 2 cars these days. Should consider pushing parking into the site more to fit 2 spots back-to-back.
      • Mike Cummins (236 38th St): Every setback including height?
        • Andrew Moss: Not height – staircase doesn’t count and is permitted by right
        • Mike: But looking for setbacks on all sides?
        • Andrew: Not rear but sides and front.
        • Mike: Seems like you’re trying to jam more in than necessary. Already significant issues with parking. Lot seems better suited for something similar to the adjacent property and house.