Lead & Construction in Lawrenceville

Home Renovation Leads to Toxic Lead Levels in Lawrenceville

Lawrenceville has an old housing stock, and as new construction and renovations occur across the neighborhood, it’s important for all of us to know lead-safe practices for working on homes. For homes built before 1978, the EPA’s Lead Renovation Repair and Painting Rule requires that anyone working on them receive certification by the EPA, post informational signs, contain work areas to prevent dust and debris leaving the work area, use power tools with HEPA exhaust control, follow clean up practices with a verification procedure, and more. For more information, please view this info sheet on lead in Lawrenceville homes.

Announcing an Intergenerational Skill Swap!



Are you aged 55 or over, and have skills or experience you could share to help someone younger? Or are you a younger person who has a skill you could share with someone older? The Intergenerational Skill Swap links people of different ages together, to share a skill and learn something new. Tell us what you’re interested in teaching or learning through this survey!


216 38th Street Meeting Notes

216 38th Street

Partners: Moss Architects and E Properties

Presenting: 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

Presenting: Emeka – E Properties

  • Office 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.

211-219 38th Street Meeting Notes

211-219 38th Street

Partners: Senko Construction & Moss Architects

Presenting: Kris 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)

Presenting: 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



  • Rege Ricketts (255 38th St): When to start?
    • Kris 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.

Roasted Barrelhouse & Eatery Meeting Notes

Meeting: 6th Ward Block Watch, 8/22/2016

Presenter: 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 new addition behind existing building, 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