New legislation (Council Bill 2021-1085) at the City of Pittsburgh is being considered for design standards for off-street parking for single-family attached homes. This comes after advocacy from Lawrenceville United and 11 other organizations called for this additional measure, among other measures, to limit the propagation of driveway curb cuts on walkable streets, due to the damage they do to public off-street parking, safety and accessibility, housing affordability, the creation of street trees, non-vehicular mobility, and neighborly interaction.
A Planning Commission hearing on the legislation is scheduled for Tuesday 2/23 at 2 p.m. Planning Commission will then provide a recommendation to City Council, who will also have a public hearing and then take final action on the zoning text amendment.
LU and partners will be providing testimony to support the proposed legislation, and once again advocating for further steps to limit the spread of driveway curb cuts on our walkable blocks. Read our full testimony HERE and contact Dave@LUnited.org or 412-802-7220 to get involved in this campaign.
We hosted a terrific, information-packed workshop today with the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh, The State Historic Preservation Office, and the Urban Redevelopment Authority, providing lots of resources available to landlords! Topics discussed include:
– Historic Preservation Tax Credits for eligible unit rehabilitation
– Small landlord loan program
– Higher payment standards for renting to section 8 voucher holders (for Lower Lawrenceville units)
– Low-interest loan program to support unit rehabilitation
– The Preferred Landlord program
– CARES Act funding for landlords entering new leases
– An improved, streamlined process for housing choice voucher contracts
– Incentives for landlords to provide ADA-approved modifications
And much more!
You can access the recording here. And if you’re a landlord in Lawrenceville, we encourage you to complete our landlord survey, where we’re gathering information on your experiences, priorities and needs, to help better define our work with Lawrenceville landlords going forward. Please share both of these links widely!
We’ll share some questions (and invite your own!) on how we can plan together to address the longer-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the meeting we’ll be breaking out into smaller discussion groups based on your main topics of interest, which could include things like food access, transportation, housing, small business support, development, equity, care for our elder wisdom keepers, etc. We invite your ideas! Please send us your suggestions for breakout room discussion topics to firstname.lastname@example.org!
We will also be discussing how we as Lawrenceville residents and LU members can most effectively participate in Pittsburgh’s city-wide planning process, now being carried out through online processes and platforms such as EngagePGH – we want to make sure our neighborhood’s voice is heard.
Please let us know if you need any accommodations to help make participating easier by contacting us at 412-802-7220 or email@example.com!
A Planning Commission hearing was held on 6/30/2020 on this proposed legislation. LU, along with Lawrenceville Corporation and members of Lawrenceville Stakeholders, all provided testimony in support of the goals of the legislation and encouraging the City of Pittsburgh to go further by providing additional tools to communities to restrict integral garages and curb cuts on primary streets. As LU has heard repeatedly through the Lawrenceville Community Process, the continued creation of curb cuts, driveways, and front-facing off-street parking has a number of detrimental impacts to the neighborhood: removing precious public on-street parking for a single user, reducing the walkability and accessibility of our sidewalks, driving up housing prices, permanently preventing the ability to plant street trees, and demoting neighborly interaction at the street level. For all these reasons, LU is encouraging the City of Pittsburgh to restrict off-street parking for single-family homes to be accommodated from rear alleyways and not primary streets — or else make front-facing off-street parking require a variance or special exception at the Zoning Board of Adjustment.
After the hearing, the Planning Commission passed two motions: one motion recommended the proposed zoning text amendments in 2020-0198, and the second motion recommended that City Planning conduct exploratory research on additional legislation to further reduce the preponderance of curb cuts across the City.
The legislation will now move forward to City Council, where another public hearing will be scheduled. LU will keep the community informed as this gets scheduled!
For any input or to get involved, please contact LU at 412-802-7220 or info@LUnited.org.
Spear Street Capital (the owner/developer of the site) will be having a Zoning Board hearing on Thursday 2/6 at 9 a.m. at 200 Ross Street in the first floor conference room. This project is under the relatively new Riverfront (RIV) zone, and they are seeking relief from the zoning code for the following:
Exceeding the maximum number of surface parking spaces (75 permitted and 520 requested)
Exceeding the maximum number of parking between a building and the river (15 permitted and 96 requested)
Note: they are not seeking a variance to exceed the maximum number of parking spots allowed under the RIV zoning. The variances are for the way these parking spots are oriented (i.e. in a surface lot, as opposed to a structured parking facility, and the number between the building and the river).
LU, together with LC and Riverlife, has been negotiating with Spear Street since the community meeting in October to address concerns that were brought up and create community benefits. The plans and commitments have changed since the community meeting, so please see attached for the following from the developer:
To quickly summarize some of the commitments that Spear Street has made:
Constructing a 1.7 acre green space along the river open to public with a 10′ wide riverfront trail for biking/walking, and 32 public bike parking spaces (and a public bike repair station).
Addition of a Healthy Ride station on 51st Street.
Planting 349 trees on site, including 60 trees of specific species requested by us that are shown to most reduce particulate matter air pollution, 1,550 shrubs and 3,000 perennials/grasses.
Contributing a minimum of $75,000 towards community benefits, including a new bus shelter & pedestrian safety improvements at 51st & Butler.
Commitment to hire Minority & Women Business Enterprises.
Commitment to join the Pittsburgh 2030 District, which supports building owners to strive toward 50% reductions in energy use, water consumption, and transportation emissions by 2030.
As part of effort to reduce vehicle trips to the site: providing 150 bike parking spaces with showers and lockers, requiring future tenants to be JobPerks employers, providing carpool parking spaces in priority areas of the lot, and designating a Transportation Demand Management coordinator that will report on progress.
LU plans to attend the Zoning hearing on Thursday. If you have any questions or input, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 412-802-7220 or email me at Dave@LUnited.org.
We would like to invite you to attend our General Membership meeting on Wednesday October 9th at 6:30p. Each year, Lawrenceville United hosts two (2) General Membership meetings, in the spring and fall to report on the work that has been completed, the work that is planned, and to engage the membership around priorities for moving forward. LU is a resident-driven organization and we hope that you will join us to discuss those important issues facing our community now and how we can all work together to address them. These meetings are also a great time to come to get caught up on development projects, or other community happenings and updates.
If you are not a member in current standing, you can renew, or sign-up for a new membership, at the meeting. It is $5.00 for an annual membership, or $35.00 for a lifetime membership.
Your priorities are our work-plan so please join us so that we can move forward with a shared vision in protecting and improving the quality of life in Lawrenceville for all residents and stakeholders.