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.
Join us for 2019 LIVE! in Lawrenceville, Lawrenceville United’s annual party and fundraiser celebrating the neighbors, volunteers, and leaders that make Lawrenceville special. The evening happens at the Teamsters Local Union 249 in Lawrenceville on 9/7/2019 from 7-10 p.m.
Admission includes food and drinks from local businesses, fun games, and music spun by Arie Cole. Get tickets at http://bit.ly/LIVEinLV or contact 412-802-7220.
Thank you to Bike Pittsburgh, Better Streets Lawrenceville, City of Pittsburgh Zone 2, Councilwoman Deb Gross’ Office and the City of Pittsburgh Department of Mobility and Infrastructure for presenting to our residents at the most recent Lawrenceville Wide Public Safety Meeting. The Lawrenceville Wide Public Safety Meeting is a great opportunity to discuss larger issues affecting the neighborhood.
The Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI) led an activity that allowed residents to mark and provide feedback about “hot spots’ in the neighborhood on large maps. Ideally these suggestions will help to provide suggestions to where DOMI can install traffic calming solutions that make the neighborhood safer for all. Our friends at Bike Pgh and Better Streets Lawrenceville also shared information about the Pittsburgh Bike Plan. The City of Pittsburgh Bike Plan is taking suggestions and submissions from City of Pittsburgh residents to help inform best ways for pedestrians and cyclist to navigate the neighborhood.
Click the links below to see the the presentations from each feature presenter.
A public hearing has been scheduled at City Council on the Inclusionary Housing Interim Planning Overlay District for Lawrenceville on July 16th at 1:30 p.m. at Council Chambers in the City-County Building (414 Grant Street, 5th Floor). To register for 3 minutes to speak, fill out the form here by 10:30 a.m. on 7/16, or call the City Clerk office at 412-255-2138. Residents who don’t register in advance may still come to the public hearing and speak for 1 minute.
This is expected to be the last public hearing before City Council votes on the legislation, which was introduced in February by Councilwoman Gross and unanimously recommended by the Planning Commission in April. The legislation requires residential development projects in Lawrenceville over 20 units to include 10% of units for low and moderate income families.
The Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office, the Pittsburgh Department of City Planning and the Urban Redevelopment Authority have been working with the Lawrenceville community to see the neighborhood added to the National Register of Historic Places. Please join us at 6.30 PM on Monday, December 10th at the Goodwill Workforce Development Center (118 52ndStreet, 15201) for an update of our efforts.
Lawrenceville United, Lawrenceville Corporation, Councilwoman Deb Gross, and the Department of City Planning held the third and final “Housing For All” community meeting on Monday, November 5th from 6-8 p.m. at Goodwill of Southwestern PA’s Workforce Development Center. The meeting focused on the proposed Interim Planning Overlay District (IPOD) for Lawrenceville that would implement inclusionary zoning across the neighborhood. Please see below for materials and notes from the meeting:
Sign the petition to support the Lawrenceville Inclusionary Zoning IPOD and share it with your neighbors!
Speak at an upcoming City Council standing meeting on 11/27, 12/5, 12/11, or 12/19 (all at 10 a.m. at City Council chambers) to voice your support for inclusionary zoning! Contact info@LUnited.org or 412-802-7220 for more information.
The second of three “Housing For All” community meetings was held on Wednesday, October 17th at 6 p.m. at Goodwill of Southwestern PA’s Workforce Development Center. The meeting focused on Inclusionary Zoning as a tool to preserve affordability. Please see below for materials and notes from the meeting:
Presentation from Lawrenceville United & Lawrenceville Corporation
Follow up questions that were submitted are currently being answered and will be posted here when complete.
The third community meeting, Housing For All: Community Feedback and Call to Action, will take place on Monday, November 5th from 6-8 p.m. at Goodwill’s Workforce Development Center (118 52nd Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201). The building is fully accessible. Dinner provided. Childcare available by advance request to LU at 412-802-7220.
For a recap of the first meeting held on 9/28/2018, Housing For All: The State of Housing & Displacement in Lawrenceville, please click here.
Many thanks to the Office of Councilwoman Deb Gross, Lawrenceville Corporation and the Department of City Planning for partnering on this effort. The hosting partners provided updates on the state of housing in Lawrenceville, displacement, and what’s being done about it. Thank you to all of the attendees who shared their stories and experiences.
As Lawrenceville’s housing market has exploded, one of Lawrenceville United’s top priorities for the neighborhood is preserving affordable housing. One tool LU has advocated for is Inclusionary Zoning (IZ). For more information on Inclusionary Zoning, please see the brief on IZ below. To download as a printable document, please click here.
Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) Explained
What is Inclusionary Zoning? The simplest explanation for inclusionary zoning programs is that they either incentivize or mandate developers to include affordable units as part of new housing developments of a certain size. For instance, if a developer were to build a housing project of 250 units, under IZ the developer might be required to sell or rent 15% of those units (37 units) to lower-income residents.
886 jurisdictions have inclusionary housing programs across the U.S., reporting over 170,000 units created.
IZ programs are highly customizable to fit the particular needs of different communities. Some programs are required, some are voluntary. Some focus on creating low-income housing, others focus on more middle-income housing. Other key considerations include what unit size IZ becomes triggered, what percentage of affordable units are required, the duration of affordability, whether it’s applied to rental housing or for sale, and how to offset the cost of creating affordable units to developers so that new housing developments are still feasible.
What are the benefits? Inclusionary zoning is a proven tool for creating new affordable housing at a time when many communities desperately need it and public funding for housing has been declining for decades. By leveraging the private market, IZ is one of the few ways to create new housing for low-income families without significant public subsidy. It can also help prevent or mitigate gentrification and displacement when housing prices and land values increase in a community. Studies have also shown that it is an effective tool for locating affordable housing in higher-income neighborhoods and areas with better performing schools.
In Montgomery County, MD and Southern CA, half of all affordable housing production is created by IZ.
Why is it needed? In Lawrenceville, over 600 housing units have been created in the past couple years, yet almost none of them have been for the working class families that have been the roots of Lawrenceville for generations. At the same time, the appreciation of housing costs has led to displacement of low-income families. With large parcels still developable, IZ has the potential to harness development in the neighborhood to ensure that housing options are available for all income levels and so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of a neighborhood that residents have worked to make safer and less blighted, with improving schools and better access to transportation and local jobs.
Over half of Lawrenceville’s Housing Choice Voucher units (120 low-income families) were lost between 2011 and 2016.
An IZ policy would have created 84 new units of affordable housing with Lawrenceville’s recent development.
What’s being done about IZ locally? In May 2016, the Affordable Housing Task Force identified IZ as one of its key recommendations to address the gap of over 17,000 affordable units in Pittsburgh. Mayor Peduto issued an Executive Order in February 2017 to create an Exploratory Committee that would further assess the feasibility and structure of an IZ program. Specific recommendations were released in November 2017 to City Council and the Mayor, and suggested mandatory inclusion of 10% affordable units city-wide in projects over 20 unit, with a by-right tax abatement offered. Councilwoman Gross sponsored amendments to the zoning text for Urban Industrial in December 2017 that requires 30% affordability in projects over 20 units. LU is currently about to launch a community process in Lawrenceville to pilot IZ that could serve as a model for other neighborhoods or a city-wide policy.
Representatives from Michael Baker International, the City of Pittsburgh, the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office attended the 10th Ward Block Watch on 2/13/2018 to provide an update on efforts to nominate Lawrenceville to the National Registry of Historic Places through the National Park Service. For more information, please see the presentation below. Presentations will also be provided at the 9th Ward Block Watch on 2/20/2018 at 6:30 p.m. at St. Mary’s Lyceum, and at the 6th Ward Block Watch on 2/26/2018 at 7 p.m. at St. Augustine’s Church, Lower Room.