Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Draft Preliminary Land Development Plan!

It's the moment everyone has been waiting for: the draft of the Preliminary Land Development Plan (PLDP) has been filed with the City and is available for review!

You can download a copy here.

For those who are not total zoning nerds (or former City Planning interns):

The Preliminary Land Development Plan (PLDP) is the technical document required under the City of Pittsburgh Zoning Code for large development areas. The PLDP establishes a set of requirements for accomplishing the Vision of the project and the conditions outlined in the Special Plan District (SPD) zoning. The PLDP includes sections identified as Regulating Plans which describe the requirements for streets, blocks, buildings and Open Spaces. The PLDP also includes the requirements and goals for the sustainable development of the site and the design standards for private and public right of way improvements.
 When a specific project is identified within the SPD district a Final Land Development Plan (FLDP) submission is prepared for public input and approval by the Planning Commission. The FLDP provides specific information about the building or project and identifies materials, uses and related information such as parking and signage. The FLDP must be consistent with and conforming to the SPD and PLDP.
(cribbed from the website of the Former Civic Arena Site planning process in the Hill District)

We actually received a copy for review a couple of weeks ago, but I was not sure if it was intended for public circulation and was able to confirm today that it is now a public document.

I will be publishing our initial comments on the document in the next couple of days. Still working on a few points. There is additional information that needs to be provided - the list of proposed uses, square footages, traffic study, parking numbers, etc. Most of what is here is focused on the physical form and envelope of the development - e.g. what are the maximums that they are asking to be able to build.

Please review and send us YOUR comments as well. We want to compile them on an on-going basis and incorporate them into the community commentary. You can e-mail comments to:

Friday, August 19, 2016

A Process Update.

It has been very quiet this summer on the blog and social media in general. Part of this is because little has been happening that we are aware of, part because summer tends to take its toll on schedules, and part of it is because we were all so damned tired from the previous eight plus months of being in the midst of this process on top of our other commitments - full time jobs, spouses, children, extended family, other volunteer work, etc.

Now that the anchor tenant has been announced, we understand that the developer will be looking to apply for approvals this fall. We will be sharing plans as they become available publicly, and we are developing our concerns and how to get answers. We encourage you to reach out and submit your concerns and questions. Please e-mail us at: We can't promise you a speedy response (see jobs, family. etc above), but we will look to compile the commentary that we receive to include in the community feedback.

We have three key points that we want to move forward:
  • Incorporate affordable housing into the former Penn Plaza site that can be inclusive of the East Liberty/East End community, and which promotes a diversity of income, age, gender, and race as the heart of a healthy community
  • Ensure that the highest quality public space is maintained and developed with the East Liberty community in mind
  • Ensure that the development is compatible with the existing community, both in terms of the built environment of the community and the shared vision/values of the community
Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be using this blog to explore how we believe that each of these goals can be advanced through design and advocacy, and why they are so very very important to establishing the future of East Liberty.