A briefing is a meeting that is not on the official record of Planning Commission. It is used to inform and update the Commission members about projects that will be presented to them for hearing and action in 2 weeks. There is not public testimony at these hearings, but the public may attend to hear about the projects. Planning Commission members may ask questions at briefings.
At the briefing tomorrow, the developer's team will be presenting how they propose to transform Penn Plaza and the adjacent park into a new mixed use development, including a new 50,000 square foot Whole Foods, additional retail and restaurants, office, parking garages, and up to 300 units of "market-rate" residential apartments. They will also include a presentation of how they propose to reconfigure the publicly owned park to support their development.
A working group of community members, including residents, and design and planning professionals in the neighborhood, has been meeting the past 6 weeks with the developer to review their plans and proposal. We have also come up with an alternate proposal, which we believe will support a neighborhood vision that will benefit the entire East Liberty community, including a recommendation for how to develop affordable housing on the site. The developer has not yet responded to that proposal.
A few key points that you need to know:
- The developer had not backed off their proposal to destroy upwards of 15 of the mature established trees in the park. The working group has fought long and hard to preserve these trees, but in our counter-proposal to LG Realty, we are prepared to concede the loss of the trees in lieu of getting an appropriately scaled park.
- The developer proposes to meet the 2.2 acre park requirement by closing most of Eva Street and dedicating it to the park. The working group has stated that this is unacceptable, and has countered that they must adjust their new access street location to make up for the reduced park size.
- The developer has not yet held a community meeting to present their proposals to the neighborhood at large, which is part of the requirement of the PLDP process. While a small group has been meeting with them intermittently, they have not shared their plans with the larger community. The working group is sharing what information we are able. If you have questions, please reach out directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
Planning Commission Hearing & Action on Penn Plaza & Enright Park PLDP
Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 2 pm.
200 Ross Street, 1st Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15219
We will need you to come out and add your voice to the conversation at Planning Commission in 2 weeks. We are hopeful that there will be positive motion and that the developer will accept our proposal for how to move forward. And if that happens, we need community support for the vision for a public park and affordable housing in the heart of our neighborhood. And if they do not accept the proposal, we will need your support to help lobby the City why approval should be conditioned upon acceptance of the community proposal.
We will have more information to share with you in the next few days.