Thank you to everyone who showed up at the community meeting Monday night at East Liberty Presbyterian Church and at the Planning Commission on Tuesday Downtown. Thank you also to all the people who submitted comment to the Planning Commission even if they could not attend the meeting.
There was nearly three hours of testimony on the project, both for and against. By the time the testimony wrapped up just after 6 pm, the Commission hadn't had a chance to consider any of the submitted comment, and took a 5 minute break. When they reconvened, they unanimously voted to continue the hearing to the New Year, which means that they will discuss and then take a vote at that time.
This hearing is likely to be the January 10th, 2017 hearing, but could possibly be later in the month. We will keep you posted. There will NOT be more public testimony at that time, but we do recommend that if you have not been able to yet submit comment, please send it to: email@example.com.
There are several articles about the hearing and the issues at stake. These include:
Ryan Deto's coverage via the City Paper's Blogh.
Tim Schooley in the Pittsburgh Business Times.
Diana Nelson Jones in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Bob Bauder in the Tribune Review.
Here is also a link to the statement issued by the coalition of neighborhood groups that have been opposing this development. This coalition includes Enright Park Neighborhood Association, the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, and the Friendship Community Group.
If anything, the meetings this week displayed the need for more work to happen together between the different interests. We have been saying it since the start, but healthy communities are predicated on on opportunity for all. Opportunity for housing, opportunity for
education, opportunity for jobs, opportunity for open space. It is
critical that we keep in mind how all of these issues intersect and that
we continue to work together.
Keeping the park in the conversation is a way of having influence over the overall development. If this project were only happening on private property, we would have little opportunity for influence. However, because the developer wants to use and reconfigure public park space to serve their needs, we, the public, have greater voice and greater opportunity to influence the outcome.