Sample Letter to City Council

Looking for a starting place for your letter to City Council to protest the proposed rezoning of Enright Parklet and Penn Plaza? Here is a starting point for you to use in your correspondence to City Council! Please add your own voice and concerns as well.

You can find contact information for each council person here.

Dear Councilman or Councilwoman ______________:

I am writing regarding the hearing scheduled for Tuesday, March 22 at 1:30 p.m. on the rezoning of Enright Park and Penn Plaza in East Liberty.

The proposed redevelopment of Penn Plaza and Enright Park is a major project in an important and highly visible parcel in the City of Pittsburgh that serves as both gateway and bridge between several communities: East Liberty, Garfield, and Friendship. This project merits at least the same level of planning and community involvement as projects of similar size and importance: Bakery Square; the Arsenal warehouse site in Lawrenceville; or the former Poli’s site in Squirrel Hill.  Such a planning process — with meaningful community involvement — has proven in the past to be the best way to ensure to all parties, including the developers, elected officials, and the public, that this important addition to the city contains the best in retail design, affordable and market rate housing, and public parks and open space. These are critical issues on a site that has historically served to provide access to the transit, affordable housing, neighborhood serving retail, shared public park space, and the jobs that have supported and sustained working families in East Liberty for over 50 years.

In addition, I am deeply concerned about the proposed sale of all or a portion of Enright Park to private developer for the purpose of commercial and residential development. Although the City proposes to use the proceeds from the sale to fund affordable housing, it is far from clear that the sale of public parkland is a fair or justifiable way to pay for such resources, no matter how badly needed. 

If any redevelopment plan reconfigures the park, the only acceptable outcome would be for a park of equal size and equal usability to the existing one replace it, and that a master plan that includes a clear and sustained commitment to affordable housing be part of the proposal.

For these reasons it is crucial that a comprehensive master plan that is comparable to those of other recent development projects (and which addresses issues raised in a community consultation process) be completed prior to any vote on rezoning the Penn Plaza-Enright Park site, and be used to inform the adoption of a Preliminary Land Development Plan for the site via Planning Commission. I understand that a PLDP is required under the Pittsburgh Zoning Code for such a rezoning.

Accordingly, I urge you to table the Penn Plaza-Enright Park zoning proposal until a master plan for this critical site has been completed and an appropriate Preliminary Land Development Plan that has been drafted with meaningful input from community members.



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