ShareThis Page

Consultant next step for overlay district along Route 51 in the South Hills

| Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, 9:02 p.m.

Officials are moving forward to create an overlay district along Route 51 between Whitehall and Brentwood to improve the appearance of the corridor.

Developers and business owners will have to follow regulations for setbacks, sidewalks and foliage.

Town leaders soon will select a consultant to oversee creation of the overlay district.

“The goal is to find as much common ground as possible,” Economic Development South executive director Greg Jones said.

A nonprofit community development corporation serving Brentwood, Whitehall and Baldwin boroughs and Pittsburgh's Carrick and Overbrook neighborhoods, EDS initially pursued money for the project through Allegheny County, Jones said.

When that money wasn't available, officials looked elsewhere. The project will cost $40,000 to $50,000, which will pay for the consultant, officials estimate.

Brentwood and Whitehall, in partnership with EDS, won a $17,000 grant from the Local Government Academy, on Western Avenue in Pittsburgh. Then, at the end of 2012, they secured a $25,000 grant from the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

“That was the last piece of the puzzle,” Jones said.

Whitehall and Brentwood will split costs not covered by grants, he said.

A consultant will review the municipalities' zoning codes, see where the codes differ, why that is and whether changes are needed.

“We want find out if there's a reason for those differences or if it's just because that's the way they've always been,” Jones said.

The local governments could decide whether to change their zoning rules, Jones said.

The plan could benefit other communities, Jones said. Baldwin Borough will be included through its comprehensive plan.

Likewise, Brentwood is revamping its zoning code with the help of Delta Development.

There will be a public hearing on Feb. 19 at 6 p.m. where representatives with Delta Development will address proposed improvements to the zoning code including a more extensive definitions list, housing and land requirements — including fences and parking — and specific changes to each zoning district to address any possible land use.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or Laura Van Wert contributed to this story.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.