Wilkinsburg park sale approved
A Wilkinsburg neighborhood group lost in court to stop the school district from selling a park, but the legal fight likely will continue, if only as a stall tactic, a resident opposed to the sale said on Friday.
An appeal to Commonwealth Court could delay the property's sale until after the Wilkinsburg School Board elections on Nov. 5, said Linda Kauffman, 73, who lives on Mifflin Avenue across from Green Street Mini-Park.
“Sufficient delay would bring us to the point where new members of the (school) board would be elected” who might be willing to keep the property, she said. Five of the nine school board seats are up for election.
School districts can sell only property they deem to be unused and unnecessary, but courts must approve the sales.
Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judge Alan Hertzberg on Wednesday approved the Wilkinsburg School District's request to sell the park, nine months after it filed a petition to do so.
“It's been a long fight, but the decision proves that we were within our rights to sell the property. And we're just relieved, obviously, that this has taken place,” said Philip Martell, the school district's director of finance and operations.
The cash-strapped district plans to sell the small park at Mifflin Avenue and Green Street for $71,000 to Akator Construction LLC of Westmoreland County. Akator wants to build six single-family homes on the property.
Kauffman and 26 other Wilkinsburg residents, plus the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association Inc. and its executive director, filed an objection to the sale in March through attorney Michael Wojcik. The petition said the district didn't properly advertise and vote on the sale and disputed that the land wasn't used.
Residents contend the park provides valuable green space for the neighborhood. The school district has said Wilkinsburg borough declined a 2012 offer to take title to the property. School board President Karen Payne said on Friday she had been out of town and hadn't heard the decision.
Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5662 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com 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.
- McKees Rocks council president arrested after SWAT standoff
- Allegheny County Council will have new look
- Forbes Avenue jeweler’s embedded sidewalk sign safely slides out to make way for Pittsburgh Playhouse project
- Police arrest 2 after shots fired in North Side
- Poor infrastructure may hinder aid efforts in Nepal after earthquake
- District 7 candidates for Pittsburgh council vow to protect poorer communities
- Senior at Pittsburgh’s CAPA school focuses spotlight on homeless students
- Newsmakers: Danielle and Patrik McKain
- Western Pa. experts say nonprofit mergers take work
- Protest planned Monday at Plum Borough High School
- It’s business, but not as usual in Pittsburgh