Pittsburgh community chimes in on land bank proposal
By Melissa Daniels
Published: Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, 11:33 p.m.
Calling for community consensus, Ronell Guy stood in front of more than 100 Pittsburgh residents and told City Council to be more inclusive.
“I'm tired of being left out,” said Guy, executive director of the Northside Coalition for Fair Housing.
Council held a public hearing Thursday night on proposed land bank legislation, drawing a crowd in council chambers that spilled into the halls and had 68 speakers signed up to comment.
The proposal has incited calls for equity and transparency in Pittsburgh land use.
“We need to be careful and thoughtful and conscientious about what we create,” Guy said.
The legislation creates a seven-member land bank board with the power to purchase vacant city-owned or tax-delinquent properties through an expedited title process, among other fast-track capabilities, and resell them, though the land bank members would be responsible for outlining sale procedures.
Speakers represented neighborhood groups, faith organizations, business owners and private developers. Nearly all of the first 20 speakers urged council to rewrite the bill in some capacity, even those who said they support the concept.
The bill is sponsored by District 7 Councilwoman Deb Gross. Thursday night, she said feedback is part of the process in amending the bill and “making it more responsive to our needs.”
Rashad Byrdsong, founder of the Community Empowerment Association, suggested creating a land bank task force that could nominate four of 11 board members.
“Some of us have spent upwards of 20 years addressing blight in our communities,” he said.
Melissa Daniels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at email@example.com or 412-380-8511.
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.
- Upper St. Clair woman’s death at Drexel probed as possible meningitis
- Redistricting spurs faceoff for Democratic state Reps. Molchany, Readshaw
- Job cuts at AGH part of ‘strategic’ process
- Newsmaker: Dr. Kyle Soltys
- Assessment appeals draw Mt. Lebanon residents’ ire
- Fox Chapel Area superintendent seeks rapport with students
- House fire in Carnegie, no injuries reported
- Donor name to be stripped from Penn Hills library
- Allegheny County Democrats endorse several incumbents in primary
- Trib’s Hiel honored for reporting on Coptic Christians
- Photo gallery: Swing for a Cure