Pittsburgh Council members launch website to promote land bank idea
Two City Council members are making an online sales pitch to establish a Pittsburgh land bank in response to concerns that it wouldn't value community input and gives a nonelected board control of city property sales.
Those concerns have prompted a round of amendments to legislation that would establish the land bank.
Council members Deb Gross of Highland Park and Corey O'Connor of Squirrel Hill rolled out a website on Wednesday meant to educate people about the land bank, including a frequently asked questions section, a rundown of potential benefits and a summary of proposed amendments.
“We are making this more of a community-driven process,” said O'Connor, whose staff helped build the site.
Gross in January introduced a proposal to establish a land bank designed to reduce urban blight. It would have the authority to buy vacant or city-owned properties through an expedited title process and sell them to interested home buyers or developers.
Some council members, including Daniel Lavelle of the Hill District, are concerned that the land bank's operation would exclude residents from development discussions. He and Councilman Ricky Burgess of North Point Breeze proposed expanding the board from seven to 11 members, and requiring City Council to approve all sales, among other changes.
“By and large, what we're proposing is what the community came down and said they want,” Lavelle said. “For me, that should be the starting point for any discussion.”
O'Connor and Gross plan to introduce amendments that would increase the size of the board from seven to nine members, establish a public comment period for purchases and require City Council to approve board policies.
Burgess said he is still concerned about a lack of council oversight. He and Lavelle said they are encouraged O'Connor and Gross are emphasizing a more community-driven process.
“We have to make sure it's a tool to help the community,” Burgess said.
Melissa Daniels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8511 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.
- Western Pa. experts say nonprofit mergers take work
- Burgess’ rivals for Pittsburgh council nomination owe money to government
- Upper St. Clair lawyer pleads guilty to dealing in crack
- Pro-union hourly workers picket Rivers Casino
- Newsmaker: Dr. Clifton W. Callaway
- Ice cream safe to eat, federal officials insist amid listeria bacteria discoveries
- Hearing set for Homewood man accused of killing Lawrenceville resident
- Wilmerding resident to stand trial for fatal shooting
- Trib recognition program celebrates young leaders in south, west area
- House floating along rivers will be new South Side Marina office
- North Allegheny OKs $20.5 million in contracts for renovations