TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Pittsburgh Council members launch website to promote land bank idea

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

On the web

pittsburghpa.gov/landbanking

Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 11:30 p.m.
 

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 mdaniels@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Allegheny

  1. Lowly job likely awaits former Pittsburgh police chief after prison
  2. Feds want to seize cash, property from suspects in drug bust
  3. Newsmaker: Paul Dubner
  4. Pedestrian struck, killed by train in Coraopolis
  5. 9 juveniles charged in connection with opening day disturbance at Kennywood
  6. Millions to travel through Western Pa. during Memorial Day weekend
  7. Expert: Penn Hills loan could worsen stability
  8. Analyst says Pa. senate race leans toward Toomey — because Democrats ‘loathe’ Sestak
  9. Pennsylvania Sen. Casey seeks to provide aid to repairing locally owned bridges
  10. DOJ program goal: Increased trust between law enforcement, community
  11. VA report shows W.Pa. error rate down, but inspectors point out delays in re-evaluating cases cost $493K