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Monroeville, Churchill and Wilkins planning future together

Dillon Carr
| Friday, Oct. 13, 2017, 3:24 p.m.
Developing properties like the former Westinghouse Research and Development Center is one of the ideas laid out in a comprehensive plan being developed for Monroeville, Churchill and Wilkins.
Eli Horowitz/Rust Belt Philosphy blog
Developing properties like the former Westinghouse Research and Development Center is one of the ideas laid out in a comprehensive plan being developed for Monroeville, Churchill and Wilkins.

A landscape architecture and planning firm will host its second public meeting since it began working with Churchill, Monroeville and Wilkins on developing a comprehensive plan for the area.

The firm drafted goals, strategies and next steps, all to be shared with the public during a meeting from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 19 at 333 Penn Center Blvd. in Monroeville.

According to a press release, Pashek + MTR was hired by the Turtle Creek Valley Council of Governments — elected officials from Churchill, Wilkins and Monroeville — in January to develop a plan that involves connectivity and trails, shared services, recreation, redevelopment and property maintenance.

The comprehensive plan cost around $100,000 to put together. It was funded in part by a $50,000 grant from the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development. The remaining cost was split by each community according to population size, said Amanda Settlemaier, executive director for the council.

“I think the project is going really well. It's a unique opportunity for the towns to work together and look at things from a regional basis,” Settlemaier said.

Pashek + MTR spokeswoman Elaine Kramer said the firm focused on seven areas of interest:

• Improving bus routes, improving sidewalks and adding bike lanes. The firm is also looking at the possibility of additional park and ride lots.

• Building a recreation center and developing recreational programming.

• Protecting or adding green space, which includes planting trees and shrubs.

• The hiring of one parks and recreation director to represent the three areas.

• Improving communication between the three communities and residents.

• Developing the former U.S. Steel plant and two former Westinghouse sites.

• Enhancing the enforcement of codes to protect property values in the communities.

Monroeville Manager Tim Little said a comprehensive plan is not a legal document, but it can serve as a community's guideline for development.

“Everything that comes up to the municipality should be done in consideration to the comprehensive plan. It's kind of like the pie in the sky,” he said.

Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-871-2325 , dcarr@ or via Twitter @dillonswriting.

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