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High-rise development may proceed despite Pittsburgh council's vote

| Thursday, May 14, 2009, 12:00 p.m.

Most of a proposed high-rise residential development split by Pittsburgh's border with Green Tree could still be built despite City Council's tentative refusal Wednesday to rezone 10 of the site's 26 acres.

Lynn DeLorenzo, a partner with Florida-based SouthStar Development Partners, said plans to build at least 240 residential units on 16 acres outside the city in Green Tree are "already in place and ready to go."

Before City Council takes a final vote May 21, she hopes to reach a last-minute compromise with neighbors in the city's Ridgemont community who ardently opposed the 418-unit development dubbed City Vista at Parkway.

"We were looking to really create an overall plan (for) Green Tree and city of Pittsburgh ... in the hopes that we would be able to revitalize and re-energize the entire Parkway City area," DeLorenzo said, adding that she is disappointed with council's decision.

Residents of Hamburg, Springfield, Hestor and other Ridgemont streets lobbied against the development because of concerns it would add hundreds of cars each day to already congested Greentree Road and endanger children who play in quiet city streets.

City Council voted 6-1, with one abstention and one member absent, against rezoning the land. The rezoning is required because only single-family homes, not high-rises, are permitted on the land.

Councilman Ricky Burgess, the lone "aye" vote, said city residents won't be able to influence plans for the development if a portion isn't permitted in city limits.

Councilman Bill Peduto said the community's wishes take precedence over new buildings.

"Sometimes the best development is the one that never happens," he said.

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