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Slightly off-topic but that would affect Traffic/Cyclists on Penn Ave & Negley

This topic contains 100 replies, has 24 voices, and was last updated by  rgrasmus 1 mo, 3 weeks.

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Ahlir

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Jul 13 2014 at 6:39pm #

@jkp1187:

1) The auto parts store will require five (5) variances. The zoning ordinances didn’t materialize just before the developer bought the property. This is another way to say that this development does not fit the property, and there’s a bunch of concrete reasons.
He’s nabbed a customer and is simply pushing to get the rules bent so that he gets his sale. This seems like the crux of it: trashing the character of the area without giving anything in return. A lot of people live around there. What about them?

2) The muffler place is not across the street, it’s a bit further up the hill. Across the street is a former gas station (I think) that’s been under development for like a really long time (with little to show for it). I wonder what will end up there. If you know, tell us about it. I would bet an office building and/or a condo.

3) If a commercial building gets built (which is probably the most sensible use for the lot, given developments further up the hill), there will be plenty of jobs and quite possibly better ones. And revenues will be correspondingly higher. What’s not to like?

4) And, there’s still that empty gas station lot further up Negley. An auto parts store would fit right in. (Or maybe that owner is being smart and holding out for a better deal than you’d get for some auto store.)


rsprake

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Jul 13 2014 at 7:05pm #

If you’d like to buy the property and do something else with it, more power to you.

If this is so important to you, why don’t you offer to purchase it?

So because I don’t have the wherewithal to do something with the property I can’t have an opinion about what should be done with it?


WillB

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Jul 14 2014 at 8:15am #

@Pierce “I’ve seen horrible wastes of resources they’ve had their hands in and their CEO or whatever Rick Swartz? has a six figure salary.”

This is a lie. If you bothered to look at their 990, you’d see that he makes $53,000 a year. Do some research before you smear people.


jkp1187

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Jul 14 2014 at 9:24am #

@rsprake: you certainly have the right to any opinion you feel like holding and the right to express that opinion freely.

What you do not have is a right to automatic respect for any opinion you hold, especially when that opinion involves you making demands about what someone else should do with their own property.


jkp1187

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Jul 14 2014 at 9:32am #

@ahlir :

1. What are the variances requested? Are they of any significance? There are lots of zoning regs. Not all of them are productive, as residents who park their cars on their own property in Sq Hill recently learned.

http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/4687732-74/residents-ordinance-parking

2. Looked close enough to me.

3. An “if” is not a good hook on which to hang your argument. I can do that, too: if this business is forced out and no one else does anything with the property, it’s a loss for everyone. Is someone else waiting in the wings here, or are you just hoping?

4. If the closed gas station (sure are a lot of empty buildings around there, eh?) is such a good spot, why do you think the developers did not go for that instead?


Steven

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Jul 14 2014 at 1:07pm #

Not all of them are productive, as residents who park their cars on their own property in Sq Hill recently learned.

This seems like a poor example of your point, since it involves residents complaining that some of their neighbors are parking on their front lawns on makeshift gravel “parking pads”, sometimes even parking commercial vehicles there. This is an eyesore, is prohibited, and should be.


buffalo buffalo

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Jul 14 2014 at 1:25pm #

Across the street is a former gas station (I think) that’s been under development for like a really long time (with little to show for it). I wonder what will end up there. If you know, tell us about it. I would bet an office building and/or a condo.

BGC has been wondering that as well (PDF, see page 4). The Monro next door owns it and leases it to construction and other companies to store materials and debris; BGC and other neighbourhood groups have taken them to BBI and the zoning board as well.

Per this month’s BGC Bulletin (PDF, see page 3 bottom left), there are no plans to develop the lot; Swartz suggests Monro wants to maintain the view of the garage from Negley, and in the previous article the garage’s local manager is quoted as saying they might turn it into a parking lot.


quizbot

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Jul 14 2014 at 1:33pm #

^buffalo beat me to it!

The empty gas station lot across the street is owned by Monro. My understanding is that they don’t want anything to be developed there as it would block visibility of their shop. There was a zoning hearing about the construction vehicles they’ve been allowing to park there in June, no decision yet. See page 3 of the July issue of The Bulletin: Penn-Negley Site Goes Before Zoning


rsprake

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Jul 14 2014 at 1:47pm #

Another great neighborhood enhancing idea right there.


bikeygirl

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Jul 14 2014 at 3:54pm #

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/keep-it-neighborhood-help-babyland-grow-into-something-better


jkp1187

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Jul 14 2014 at 4:37pm #

@ Steven: you’ll forgive me if I don’t subscribe to the belief that zoning laws exist so that nebby people can play ‘gotcha’ with their neighbors when they feel annoyed by them.


Steven

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Jul 15 2014 at 4:17am #

I think watching your property’s value drop because your new neighbor is a clueless clod might have something to do with it too.


rsprake

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Jul 15 2014 at 8:39am #

+1


Pierce

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Jul 15 2014 at 10:16am #

If you’re looking only at the BGC’s 990, then yes Will, he makes 50k. There are other organizations he’s works/ed for/with/runs though as a consultant, which doesn’t show up on 990. What’s the amount of assets the BGC controls now? Not everything is so crystal clear as to show up on a simple tax form

I’d still argue this is an issue of class and the rest is eh, a distraction. If baby land was hopping and selling crap, the parking situation would be the same no? If they were going to put a Porsche or Smart Car dealership in there, would people be complaining? Nothing that’s being done with this property hasn’t already been done somewhere else on Penn.


Pierce

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Jul 15 2014 at 12:43pm #

To his credit, he did offer kind words in regards to the Bottom Dollar, which apparently other residents did complain about:

http://newpittsburghcourieronline.com/2013/07/12/bottom-dollar-to-open-in-bloomfield-in-old-giant-eagle-building/

Funny quotation from Rick Swartz:

http://www.pcrg.org/rick-swartz-comments-on-land-bank/

“We all know that, for many private investors, the bottom line usually outweighs the good that is going to come to the community from their actions. That’s the nature of capitalism, and we at the BGC are OK with it.”

Okay with it huh?


rsprake

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Jul 15 2014 at 1:04pm #

Here is the rest of the quote.

We think a land bank will help to better fuse the investor’s bottom line to the community good that comes from recycling non-tax-producing properties in creative, exciting ways. If it helps to create some economic or social equity in your community in the end, that’s OK, too. We’re not going to attach too many wagons to one team of horses.


Pierce

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Jul 15 2014 at 8:16pm #

I’m reading that as “Hey, if you want to develop luxury lofts or a hotel in a depressed area, go for it! If you want to actually help the community, eh, that’s good, but not necessarily what we’re worried about.” Which again, feeds into my classist notion. The BGC only cares about the AutoZone because it isn’t inline with the higher income people the BGC wants to move into the area and prop up their own and others real estate ventures. An AutoZone isn’t going to bring more business to Salt of the Earth or the Glass Lofts or Verde or the other crap over there.


rgrasmus

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Jul 21 2014 at 12:21pm #

NIMBY http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2014/07/21/injuries-avoided-after-vehicle-crashes-into-auto-zone-store/


salty

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Jul 21 2014 at 7:03pm #

Well, their jingle says “get in the zone… auto zoooooone”. they don’t specify the method for getting in.


rsprake

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Jul 22 2014 at 7:40pm #

Related but not related. Not wanting another big box store in your area is not a unique to the “Salt of the Earth, Glass Lofts or Verde crowd.”

“Residents turn out to protest Walmart’s plans to build McCandless superstore”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/north/2014/07/22/Resident-protest-proposed-Walmart-in-McCandless/stories/201407220139#ixzz38FPiKOua


rgrasmus

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Jul 24 2014 at 3:37pm #

I wouldn’t mind if they turned it into a Dairy Queen location, but then again…

http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2014/07/24/vehicle-crashes-into-penn-hills-dairy-queen-multiple-injuries-reported/

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