NEW RIVERFRONT ZONING

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sparkles
Member
#

Hi all. I went to a presentation on the new Riverfront Zoning Plan last night which helped me to sort through the pretty complicated information on it. This plan will have a huge impact on the 35 miles of riverfront that it covers. It could be amazing if developers choose to earn bonus points available for public river access, including affordable housing and bike/pedestrial trails, and it could be awful if they don’t. Those things are incentivized through a point system – if developers want to earn points to increase building height – but there is absolutely no requirement to choose to do them and there are other, “easier” ways to earn points. Complicated table here:

https://pghriverfrontzoning.files.wordpress.com/2018/02/915-07-bonus-points-structure-as-of-0206.pdf

I want those things to be mandatory, or at least much more skewed in the point system than they are at this point.

I asked flat out last night if it’s possible that we’ll have a break in the trail system because a developer doesn’t want to include a trail piece and the answer was yes.

The setback requirements don’t seem to be an issue per Erok (min 95ft Riparian zone.)

Please get feedback to Andrea – 412.255.2223 or andrea.lavinkossis@pittsburghpa.gov.

Keep Pittsburgh livable and let’s have access to the rivers that define us and are a public good!


NMR
Member
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Thanks for the report!

Would you mind adding a bit of context to your question about potential break in the trail system? This would only be for potential future extensions to the system, correct?

Northside was told all existing sections of trail would have to be maintained by any adjacent redevelopment, even if the acquired parcels are on both sides of the trail. Essentially, you’d at worst have a situation like at the Science Center or Southside marina.


sparkles
Member
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Thank you for that info! She didn’t give us any details. That helps, but I also want new developments to include a trail piece.


erok
Keymaster
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FWIW, the meeting last night was in Lawrenceville. There has been a push, on again, off again, about the Green Boulevard and extending the trail from the Strip District to Highland Park, and possibly beyond to Verona.

So yeah, possibly new stuff. Admittedly, i wasn’t at the meeting, i just know that the plans for Green Blvd may require using private land within this new zoning district, so it was probably talked about in that context


sparkles
Member
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Yeah, no mention of Green Boulevard last night.


Eric
Member
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Just to clarify, I’m 99 percent sure it isn’t about developers taking away current trail but refusing to develop new trail segments. The current trails, I’m sure, involve easements, and if a developer wants to get rid of one my guess it would end up as a big court fight and the developer would lose. Plus all that bad publicity. (except for in the Trib)


sparkles
Member
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<p style=”text-align: left;”>That’s great, but we need more trails so we need new development to include them. Has BikePgh advocated for this? What is BikePgh’s position?</p>


erok
Keymaster
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yes. we were integral in getting the trails connected thru the bakery square 2.0 development and helping get that connected. we’ve also been involved in the green blvd talks for a long time, and a big part of that is securing rights of way on private land. we also worked with CMU to build a new building on the parking lot 8′ from their property line in the hopes that the city can extend the Junction Hollow trail further up Neville St, and CMU would include a new trail behind their building. We provided comment and met with the developer of the new Station Square project. Almono is another one. these are the ones that come to me off the top of my head


sparkles
Member
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Oh I know BikePgh has done a lot of work on trail access in general, I just meant specifically on this new Riverfront Zoning and the kind of complicated bonus point system for trail pieces in new development.


erok
Keymaster
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ah. sorry. we haven’t formally said anything publicly but did send a letter of support. i think it’s a good thing. even tho many developments think that adding a trail is an amenity, there are many developments that do not. this is particularly problematic when you think about a parcel that is at the end of a line of trail. like why should they “give up” some of their land for the public to use as a trail, especially if they are the last parcel. if they refuse, the trail will still happen, right? it just won’t be as long. You can see how that could eventually chip away at a trail project. so incentivizing it may be key.


sparkles
Member
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Thanks, Erok. Just heard that they’re doubling the bonus points for affordability to create more incentive, which is great.


erok
Keymaster
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The other part of this that we support is that it lowers the parking minimum, and creates a parking maximum.

 

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