The disposition of land in our neighborhoods should be an important issue to every Pittsburgh resident. Land is a finite resource, and the Pittsburgh Land Bank has the potential to unlock currently vacant land and be a tool to revitalize currently abandoned houses. However, it’s important for the public as individuals and as groups to be involved in the decision-making process as we debate who controls Pittsburgh’s land.
Last month, the Pittsburgh Land Bank released their long-awaited draft Policies and Procedures, a document that will determine how the PLB will operate. Before the Pittsburgh Land Bank can begin to operate, the Policies and Procedures must be presented to the public and approved by City Council and the Mayor. This provides a crucial opportunity for input into the formation of a new public authority that will have a dramatic impact on the land revitalization system in Pittsburgh.
Because the Policies and Procedures will determine how PCRG members will interact with the Pittsburgh Land Bank, PCRG convened a meeting of members to discuss the document. Attendees raised concerns about the ability of community groups and organizations to access the process, and whether the Pittsburgh Land Bank will take community priorities into account when making decisions about the disposition of land. In addition, attendees discussed the accountability of Pittsburgh Land Bank staff and Board of Directors. PCRG staff plan to create a formal response to the document, summarizing concerns in a document that will be approved by the PCRG board and presented to the Land Bank. PCRG members with additional feedback should contact Alyssa Lyon and Chris Sandvig.
PCRG staff encourage all Pittsburgh residents, activists, community groups, and businesses to read through the Policies and Procedures, and to give feedback by attending a community meeting or using the online form. To register for a community meeting, visit the Pittsburgh Land Bank page. Community meetings will be held on the following dates and locations:
WEST: Monday, March 13, 2017 from 6:30 to 8 PM at the West End Senior Center,
80 Wabash St. Pgh, PA 15220
SOUTH: Monday, March 20th from 6:30 PM to 8 PM at St. Paul AME Church,
400 Orchard Pl, Pittsburgh, PA 15210
CENTRAL: Saturday, March 25th from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM at Jeron X. Grayson Community Center
1852 Enoch Street Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Childcare will provided for ages 2 and up.
EAST: Monday, March 27th from 6:30 PM to 8 PM at the Kingsley Association,
6435 Frankstown Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
NORTH: Tuesday, April 4th from 6:30 PM to 8 PM
at the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 84,
841 California Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15212. Childcare will provided for ages 2 and up.