September 2017 Meeting
Our meeting started out with a presentation from the University of Pitt (Daren Ellerbe) who explained briefly how the Community Engagement Center in Homewood would be set up.
- They will have two locations: one next to the PNC building and one near Alma Illery which was previously an old music center.
- Programs and students from Pitt are already currently working at the HCV, YMCA, and Elma Illery
- Their office will have an open space for people to meet, connect and have access to Wi-Fi
- At the 7800 Building, they have a Manufacturing Assistance Center (MAC) that will be providing training opportunities for those seeking mechanical skills. There will be scholarship opportunities for those who apply for the three different types of training they have. See images below.
A concern about the 548 Rosedale property was addressed at this meeting because of speculation that it might become a halfway house for sex offenders.
- The property is currently listed on Zillow for $1,160 a month plus utilities for the 5 bedroom home.
- For them to place multiple families in the home they would need an occupancy permit.
- As far as remodeling, they are able to change the inside without a permit as long as they don’t change the outside too.
Our Senior Planner at the Department of City Planned also had some announcements for our residents. The proposal for Amazon is including the option to put the headquarters in Homewood, Hazelwood, or Manchester.
- The proposal for Amazon is including the option to put the headquarters in Homewood, Hazelwood, or Manchester.
- Pittsburgh along with other cities are looking to obtain the new headquarters to bring in more jobs.
- There will also be the public reviling of the Homewood Comprehensive Plan on October 5th
The core message of last night’s meeting was the importance of effective, authentic community engagement in planning for development along the south side of the 7800 block of Susquehanna Street. Many ideas were surfaced during the group discussion. Highlights are below:
- The importance of assuring that current community stakeholders have an opportunity to benefit from the development activity was at the forefront of the recommendations. Ideas related to community benefits included:
- Businesses occupying Bridgeway supported construction should provide employment opportunities for residents of the East End.
- Training opportunities should be readily accessible to community residents. Suggested training recommendations included:
- Car repair
- Technology (web production and related skill sets)
- Substance abuse counseling
- The targeted focus should be on providing opportunities for community residents to work and live in the community. The possible construction of loft apartments above workspace was suggested.
- Services should be provided for school-aged youth, K-12, to prepare them to be long-term, productive residents of the community. The specific range of services will likely make use of multiple providers.
- The broad range of recommendations were made regarding the appearance of new buildings. Recommendations included:
- The scale of the buildings should not “overwhelm” the landscape. A maximum height of three stories was suggested.
- The buildings should comply with modern environmental guidelines, including solar panels and stormwater management.
- Green space should be included in the design.
- Other ideas included:
- Warm water therapy pool that can be accessed by community residents
- Senior citizen’s park (walking track)
- Urban farming using vertical growth processes; this can include food production
- Community kitchen
- Consignment shop for community residents
- Safe spaces for community residents of all ages
- Strip mall