State of the Land Report: November

Welcome to the November State of the Land Report!

The State of the Land Report is our monthly update where we will be educating and sharing out about everything you need to know about vacant land policy in the City of Pittsburgh! 

Advocacy Network

Thank you for subscribing to our advocacy network, if you have not already done so please subscribe here.

We must ensure that the process of land recycling and maintenance is conducted equitably, transparently, and through an anti-racist framework. Help lobby for changes in local, state, and federal land-use policies, voice your concerns about vacant land in your community and how you want to see it developed, and support your neighbors in obtaining land access and ownership. 

State of the Land Updates

Election Results

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021, was Election Day. Here are the results!

Congratulations to:

  • Mayor Ed Gainey

  • County Councilmembers Anita Prizio, Patrick Catena Jr, Michelle Naccarati-Chapkis, and Robert Palmosina

  • City Councilmembers Theresa Kail Smith, Anthony Coghill, Daniel Lavelle, and Erika Strassburger

  • School Board Representatives Sylvia Wilson, Sala Udin, Tracey Reed, Jamie Piotrowski, and Gene Walker

  • Sherif Kevin Kraus

  • Court of Common Pleas Judges Nicola Henry-Taylor, Tiffany Sizemore, Elliot Howsie, Wrenna Watson, Chelsea Wagner, Lisa Middleman, Sabrina Korbel, Tom Caulfield, Bruce Bemmer and, Jessel Costa

  • PA State Supreme Court Judge Kevin Brobson, PA State Superior Court Judge Megan Sullivan, and PA State Commonwealth Court Judges Drew Crompton and Stacy Wallace.

Political involvement does not end here. Now, it’s time to keep our leaders accountable!

Cleaning up our streets. Transforming vacant lots. Empowering working families who have been left behind or pushed out. If elected, we’ll do all these things and more. #PittsburghTogether 

Land Doctor Program

Land Doctor is a team of community project consultants that provide direct assistance to any resident looking to access, reclaim, transform, or otherwise take care of vacant land in their neighborhood.  Through a vacant land ‘hotline’, the Land Doctor is available to help residents navigate all the steps involved in implementing and sustaining a green space project, including outreach, design, assessment, access, and execution.

LotstoLove Logo

Learn more on our Lots to Love: Resources for Action Page and if you are interested, contact Land Doctor via their Land Doctor Intake Form

Policy Updates

City Lots Maintenance Bids

On October 15th, 2021, the City of Pittsburgh began accepting city lot maintenance bids as part of their Land Maintenance Program.

The City of Pittsburgh is seeking qualified land care and maintenance businesses to submit applications to assist in the year-round land maintenance of city-owned properties and lots. The city developed this program to invest money into community-based businesses to provide solutions for distressed city-owned properties. The program will assign over 4,400 properties that have been divided geographically into “bundles” of around 200 properties each to multiple businesses. The selected vendors will be responsible for all properties in their assigned bundle(s) and are expected to visit each property at least monthly throughout the year to cut grass, remove litter, weed perimeters, trim tree branches and remove debris

Read the full press release and find the application: Here

 

City Council Meeting Highlights


On October 19th, 2021, City Council Meeting appointed:

  • Representative Emily Kinkead as a Member of the Board of Directors for the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN) for a term to expire December 31st, 2025. Representative Kinkead will serve in a seat previously held by Brenda Smith who resigned.
  • Karen Brean as a Member of the Pittsburgh Land Bank Board of directors for a term to expire November 1st, 2023. Ms. Brean will serve in a seat designated for an individual with expertise in planning which was previously held by Diamonte Walker who resigned.

 

On October 27th, as a part of National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, City Council introduced a new “Pittsburgh Lead Safety Law”. This legislation would proactively assess common pathways of lead exposure and raise awareness of the issues surrounding exposure to lead hazards.

Get the Lead Out Pittsburgh shared a letter signed by nearly 200 organizations and residents urging City Council to enact a Pittsburgh Lead Safety Law.

If passed, lead filters would be put in all city-own drinking facilities and all demolition would need to acquire a permit for a lead-safe plan, limiting the spread of lead dust. More information and the full resolution is available at GetTheLeadOutPGH.org.

 

 

On November 1st, Pittsburgh City Council authorized spending $90,000 in grant money to launch a two-year pilot program on composting. The program will focus on educating the public about composting and supporting organizations that provide composting services. Composting can improve soil’s ability to retain water, which reduces stormwater runoff. 

 

311 Vacant Lot Data

311 is Pittsburgh’s non-emergency response center. All calls are logged through the Western PA Regional Data Center. Using their Request Type Codebook from their 311 Data User Guide, Grounded is tracking 311 calls made about “Vacant Lots” and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) Properties” in order to understand more about 311 calls made about vacant properties in the city.

280 calls have been made to 311 throughout 2021 so far. Below is the breakdown of the number of calls made per month.

Of the 280 calls, 156 were made by the website, 100 were made via the call center, and 19 were made via Report2Gov Mobile App.

311 calls are an important way to let the city know about your concerns. Make a phone call to 311 or  412-255-2621, Use their online request form, submit a report via the myBurgh app for Android and iOS o or Tweet @pgh311. 

Review our October State of the Land Report for the 311 reports broken down by the City Council Districts.

 

Steward Spotlight –
Talking Lots Episode 2 with Angela Williams

Talking Lots is a podcast series that explores the issue of vacant lots in the Pittsburgh region. We present stories of vacant land restoration and activation as told through the voices of residents, community leaders, partners, and officials. Vacant lots are often overlooked but these stories prove that beautiful things can happen when we take care of the land that surrounds us.

In the second episode, we speak with Angela Williams, founder, and creator of the Star Meditation Garden. Listen to Angela discuss her experience with vacant lot maintenance, describe how to be a meaningful community partner, and share what keeps her motivated as she continues to advocate for improvement to her neighborhood.

Listen to the full podcast below or here

 

Additional Resources

Review our October State of the Land Report.

Check out all the resources Lots to Love has to offer such as the Land Doctor.

Call To Action

Sign up for our advocacy network! If you already have, share this with a friend, family, neighbor, or coworker and get them to sign up as well.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.