December 2007 Community Update


Zoning Hearing
On December 6th, 1552 Beechview Avenue will be under consideration at the Pittsburgh Zoning Board of Adjustment because of an application to operate a check-cashing business there. In order for a check-cashing business to operate there, a variance must be granted as the current ordinance states that check-cashing establishments are not permitted within 500 feet of residential property.

Check-cashing establishments are often viewed as predatory lenders, engaging in payday lending that extends very high interest rates to customers under the assumption that loans will be short-term (until the next payday).

Citizens interested in taking action on this issue can speak at the zoning hearing; contact the Zoning Board at 412-255-2231 to sign up. Alternatively, citizens can submit written testimony to:
Wrenna Watson
Chairwoman, Zoning Board of Adjustment
c/o Dolores Hanna
4th Floor
200 Ross Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Community Plan
A steering committee comprised of community stakeholders, and directed by the Pittsburgh Department of City Planning, has reviewed the 15 proposals submitted for a consultant to help Beechview conduct a neighborhood-wide planning process. The Beechview Community Planning Steering Committee has narrowed the field to four consultant teams, which it will interview in January. The steering committee will then select one consultant and the real work will begin. The resulting plan will be a comprehensive look at the neighborhood and identify key projects that will improve the quality of life for residents.

Business District Development (from Don Bell’s comment on “Progress in Beechview!“)
In the ongoing story of Bernardo Katz and Beechview: At the latest meeting of CLUB (Community Leaders United for Beechview) we had a surprise guest, Holly Katz. Ms Katz is the estranged wife of Bernardo Katz. She apologized to the community for the problems created by her husband in the Beechview Business District and indicated if anyone in the community was interested in any of the properties to please contact her attorney, Joseph Lawrence. His number is 412-281-5423.

Upcoming events in Beechview:

12/06/07 – Zoning Board of Adjustment Hearing @ 200 Ross Street (8:50 a.m.)

12/15/07 – Christmas Cookie Sale @ Beechview United Presbyterian Church (10 a.m. – 12 p.m.)


Useful Information
At its November meeting, the Brookline Area Community Council hosted guest speaker Joyce Miller from the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh. She provided useful information about Section 8 and public housing. More information on this topic can be found under “Building Conditions.” The BACC January meeting will feature a speaker on predatory lending.

Clean Up Brookline
A representative from South Pittsburgh Development Corporation recently attended a PA Cleanways lunch at which PALS (People Against Litter) provided SPDC with pickers and vests to help it clean up Brookline. SPDC is seeking volunteers for weekend clean-ups. Interested persons should contact Keith Knecht at 412-561-4482.

Upcoming events in Brookline:

12/04/07 – SPDC meeting and Christmas gathering

12/10/07 – Brookline Chamber of Commerce meeting @ McLaughlin’s Office (6 p.m.)

12/11/07 – Brookline Block Watch Christmas gathering @ McLaughlin’s Office (6:30 p.m.)

12/31/07 – no BACC meeting (usually the last Monday of the month)

01/28/07 – Brookline Area Community Council meeting @ St. Mark’s (7 p.m.)


Upcoming events in Carrick:

12/09/07 – Pancake & Sausage Breakfast @ St. Norbert Parish, 2413 St. Norbert Street (9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)

12/13/07 – Carrick Business Association meeting @ Michael’s Restaurant, 3052 Churchview Avenue (6:30 p.m. networking, 7:30 dinner, 8:00 meeting). Please RSVP to Carla Dieterle at 412-881-7932.

12/15/07 – 29th Ward Democratic Committee Holiday Party @ St. Pius Church, 2336 Brownsville Road (7:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.)

Every Wednesday Evening – Bingo @ St. Sylvester Roman Catholic Church, 3754 Brownsville Road (7:00 p.m.)


New, Old Quarters
The Overbrook Community Council, which has had its office on the second floor of the Overbrook Firehouse for years, will be moving in 2008 to a newly renovated first floor of the same building. The Firehouse is a beautiful, historic building and many are glad to see it continue to be used.

The Overbrook Community Council continues to seek members. Please contact Carol Anthony at 412-884-2462 to find out more.

All South Pittsburgh Neighborhoods

Mayor’s Neighborhood Forum
“Join Mayor Luke Ravenstahl for a Mayor’s Neighborhood Forum – one of a series of ten community conversations throughout Pittsburgh neighborhoods. The Mayor will report back on initiatives such as his Neighborhoods First Agenda and solicit input on the state and future of the communities of Banksville, Beechview, Bon Air, Brookline, Carrick and Overbrook.”

Upcoming events in South Pittsburgh:

12/05/07 – Mayor’s Neighborhood Forum @ St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 933 Brookline Boulevard (6:30 p.m.)


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