Press Releases http://www.pittsburghpa.gov/district7/news City Council District 7 (c) 2014 | City of Pittsburgh | All rights reserved PITTSBURGH CITY COUNCIL PASSES LAND BANK BILL IN HISTORIC 8-1 VOTE http://www.pittsburghpa.gov/district7/article?id=2971 <h5>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:</h5> <div>Pittsburgh &ndash; In a historic 8-1 final vote held earlier today, Pittsburgh City Council passed legislation to create a land bank in the City of Pittsburgh. The legislation originally introduced by Councilwoman Deb Gross in January, was refined over an intensive four month community engagement process with neighborhood leaders from throughout Pittsburgh.</div> <div>Partnering with Councilman Corey O&rsquo;Connor, Gross worked to craft amendments to her original legislation ensuring protections for owner-occupants, allowing for a community petition process to guide land bank activities and to guarantee representation from acrossthe city on the land bank&rsquo;s governing board.&nbsp;</div> <div>In a statement on today&rsquo;s vote, Gross said:</div> <div>&ldquo;It was inspiring to see my colleagues stand united during today&rsquo;s vote. Today&rsquo;s action by Council was the result of healthy public discussion about neighborhood-led development in our city. It was a pleasure to work to bring our legislative body together to find common ground.</div> <div>Through the creation of a land bank, residents and community groups will finally have a device to empower neighborhoods to reimagine Pittsburgh. Today was the first step to equip neighborhoods with the power to drive what happens in their communities.&nbsp;</div> <div>This would not have been possible without such a wide variety of community leaders fromacross Pittsburgh working for our collective mission to establish a Pittsburgh land bank as a vital community tool, one that will strengthen our city block by block.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; # # #</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 13:27:57 -0400 PITTSBURGH CITY COUNCIL TO HOLD EVENING PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED LAND BANK LEGISATION http://www.pittsburghpa.gov/district7/article?id=2733 <p>Pittsburgh, PA &ndash; To facilitate and continue a robust community discussion regarding legislation introduced by City Councilwoman Deb Gross earlier this month, Pittsburgh City Council will hold an official public hearing relative to a Pittsburgh Land Bank on <strong>Thursday, February 20<sup>th</sup> at 6:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers</strong>.</p> <p>The rescheduled public hearing comes in response to a high volume of &nbsp;thoughtful comments and suggestions made by community members and organizations relating to the creation of a Pittsburgh Land Bank.</p> <p>&ldquo;Allowing for more time between original introduction of legislation to create a Pittsburgh Land Bank and an official public hearing will foster an even more thorough and productive discussion of community suggestions and concerns regarding the proposed land bank,&rdquo; said Councilwoman Gross.</p> <p>Gross added, &ldquo;Council is excited to hear community input as to how we can produce even better land bank legislation together, furthering our goal of equipping all neighborhoods with the tools that they need to remedy vacant and abandoned properties in their communities block by block.&nbsp; I look forward to continued collaboration with the community and my fellow Councilmembers to ensure that every voice is heard and that we end up with the strongest possible legislation.&rdquo;</p> <p>An official post agenda allowing for expert testimony and discussion of the legislation will be scheduled at a later date, but will also be televised and open to the public.</p> <p align="center"># # #</p> Tue, 04 Feb 2014 11:10:14 -0500 COUNCILWOMAN DEB GROSS INTRODUCES LAND BANK BILL TO ADDRESS BLIGHT, IMPROVE CITY PROPERTY VALUES, STABILIZE TAX BASE http://www.pittsburghpa.gov/district7/article?id=2662 <p dir="ltr">PITTSBURGH, PA - In today&rsquo;s meeting of city council, Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Deb Gross introduced legislation that, if passed, will create a land bank in Pittsburgh. This proposed legislation will transform Pittsburgh&rsquo;s current land recycling system from a fragmented and disjointed process into a single entity, enabling residents and community groups to effectively transform vacant and abandoned properties in their neighborhoods .</p> <p dir="ltr">The proposed land bank &nbsp;will have the power to quickly acquire, maintain and strategically dispose of vacant properties throughout the city. Gross&rsquo; legislation, her first as Chair of Pittsburgh City Council&rsquo;s Committee on Land Use and Economic Development, comes as the most significant step in reforming the City&rsquo;s outdated and conflicting land recycling process, allowing for civically-minded neighborhood focused development across Pittsburgh.</p> <p dir="ltr">The bill comes as a result of state legislation, passed in 2012, empowering Pennsylvania municipalities to establish land banks to address the economic and social issues created by entrusting tangled bureaucracies to manage blight and vacant land. The state legislation, titled State Land Bank Act, is based on national best practices in land recycling.</p> <p dir="ltr">&ldquo;The Pittsburgh Land Bank will level the playing field in community development throughout our City, allowing all community groups to have a hands-on role in revitalizing their neighborhoods - not just those with full-time staff capacity,&rdquo; said Gross.</p> <p dir="ltr">Gross added, &ldquo;I have heard from countless constituents about issues related to vacant properties in our neighborhoods. Currently, we have a 60 year backlog of vacant and blighted land in our City. It&rsquo;s time to finally empower our communities by giving them the tools they need to improve our neighborhoods.&rdquo;</p> <p dir="ltr">Distressed properties&mdash;totaling more than 35,000 in Pittsburgh&mdash;spread blight, depress property values and lead to increases in crime. Consequently, research has shown that improvements to blighted parcels produce noticeable reductions in gun assaults and vandalism.</p> <p dir="ltr">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; ###</p> Tue, 14 Jan 2014 11:28:56 -0500 Pittsburgh City Councilwoman-elect Deb Gross names former Dowd communication director as chief of staff, District 7 community outreach staffer as office's community development liaison http://www.pittsburghpa.gov/district7/article?id=2617 <p><strong>Pittsburgh, PA</strong> &ndash; Newly elected Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Deb Gross, who won a November 5<sup>th</sup> special election to fill the City Council seat vacated by Patrick Dowd in July, has announced that she will be bringing on former Dowd communications director, Nate Hanson as her office&rsquo;s Chief of Staff.</p> <p>Hanson, who worked as Dowd&rsquo;s primary communications strategist and representative, will continue to oversee office communications, and will work closely with District 7 residents, neighborhood groups, businesses and community leaders. Hanson is also a recently nominated member of the City of Pittsburgh Propel Commission, where he serves on a working group currently rewriting the commission&rsquo;s bylaws and chairs Propel&rsquo;s Diversity Committee.</p> <p>Land use specialist Moira Egler will also join Gross&#39; office as Gross&#39; community development liaison. In this role, Egler, who has worked as the District 7 constituent services assistant since March of 2012, will assume full-time responsibilities for helping to coordinate Gross&rsquo; &nbsp;work in community development, constituent services, and land use policy in District 7, which includes the neighborhoods of Lawrenceville, Strip District, Polish Hill, Highland Park, Morningside, Bloomfield, Friendship, and a portion of Stanton Heights. Egler&rsquo;s professional background includes working in community development in post-Katrina New Orleans.&nbsp;</p> <p>Gross, who will be officially sworn into office on December 6<sup>th</sup> during an 11 a.m. ceremony in City Council Chambers, said, &ldquo;I am excited to announce that Nate Hanson and Moira Egler will be joining my office team and will continue their commitment to serving District 7 residents. Both Nate and Moira will bring serious attitudes of dedication to public service and diverse skill sets that will contribute to the neighborhoods that have elected me as their representative.&rdquo;</p> <p>Gross added, &ldquo;Moira and Nate were integral to ensuring that the needs of my new constituents were met during a 5-month vacancy period in City Council District 7. I can&rsquo;t wait to officially start work with my new team and hit the ground running to serve District 7 residents.&rdquo;</p> <p>Both Hanson and Egler worked in the District 7 office to provide constituent service support for District 7 residents during the office&#39;s vacancy period from&nbsp;Dowd&rsquo;s July resignation through the November 5<sup>th</sup> special election.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; # # #</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p> Thu, 05 Dec 2013 15:55:33 -0500