Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Ravenstahl backs blight bill - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Let's talk about this bill.
Ravenstahl backs blight bill - Pittsburgh Tribune-ReviewPittsburgh lawmakers could begin requiring vacant property owners to register their deserted domiciles so the city can ensure they are sealed, demolished or renovated.
From people & vips

The first priority of both City Council and the Mayor's Office should be to redd up their own properties.

From playground - usa

The city owns a lot of wasted spaces that are 'wasted away Margaritaville.' Closed Recreation Centers. Closed swim pools. Falling down stairs. Broken streets. You name it. The city's inventory of bad spaces needs to be made public. At the top of the city's fumbles needs to be the city owned ice rink on the South Side that still has not seen a R.F.P. promised months ago and years ago.

From playground - usa

The city needs to get its own house in order before they go into the neighborhoods and get on the case of property owners who have paid their taxes.

Then, if the city has a problem with property owners who have bad buildings, use the building inspectors.

Carl Sutter went into City Council this week with photos of a building that has been a mess for years. YEARS. These guys know of it. They do nothing.

Enforcement sucks. The problems are known. They don't need a new list. The requirement for property owners to do something else is worthless until there is some follow-through with their own duties that mount.

We don't need to demolish properties that are worth saving. Everyone can't buy a condo downtown, for Pete's sake. We've got affordable housing in the neighborhoods that needs to be kept when possible.

The fire in Hazelwood that took down a vacant property and some nearby properties was no secret to the folks on Grant Street. There were complaints made monthly. It sat and nothing was done. Then a tragic fire occured. The fire caused losses that didn't need to occur.

But the point of the matter is that the list was there. A new ordinance isn't going to help put out that fire. A new ordinance is worthless.

To fine building owners $300 a day is insane -- because they don't submit for the list!

From playground - usa

Let's fine Pittsburgh Public Schools $300 a day for its vacant South Hills High School. That building sits in a neighborhood. For months, -- NO -- FOR YEARS, there was a deal that was to happen so that the city's URA (Urban Redevelopment Authority) was to purchase the property from the Pgh Public School District. Just this week at the school board meeting one of the board members, Skip Mc., asked a URA official -- "why in the hell didn't the URA purchase that property already?" -- Skip didn't say "hell" -- but I did. Its my blog.

Screw the URA for screwing the city school budget for so long. The deal with that property was done years ago. The URA is the problem. The city is the problem. There are developers who want to take the building and they've been stalled forever.

From playground - usa

We should charge the URA $300 a day for their blunders and folly.

Recently, 22 schools were shut. Some are getting re-use as other schools. But dozens of school buildings were already in mothballs.

From playground - usa

Gladstone Middle School for example. What about South Vo Tech High School? Nothing is being done there. Beltzhoover needs help. The asset is sitting there, idle.

If the city wants to work on blight, then the city needs to light a fire under the URA. Work on the pressing needs of the school district. Work on the other public assets that are rodent havens.

It is the URA properties that make for the biggest pimples in our neighborhoods.

From playground - usa

Len Bodack and Dan Deasy -- get off the backs of the private citizens and get to work on mending the properties that the city owns. Be good stewards with your acts with your own spaces.

Other empty buildings owned by public agencies.

From playground - usa
Can you name this building, along the river. What good is that? Perhaps we should use this as a Youth Hostel? Perhaps this is the site that is given to the Pens for a new arena.


Mark Rauterkus said...

Ravenstahl backs blight bill

By Jeremy Boren
Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Pittsburgh lawmakers could begin requiring vacant property owners to register their deserted domiciles so the city can ensure they are sealed, demolished or renovated.

“This continues the mayor’s battle on blight,” said Dick Skrinjar, spokesman for Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.

The proposed ordinance would require owners to register newly vacant properties with the city Bureau of Building Inspection within 30 days. A plan to seal, demolish or rebuild a property would be required within 180 days.

Owners who don't register their properties would be fined $300 a day, according to the proposal introduced today by Councilmen Len Bodack and Dan Deasy.

The rules would apply only to properties in or near residential areas. Structures that are vacant because of fire or weather damage must be registered within 90 days. City Council members plan to hold a public hearing to discuss the ordinance. They haven’t scheduled a date.

Jeremy Boren can be reached at or (412) 765-2312.

Matt H said...

No need to jump on Councilman Deasy and Bodack. They are proposing some decent legislation that is much need in the city. Especially in their own districts. I live in Councilman Deasys district and the biggest problem we have is properties owend by private citizens who just let them sit idle for years and years. The problem in District 2 is not city properties. It's good legislation for my neighborhood.

Mark Rauterkus said...

The BBI efforts are not up to full speed, are they?

If a person has property and it sits -- that isn't against the law. It is against the law to take the property -- or even a pound of flesh from the property owner -- because there isn't a renter.

The city has many other, better things to do with its attention.

The laws that are in place need to be enforced. New legislation isn't going to bring citations. That's enforcement.