On August 23, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl made a proclamation honoring and thanking Fineview resident Patricia Buck for her years of services in her neighborhood.
“I’m a little embarrassed,” said Buck, who noted that many others also worked to make Fineview a better place to live. “But I’m also humbled and honored. No one does it by themselves. It’s a community that achieves things.”
Buck has worked with Fineview Citizens Council for 30 years and helped found the Northside Leadership Conference.
“Pat is great for setting things up and recruiting volunteers,” said FCC president Melissa Gallagher. “She’s always great to have around.”
One of her most significant contributions was that Buck played a crucial role in an early ’90s project that not only brought 12 new homes to Fineview, but changed Pittsburgh zoning ordinances that paved the way for progressive city-wide development.
When Buck and other Fineview residents proposed building 12 single family homes on vacant land in collaboration with the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh in 1991, the project was so controversial and significant, it later became known as “the battle of Fineview.”
Though they were backed by the URA, the project ran into a zoning ordinance that prohibited building a detached single home on less than 5,000 square feet of land.
The ordinance was created in the ’50s during a movement where Pittsburgh tried to suburbanize itself. The movement was also responsible for the destruction of historic homes in the Northside and the construction of Allegheny Center Mall.
However, with the help of then City Councilman Jake Milliones, the ordinance was repealed and “the battle of Fineview” was won. Not only did it result in 12 new Fineview homes, it paved the way for multiple private housing projects across the City, including most recently Columbus Square in Manchester.
From the Northside to the East End to the South Side, homeowners in recently constructed homes can thank Patricia Buck and the citizens of Fineview for the minimal yard work their small lots require.