On Wednesday, January 18 at Penn Brewery, 800 Vinial St., the Community Alliance of Spring Garden East Deutschtown convened to discuss the zoning of Chestnut Street, which is currently classified as R1A-VH (residential single-unit attached very high density).
Ruth Ann Daily, president of CASGED, said Chestnut Street was rezoned from a commercial area about 15 years ago to residential, and the meeting was held at the request of business and property owners in the neighborhood.
“There is a desire in the community to have businesses back like there used to be,” Daily said.
Right now that is not possible, and the only businesses that are allowed in the area were there previous to the zoning switch to R1A-VH.
Daily said during the meeting, zoning options were discussed on how to facilitate commercial redevelopment in the area.
“This can only happen if property owners and people who live on that street want it to happen,” Daily said.
At the meeting to help field questions were Councilwoman Darlene Harris’ Chief of Staff Jeff Martin, Urban Redevelopment Authority Neighborhood Business Districts Manager Josette Fitzgibbons, City of Pittsburgh Neighborhood Planner Stephanie Joy Everett, and Mayor Peduto’s Small Business and Redevelopment Manager Henry Pyatt.
During the meeting, Martin said that Councilwoman Harris wanted to caution neighbors to leave zoning the way it is, but if there is a clear majority of people who would like to change it she will support the decision.
Pyatt said if the community decides to change the zoning, it will be to NDO (neighborhood office district) or LNC (local neighborhood commercial district). Either would not eliminate any current legal residential uses.
Daily said the next meeting will be about three months from now, and until that time CASGED and members of the community business alliance will be going door to door to make residents aware and involved in the discussion.