A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A letter that four Pittsburgh City Council members sent to 30,000 Pittsburgh residents called a land bank proposal “predatory” and promoted a meeting set for Tuesday evening to discuss potential alternatives.
The letter, dated March 18, is signed by council members R. Daniel Lavelle of the Hill District, Darlene Harris of Spring Garden, Theresa Kail-Smith of Westwood and Ricky Burgess of North Point Breeze. It went to residents of their council districts.
A proposal from Councilwoman Deb Gross of Highland Park would establish a city land bank as a way to transfer vacant city-owned or tax delinquent properties to homebuyers and developers.
After some legal wrangling, three blighted properties on Monroe Street in Wilkes-Barre were demolished. The blighted properties became dumping grounds and the neighbors were bothered by noxious odors for several years. There have also been multiple fires (arson) at the site over the last two-years which have been a great concern for neighbors.
Blighted, and in this case vacant, properties are magnets for vandalism, squatters, dumping and rodents. These properties were jeopardizing the stability of an otherwise nice neighborhood. Repeated fires also created serious safety hazards for neighboring residents. Another issue here, there is an $18,000 tax lien on the property, which is still owned by Christopher Street Realty. The city is being reimbursed for the demolition of the derelict properties.
Kudos to Wilkes-Barre for taking the necessary steps to demolish these blighted properties and making this neighborhood safe and healthy once again!