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NAIOP Pittsburgh Responds to Proposed City of Pittsburgh Riverfront Zoning

Submitted by naiopdev on Tue, 06/05/2018 - 2:01pm

June 5, 2018 - The following is testimony read by David Weisberg, NAIOP Pittsburgh President.

Good afternoon, my name is David Weisberg and I am President of NAIOP Pittsburgh.  NAIOP is the largest regional association of developers, owners, investors and professionals of commercial real estate in Pittsburgh.  On behalf of the more than 350 members, I am here today to express our strong concerns for certain provisions within the proposed Riverfront Zoning District developed by the Pittsburgh Planning Commission.  As the Pittsburgh Chapter of NAIOP we have deep concerns about these proposed changes and believe there is a unique opportunity to work together to balance the needs of all stakeholders in our community.

We appreciate the hard work the Planning Commission Members and City Planning team have done to develop a framework for replacing the interim planning overlay district with a permanent zoning plan.  And we applaud and support the preservation/restoration of our riverfronts, as well as the push for high quality development along those riverfronts.  However, after extensive conversations with our members, we believe that if the city moves forward with these amendments as currently constructed these zoning changes will have a serious chilling effect on riverfront & economic development across the city. 

To be clear, NAIOP members are concerned with a wide range of items, these concerns include but are not limited to the following:

" Parking limits;

" Setback requirements;

" Mandated view corridors;

" Reducing the maximum building footprint;

" Height restrictions; and

" Building length.

Certain developments that would not have occurred with these news restrictions would include many of the projects in robotics row in Lawrenceville and the Strip District.

Our membership places extraordinary emphasis on developing, owning and building high-quality real estate projects that recognize the unique and different needs of neighborhoods and communities across the city of Pittsburgh.   

We want to work cooperatively with City Council, the Administration and other key stakeholders to have a comprehensive discussion about the proposed changes to the Riverfront Zoning.

We hope that you will take our membership's concerns with the seriousness with which they are offered, and engage in a dialogue that will enable you to craft a final set of zoning recommendations that balance the needs of all stakeholders in this community.

Thank you for your attention to these issues and look forward to working with you.