SPR 04-19-22

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REPORTER •

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Tuesday, April 19, 2022

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Rental registration requirement begins Reporter at the end of May South Side Inside This Week’s South • Pittsburgh

The 2022 DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh P3R Marathon races will be back on the April 30May 1 weekend.

By Margaret L. Smykla Contributing Writer The city’s new rental registration program headlined the April 12 meeting of the See Page 3 South Side Planning Forum. Carrick Sarah Kinter, Director of Spencer Avenue Unit- Permits, Licenses, and Ined Methodist Church’s spections (PLI), said the Spring Rummage Sale city’s new rental registration will take place at 117 program begins on May 29, Spencer Ave., Pittsburgh 2022. Current rental units 15227. will have until Dec. 31, See Page 3 2022, to register. The program will allow South Side city officials to inspect and The South Side Comensure rental properties meet munity Council Annual the minimum standards for Plant Sale is going on unsafe living conditions. til April 25. Rental registration fees See Page 2 are paid by property ownSouth Side ers. Inspections on rentThe Second Annual al units will occur at least South Side Community once every five years. Yard Sale will take place The fees are $16 per regon Saturday, May 14, 9:00 istration, $5.50 per parcel, a.m. until 2:00 p.m. and $14 per unit. The revSee Page 3 enue will cover the costs of inspection and travel. RentPittsburgh The Department of Mo- al registrations are valid for bility and Infrastructure one year and must be re(DOMI) is beginning its newed annually. Owner-occupied units are 2022 milling and paving exempt from the program. program this week. @ sopghreporter.com Affordable Housing properties are exempt from the South Side rental registration permit fee, City Theatre’s final probut are subject to registration duction of its 2021/2022 s e a s o n i s L i n d s a y and inspection. Structures or portions of Joelle’s The Garbolostructures built prior to 1978 gists, directed by Monteze may be exempt from lead inFreeland. spections and fees where the @ sopghreporter.com rental registration applicant provides a report prepared Classified Ads.............. Page 2 by a professional, who is Zoning Board................ Online certified by the state Dept. Or check them out at: of Labor and Industry as a lead risk assessor, that the www.sopghreporter.com building, or relevant portion

thereof, contains no leadbased paint hazards. PLI inspectors are certified for lead inspection. City councilman Bruce Kraus said the process to establish a rental registry began 14 years ago. While the legislation he crafted passed in 2015, the enforcement became tied up in the courts. A judge ruled in July, 2021, that the fee adopted for registration and inspection to code was disproportionate. In Nov., 2021, a new fee was deemed fair. Applications for rental registration will be accepted through the OneStopPGH portal beginning May 2. Applications will require submission of a valid Certificate of Occupancy for the rental location. This is not required for single-family homes. Inspectors will visit a property on a scheduled date. If the property passes, another inspection must occur in three years. If the property fails to pass inspection, it will be re-inspected the following year. Ms. Kinter said if PLI has to condemn a building as unfit for human occupancy, it will do so. It can be due to a fire, or water problems, so there are degrees of condemnation. If, for instance, the water problem is resolved, the property will be removed from the condemnation list. To a question if Airbnb, an online company which provides a platform for memContinued on Page 4

Speaking at a Stop the Violence Rally at The Brashear Cares Center in Knoxville, City of Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey called for “more reasonable gun laws” and expressed a need for more mental health services in the community. The rally drew more than 60 people, brought together by the South Pittsburgh Coalition for Peace.

Public safety a priority for police in South Side going into the summer By Tom Smith South Pittsburgh Reporter Editor

City of Pittsburgh Public Safety officials addressed neighborhood concerns at the South Side Community Council’s (SSCC) recent biannual public meeting via Zoom. SSCC President Barbara Rudiak began the presentation by introducing City of Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Lee Schmidt and Zone 3 Commander John Fisher. Questions were prepared by council members and submitted in advance to the Public Safety officials. First on the list of concerns was a recent homicide on Freyberg Street. Com-

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mander Fisher said, year-todate, Zone 3 has had five homicides and six aggravated assault shootings. On Freyberg Street, it was a robbery and the victim was an entertainer at a local venue. The police have identified suspects in the case, but at the time of the meeting hadn’t arrested them yet. He said the police will request other agencies get involved in monitoring the entertainment venue on Freyberg Street. Those agencies could include the city’s PL&E, Fire Marshal and the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) for non-police issues such as occupancy permits. The commander said the

ACHD has “more teeth” for closing places down for nonpolice issues and they have been helpful in the past. He has also had some success when the owners of nuisance properties have been contacted concerning tenants operating venues such as pop-up clubs and speakeasies and informed the owners of their criminal and civil liabilities in allowing the businesses to operate on their properties. To date, Commander Fisher said, most of the property owners except one have complied with his requests and shut the venues down. The Public Safety Department is working with the Continued on Page 2

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Public safety a priority for police in South Side going into the summer Continued from Page 1 city’s Law Department to craft an official letter to send to property owners warning them of the consequences of allowing illegal businesses to operate in their buildings. The commander suggested the SSCC could also send the owners a letter stating potential liabilities and legal ramifications of allowing the business to continue to operate. Public Safety Director Lee Schmidt spoke briefly to the group stating he enjoys all the neighborhoods and has been to South Side for operational and personal reasons. “We’re looking forward to finding solutions for you all,” he added. Director Schmidt said the department has its disruptive properties person back and is able to track problem properties including house parties along with pop-up bars and speakeasies. He reiterated they are working with PL&I, the city Law Department, the county Health Department, state Liquor Control Enforcement as well as the fire marshal. He noted with PL&I and the fire marshal concerning problem properties it’s not just about the occupancy numbers of a structure, but also the use. Ms. Rudiak asked the public safety officials how they are planning to best manage problems in the neighborhood. Commander Fisher said

last year’s limiting parking and allowing only one-way traffic on East Carson Street wasn’t popular, it was effective. However, for this year it’s “not on the radar yet.” This year, they are planning to be more responsive than reactive. He said no one can predict whether there will be the same crowds in South Side as were problematic last year. Commander Fisher said he will be reactive and take a more significant approach, with the permission of Director Schmidt and Police Chief Scott Schubert, “I think it will be noticeable.” It will be a “wait and see” approach, but not a “hands off.” “Because my position is, it’s safety first for all involved,” he said. He pointed out through resignations and retirements Zone 3 is down 15 officers this year over 2021. He said last year he had 15 officers he could dedicate to South Side on Friday and Saturday, more when needed, but this year he doesn’t have that. “I’m having a manpower issue.” If South Side has two or three “bad weekends” in a row, some people may not like it, but they will do what they have to do to keep people safe, he said. As far as opening the old Zone 3 station as a sub-station, Commander Fisher said he was interested in reopen-

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A Neighborhood Publications, Inc. Newspaper Serving The South Pittsburgh Communities of • Allentown • Arlington • Beltzhoover • Bon Air • Carrick • Knoxville • Mount Oliver • Mount Washington • South Side Since 1939

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ing it on weekends, particularly the cellblocks for intoxicated people. However, there are some accreditation issues. The cellblocks are old and possibly obsolete and may need updated. He said his intent is to have someplace to take intoxicated people, who can’t take care of themselves, and hold them in a safe and secure area for four to six hours to sober up, issue them a citation and send them on their way. As opposed to issuing them a citation on the street when they are intoxicated and leaving them on the street to get hit by a car. The commander said the old Zone 3 station had 10 cells for holding males and what they used to call a “bullpen,” or one large room, for female. They have a plan for updating them including adding cameras to monitor the cells. Commander Fisher was asked about what could be done about the increase in “train jumpers” in South Side, along with finding more needles and drug paraphernalia in the neighborhood and along the trails. If people see what they think is drug use going on,

they were encouraged to call 911. If they find needles, they should leave them where they found them and call 911 and the police or Public Works would come and dispose of them. He said the rail riders aren’t unique to Pittsburgh. Last year, there were several of them that were a nuisance and the police were successful in getting them moved out of the business area. “We’re kind of limited to what we can do with them unless they are breaking the law. They have a right to be on the streets as well as anybody else regardless of how they look. So that’s a difficult situation,” the commander said. Director Schmidt said Allegheny Health Network is currently looking for space on South Side to open a center similar to one they have downtown. It could provide services for homeless and those experiencing drug problems and have dedicated staff. To a question about illegal parking in the neighborhood, Commander Fisher said they focus on the problem, mainly on the weekends. They have had as many as four to

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ment. It’s never a good mix, a compatible mix. We try to manage it the best we can. We depend on you folks to call 911 and we’ll get a car there as quick as we can,” the commander said. He said even in the “safety zone” from 12th to 17th streets when the motorcycle officers are tagging and towing illegally parked cars and moving down the street, more cars come in to fill those spaces. “It’s tough to manage.”

six motorcycle officers in the neighborhood, tagging and towing illegally parked cars. He said they put up sign on the streets warning people to not park there, but the signs are ignored and the cars end up getting ticketed and towed. “This is an age-old problem on South Side and the perfect storm for you folks. You have residential housing, student housing and the businesses that are selling alcohol or providing entertain-

Order your plants from the annual SSCC Plant Sale

The South Side Community Council Annual Plant Sale is going on until April 25. Download an order form at: https://bit.ly/3jKP7RW and send pre-paid orders to South Side Community Council, PO Box 10776, Pittsburgh PA 15203 or drop off at 2421 Jane St. All proceeds benefit the works

of South Side Community Council. Flower pick up is Saturday, May 7, 9 a.m. — noon, at Mary Queen of Peace, Parish Center, 81 S. 13th St. South Side For question on the plant sale, call Kathleen Petrillo at 412-554-1870 or email Kathleen.petrillo@southsidecommunitycouncil.org

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South Side will be a ‘Cheer Zone’ for the 2022 Pittsburgh Marathon May 1 The 2022 DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh P3R Marathon races will be back on the April 30-May 1 weekend. Participants have a variety of competitive race distances to choose from, including the full marathon, half marathon, five-person relay, 5K, kids marathon (one-mile run), toddler trot, and pet walk. They also have challenges, a back half marathon, a half marathon walk, and virtual races. P3R expects tens of thousands of participants to compete in these races. The full marathon spans 26.2 miles. The course starts at 7 a.m. on Liberty Avenue near 10th Street Downtown, crosses the Allegheny River to North Side, and proceeds over the Ohio River on the West End Bridge to West Carson Street. In South Side, the course continues past Station Square on East Carson Street to S. 24th Street, where it turns there and again on Sid-

ney Street to the Birmingham Bridge toward Oakland and other neighborhoods. It ends Downtown on the Boulevard of the Allies at Wood Street. There is a lot of excitement about having the marathon return, both for the participants and the spectators. P3R CEO Troy Schooley said, “With some of the best views of the city and a tour of fourteen neighborhoods, our course is one of the reasons why runners love to come back year after year to run our race. Each year the crowd support along the course is incredible. No other city has fans like Pittsburgh, and those fans show up on race day, cheering our runners all the way to the finish line.” South Side is one of the neighborhood “Cheer Zones” for the full marathon. The South Side Chamber of Commerce will host South Side’s Welcome Festival and Cheer Zone on Sunday morning, May 1, from

Rummage Sale May 6-7 at Spencer UM Church Spencer Avenue United Methodist Church’s Spring Rummage Sale will take place at 117 Spencer Ave., Pittsburgh 15227. Sale dates are Friday, May 6 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. and Saturday, May 7 from 9 a.m. – noon. Items for

sale include spring/summer clothes, small appliances, kitchenware, bedding/linens, jewelry, pictures/frames, games/puzzles, toys, holiday decorations, etc. Call the church office at 412-881-4000 for more information.

The Second Annual South Side Community Yard Sale will take place on Saturday, May 14, 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. To join in on the yard sale,

sign up to get on the map at: https://bit.ly/3M9XGlz For more questions about the yard sale, email info@ southsidecommunitycouncil.org

Sign up for the second South Side Yard Sale

7 a.m. to at least noon at the corner of East Carson and S. 11th streets. This is between Mile 9 and Mile 11 on the race course. The popular Pittsburgh Guitars Occasionals band and DJ Phil Sauter will rock their music to entertain the marathoners and bolster our cheering squad and fans. The Chamber welcomes South Siders to fill the Welcome Festival corners and East Carson Street sidewalks with lively entertainment to make South Side the most amazing neighborhood filled with cheering fans and noise along the course. Hundreds of cupcakes and oranges will be handed to passing marathoners while they last. Dinosaur party animals will dance to the music and delight in selfies. The Chamber encourages everyone to wear Pittsburgh Black & Gold sports gear, bring homemade cheer signs, and make a lot of fan noise. Applaud the marathoners as they pass by. Dazzle them with your music. Bring your bells and whistles, your pots and pans, and other noisemakers to cheer them on. It is the Chamber’s goal to have the marathoners remember South Side’s exciting welcome and encouraging vibes in their race day memories. East Carson and other streets on the South Side marathon course will be closed by 6:30 a.m. on race day. Visit https://www.thepittsburghmarathon.com/races/ marathon for more marathon details. For the South Side Welcome Festival, contact the Chamber at info@ southsidechamber.org or 412-431-3360.

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Rental registration requirement begins at the end of May Continued from Page 1 bers to rent out their properties or rooms to guests, is covered by the rental registry, she said “short-term rentals” are not covered. Bob Charland, of Mr. Kraus’ office, said he spends a lot of time trying to find who owns properties. A renter could rent from an LLC, and therefore an owner cannot readily, if ever, be identified. To a question if the community will have access to the information regarding LLCs, Ms. Kinter said an application is not subject to right-to-know laws. However, a violation notice would be a public document, and names and loca-

tion would be viewable. An application will be rejected if no name is listed, she said. To a question if a resident suspects that a property is not registered, Ms. Kinter said to call 311. After Dec. 31, a letter will be sent to those who fail to register. If no action is taken, a notice of violation will be issued. For more information, visit: https://pittsburghpa.gov/ pli/rental-registration Next, Lynn Kurhan, of UPMC, reported the old South Side outpatient center, 2310 Jane St., will end COVID-19 testing and vaccinations at the end of the month. The building will be main-

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tained and remain in the UPMC system, for now. She also said Julie Hecker, VP of Operations, UPMC Mercy, will speak at the Planning Forum’s May 10 meeting. Next, nighttime economy manager Allison Harnden delivered the March report of the Parking Enhancement District (PED). The PED, or the enforcement of South Side Flats parking meters from 6 p.m. to midnight, is in effect on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. PED funds must be invested back in the neighborhood for public safety, cleanliness, and infrastructure improvements. March PED revenue totaled $16,597.68. The enforcement costs were $3,744.17. The 2022 revenue to date is $39,739.56. The total revenue since the PED began in April, 2017, is $872,361.32. The two-person Clean Team, through Block by Block, which is funded by PED funds, maintains the E. Carson St. corridor. The Clean Team removes trash and graffiti/stickers, lends hospitality assistance, and more. Recent PED expenditures include: $13,144.72 for the January Clean Team and manager; $12,129.12 for the February Clean Team and manager; and $2,670 portable toilets for St. Patrick’s Parade Day. The trust fund balance is $103,787.32, which does not include 2021 revenue. The request to transfer the 2021 revenue was initiated on April 8. About $128,000 is expected to be transferred, for a total fund balance of about $232,000. Ms. Harnden also reported Clean Team initiatives for the spring and summer seasons include weed abatement to ensure the sidewalk and curbline presentations are in great shape. Clean Team trash removal for March totaled 11,606 pounds. Twenty graffiti/ stickers were removed. In response to a question last month about adding cigarette urns, Ms. Harnden said the plan for cigarette urns will be implemented, and placement locations are being discussed. She also reported the city received a Keep America Beautiful grant to target nightlife areas, such as for cigarette litter. Mr. Kraus said cigarette urns will be installed in a pilot program to determine the best locations for them. He also reported the PED

will be reimbursed for enforcement costs for the residential permit parking (RPP) program in the South Side. The PED was charged for RPP enforcement, and that should not be part of PED, he said. Waste management continues to be an issue as people do not dispose of trash. Dumpsters also need maintained and locked with lids on at all times. The city wants to pursue the issue, he said. Mr. Kraus called the Clean Team “utterly amazing” in how well they maintain the corridor. Regarding the brick wall in the 1700 block of East Carson St. which is frequently graffitied, he said it has been in good condition for a while now. A Healthy Ride bike station may be installed there, which will serve as a deterrent to bad wall behavior, he said. Updating the PennDOT Carson St. safety improvement project, Mr. Kraus said it is still under construction through early fall. Bump outs are currently being worked on. The project will coinc i d e w i t h t h e 1 8 th S t . signals upgrade project for pedestrian safety. The intersections will be redesigned at Sarah St., Jane St., Mary St., Josephine St., Mission St., Arlington Ave., and Amanda St. The traffic signal upgrades include: gloss black signal poles; audible countdown pedestrian signals; and more. He also reported the plan is for a third member of the Clean Team to begin around May. The addition will raise the Clean Team costs to about $20,000 per month. The PED will be spending about a quarter of a million dollars a year because people cannot responsibly put their garbage where it belongs, he said. Mr. Kraus reported he, Mr. Charland, and others recently attended a conference of the Responsible Hospitality Institute (RHI), which works to come up with recommendations on improving a city’s nightlife. Gun violence/mass shootings in nightlife was a major topic. He and Mayor Gainey discussed those issues. Mr. Kraus said his office is putting together a checklist for the East Carson St. corridor to present to the mayor. He said he, the mayor, and Ms. Harnden will meet to see what can be done to address gun violence in the city.

The question was asked about adding a third person to the Clean Team for an annual cost of about $240,000. But the PED fund will only have about $231,000. Mr. Kraus said they are watching every dime and nickel. Also, reimbursement is coming for funding enforcement that they are not getting. Sunday enforcement also needs to begin, but hiring is causing delays. “Sunday is the new Saturday on Carson,” he said. But if a third person cannot be covered, he will pull back on it, he said. Next, in the Development Activities Meeting (DAM) report, Barbara Rudiak, president of the South Side Community Council (SSCC), said the next SSCC DAM would be held on April 21. A DAM provides an opportunity for citizens, property owners, business owners, and stakeholders to learn about the proposals that affect them and to resolve concerns at an early stage of the application process. The two items at this month’s meeting will be a follow-up for façade work on 2303-2313 East Carson St. The overall proposal is to change the building from offices to apartments. The other item is the installation by UPMC of a fueling station behind them at 3175 East Carson St. on

Sydney St. Ms. Rudiak said UPMC did not have to appear before the SSCC as the proposal does not have to go before the Planning Commission. She said they just wanted to share with the community what they will be doing. In reports, the second annual Battle of the Block Watches will be held at 9 a.m. on April 23. Teams compete in neighborhood cleanup efforts. Thick Bikes will sponsor. Friends of the Riverfront will help collect trash. Next, Candice Gonzalez, executive director of the South Side Chamber of Commerce, reported the Chamber is reviewing which initiatives and events it can bring back post-Covid. At this time, the Chamber has plans for some events. The Chamber and the South Side Bar and Restaurant Association will cosponsor the South Side Summer Golf Classic at South Hills Country Club on Monday, Aug. 1. The Chamber also plans to hold its Holiday Mingle at J. Verno Studios on Wednesday, Dec. 7. The meeting ended with Phillips K-5 Elementary School teacher Melissa Ott reporting the school will mark Earth Day on April 22 by turning old tee-shirts into bags. If anyone would like a bag, stop by the school.

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