“A Good Compromise”: NEXTPittsburgh’s primer on the RIV, Pittsburgh’s proposed riverfront zoning changes

Could even more new riverfront parks, trails, and public amenities be in Pittsburgh’s future? Get ready for “the RIV.”

You may have heard about the riverfront zoning updates proposed by the Department of City Planning. The “RIV” was created with feedback from the community and will encourage the creation of riverfront public open space like parks and trails, affordable housing on the waterfront, and energy efficiency in buildings.

NEXTpittsburgh‘s Sandra Tolliver breaks it down for us and talks to Riverlife president and CEO Vivien Li about the need for the RIV:

The zoning includes a bonus system for affordable housing, stormwater management and transit, permitting exemptions if developers meet certain city goals in those areas.

With the riverfront interim planning overlay district (IPOD) in effect for nearly two years, “I think people have gotten used to the fact that there needs to be certain standards for riverfront development, including setbacks and height restrictions and encouragement of various amenities,” says Vivien Li, president and CEO of Riverlife, a nonprofit organization that promotes riverfront activation.

“The Planning Commission was very responsive at its last meeting when it adopted a number of changes that the real estate community wanted,” she says. The commission made changes to how wide buffer setbacks would be and made accommodations to the size of the North Shore stadiums, among other things.

“I think it is a good compromise,” says Li, “in terms of fostering additional development along the riverfront with a number of amenities that benefit the general public.”

Read the full NEXTPittsburgh article, then visit the Pittsburgh Department of City Planning’s RIV website to find out more about how the proposed legislation will help Pittsburgh’s riverfronts.

Top image by Ehren Zaun