Planners approve Strip District riverfront project

By June 12, 2012Blog

Riverlife recommends 95-foot setback to address riverbank failure, public amenities

JUNE 12, 2012–Riverlife President and CEO Lisa Schroeder testified before the City of Pittsburgh planning commission to recommend a 95-foot setback for riverfront development in the Strip District between the Veteran’s Bridge and 21st Street. The commission was reviewing the Buncher Company’s proposal to create a special planning district for Riverfront Landing, a 37-acre residential and office development along the Allegheny River.Existing riverbank failure in the Strip District between Veteran's Bridge and 21st Street

From the Pittsburgh Business Times:

“A key issue of contention over Buncher’s plan is the amount of riverfront space the company’s design keeps between its development plan and the river’s edge. While Buncher proposes a 50-to-75-foot set back, a set back of at least 95 feet is recommended by Riverlife, a nonprofit organization that seeks to promote quality riverfront development. It was Riverlife that played a major role in establishing the Allegheny River visioning plan undertaken by the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority a few years ago, which helped to inspire the Buncher plan.

In its prepared statement for the hearing, Riverlife described a much larger setback from the river as a crucial need for both ecological reasons as well as to preserve public space on the riverfront:

‘A minimum 95-foot buffer zone is critical to reverse deteriorating river banks between the Veterans Bridge and 21st Street, which pose a severe hazard to the existing trail and future development,’ said Elisabeth Schroeder, president and CEO of Riverlife. A larger setback will also better preserve natural habitat, manage storm water run off and allow for more public amenities, she added.”

Read more at the Pittsburgh Business Times website

Riverlife presented the planning commission with designs created during the planning process for the Allegheny Riverfront Green Boulevard by Sasaki Associates, Inc. The riverfront designs propose solutions for the 95 foot setback, riverbank stabilization and address the need for publicly requested fishing piers, children’s splash pools, a pedestrian/bike corridor and other public amenities. These plans complement the Buncher Company’s development parcel plan with minimal modifications and are available for use by the Buncher Company immediately.

Additonal coverage:
“Planners approve Strip District project
“, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Visit the Allegheny Riverfront Green Boulevard website to learn more about the planning process for riverfront open space, transportation, housing and more.