South Watch: The South Side Flats and Slopes Code Enforcement Project

Meeting Minutes

July 12, 2017

Mission: South Watch: The South Side Flats and Slopes Code Enforcement Project works to improve the quality of life on the South Side by bringing people and institutions together to identify code violations, advocate for their remediation and monitor the outcomes. (This is also the mission of Oakwatch.)

  1. Introductions (3 minutes)
  2. Liz Style shared the mission of South Watch. The attendees introduced themselves.
  3. Attendees:
Liz Gray Resident
Betty Kripp South Watch
Anna Marie Kyjanka Resident
Jeff Neubauer Resident
Kitty Vagley Resident
Shawn Wigle Public Works
Roberta Jameson Environmental Services
Bill Klimovich Environmental Services
Julie Reiland Permits, Licenses, and Inspections
Alex Kozak Duquesne University
Ed Wallo SS Community Council
Brosha Thacheva City Council
Commander Karen Dixon Pgh Police Zone 3
Liz Style South Watch

 

  1. Presentation
  2. Liz announced that there would be no presentation this month because the intended contact could not be made in time to schedule.

 

  • South Side Property Progress Report (33 minutes)
  1. Julie Weiland, PLI
  2. Davin Properties, 2808-2812 Mary St., 2809, 28091/2 , 2811 Edwards Way
  3. Two different inspectors are involved at this point. The condemnation is completed by the demolition inspector so it is a separate process from the building violations. The first condemnation notice has been sent already. They have 30 days and then a second notice goes out. They then have another 30 days. If nothing has changed at the end of the compliance period after the 2nd notice, PLI will file documents at the magistrate. The operations inspector has been on bereavement and once he returns he will send out notices for the property owner to board up/clean the property.  If

the property owner does not complete this within 60 days as outlined above, the City will automatically be granted permission to enter the property and do it themselves.

  1. In response to concerns about people living there, Julie said that the city prefers to try to find places for people to live rather than just removing them.
  2. Commander Dixon reported that a man and woman were arrested there on June 23rd.
  3. Liz Gray reported that she has checked the properties and they are negatively impacting the entire area including a rat infestation.
  4. Julie responded that the adjoining homeowners who are experiencing a rat problem can call the health department and someone will come with poison.
  5. Anna Marie Kyjanka reported that some nearby properties have been put up for sale but no one will come to look at them.
  6. In answer to a question about who else can be served with notices other than the property owner, Julie said that the property manager is also eligible and she intends to get his contact information.
  7. Brosha Thadeva, city council, reports that her understanding is that the properties are headed for treasurer’s sale.

 

  1. Bill Klimovich, Roberta Jameson
  2. Property Review:
  3. 8 properties were submitted to 311. The foreman did check the properties and took pictures. Aside from 2 boxes and a bag being removed from 171 Pius, the foreman only found cans with no lids. Apparently the trash was not yet overflowing so the foreman did not consider these to be problems.  Again there seems to be a disconnect between volunteers and the foreman in the interpretation of a violation.  The timing of the inspections also seems to be impacting the inspection process.
  4. Bill checked on the impending arrest at 43 Eleanor and reported that it should occur soon.
  5. Jeff Neubauer asked about trash can size. 35 gallons is the maximum size allowed to be put at the curb. Liz gray shared that Home Depot sells a 34 gallon can with wheels and self -contained lid that is guaranteed for 25 years.
  • Betty brought up the opportunity to get text/email alerts about timing to put out trash and also when delayed due to a holiday. Shawn Wigle, Public Works, noted that information is in their newsletter/pickup schedule. pgh.st

It also can be found on my burg. Betty asked that DU alert students and suggested that it be widely publicized.

  1. Liz Style asked about emptying Carson St. cans later on Fridays to prepare for the weekend trash. Shawn said they’ll do their best but added that the new sensor cans should help.

 

 

  1. South Side Crime Report (12 minutes)
  2. Commander Karen Dixon
  3. Saturation Patrol statistics for June
Officers worked on detail 172 (June) 174 (May)
cycle officers on detail 16 (June) 16 (May)
supervisors on detail 24 (June) 19 May)
Physical arrests 24 (June) 22 (May)
Non- Traf citations 77 June) 72 (May)
Traffic/Moving citations 197 (June) 265 (May)
Vehicles towed 74 (June) 114 (May)
911 Zone Assists 83 (June) 92 (May)

 

 

  1. Six Month recap
Officers worked on detail 898
cycle officers on detail 132
supervisors on detail 118
physical arrests 116
non-traf citations 584
traffic/moving citations 2,195
vehicles towed 335
zone assists 507

 

  • Opioid stats: June

ODs Citywide  – 892, Zone 3 – 238

Fatalities – citywide – 112, Zone 3 – 27

 

  1. Homeless/Train Hoppers
  2. If you see someone sleeping outside, call 911 to get him/her checked in case of an OD.
  3. Regarding panhandling: since March 2015, the law dept. has advised city police not to enforce the ordinance as it’s a constitutional issue. However, aggressive behavior can be cited. If a business owner is being impacted in front of the business, he/she can call police.
  4. The police have hit the river trail hard and are feeling successful.
  5. In answer to a question about homeless train hoppers loitering in residential areas, Commander Dixon said anytime you feel unsafe, call 911. Also call 911 if tents are spotted.
  6. Liz brought up the issue of increased presence of dog feces-sometimes in green plastic bags on sidewalk.

 

  1. Pittsburgh Parking Authority
  2. Not present

 

  1. News from Duquesne University (3 minutes)
  2. Alex Kozak
  3. Freshman Advisement Summer Transition (FAST) is an optional four day program to help incoming students transition to time at DU. Each school has two days to pick from and students choose one day to attend.
  4. The South Side Guide is being finalized
  • If there are problems with DU students over the summer, (except for graduates), please get in touch with Tim Lewis’ office.

 

 

  • News from the Mayor’s Office
  1. Not present

 

  • News from City Council (2 minutes)
  1. Brosha Thacheva
  2. Davin properties addressed during PLI report
  3. The office is working with Western PA Conservancy to gets funds in place for the 21st St project.
  • Work on the capital budget is ongoing. Suggestions can be emailed to the office.

 

  1. News from State Offices
  2. Not present
  3. Liz Style noted that the South Watch committee will explore with state reps what regulations there are regarding BYOB establishments.

 

  1. Community Announcements and Events (3 minutes)
  2. July 19th Knoxville Library 6-8 pm. – Meet the Beat Cop
  3. August 1st -National Night Out   (Some Block watches are having events)
  4. August 8th 5:30  – Planning Forum Meeting