Accomplishments

2020 - The Year of the Pandemic

Beautification Efforts

  • Weeded, planted and mulched Ormsby Park
  • Planted holly bushes and mulched 18th and Carson
  • Planted flowers at 11th and Carson and Esser’s Plaza
  • Partnered with Ascend staff and patrons to clean up the area the 2100 block of Jane and Mary Streets
  • Finalized plans for the renovation of Esser’s Plaza and worked on funding sources

Home and Garden Tour

  • Replaced the annual home and garden tour with a virtual one; encouraging residents to share photos of their homes and gardens

South Side Voices

  • Encouraged residents to find the positive in the pandemic by sharing positive pandemic stories.

South Watch

  • The monthly meetings with residents and Environmental Services, Permits, Licenses and Inspections, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh Parking Authority, the mayor’s office, Zone 3 police, Bruce Kraus’s office, Office of Public Safety did not continue during the pandemic. Nonetheless, the SW committee continued to notify residents about their trash violations.  They communicated with Duquesne University around student housing issues,, Zone 3 police about quality of life concerns and PLI regarding work being done without permits.

Community Engagement

  • As a result of becoming a registered community organization in January, 2020, SSCC held Development Activities meetings (DAM) from July through December to inform and receive feedback from the community around development projects in the flats.
  • Improved our social media presence through Facebook, instagram and twitter.
  • Developed monthly newsletters that shared SSCC information and from others in the community, i.e. Carnegie Library, Friends of South Side Park, Brew House, City Theatre, SS Chamber
  • Encouraged residents to support SS restaurants via takeout and asked that they share photos so that they could be placed on our social media.
  • Developed an RFP to design an updated website.

Block Watches

  • Expanded the number of block watches and encouraged residents to clean up on their blocks while also social distancing.

East Carson Street

  • Encouraged communication between residents and the city and state around the East Carson Street
  • Sent letters to historic district property owners to inform/remind them that they are in an historic district and need to refer to the East Carson Street Historic District before engaging in work on their facades.
    2018-19

    Goal 1 – Residential Zoning Enforcement

    • Met with and provided letters of support regarding variances for the following: Randy Bartlett, City of Bridges High School, Dog Spa, Sidney and Sarah Development, S & S Candies, John Gmiter Funeral Home, 20th and Jane, The Distillery @ 129 McKean Street.
    • South Watch has identified 2 properties with significant code violations and is working with Permits, Licenses and Inspections (PLI) to remedy them.

    Goal 2 – Improve Public Safety

    • Hosted National Night Out in August, 2018
    • Continuing to advance Block Watches in the neighborhood.
    • In attendance at Carson Street infrastructure meetings to ensure that resident concerns around safety are addressed.
    • South Watch meetings include discussions around weekend saturation detail statistics and crime trends.
    • Engaged with city officials including Zone 3 police to address “summer travelers” camping under the Birmingham Bridge.

    Goal 3 – Expand University Relations

    • Continue to work with The Office of Commuter Affairs with Zone 3 police, Environmental Services and residents to resolve issues around parties and trash.
    • Supported the process where Block Watches are the connection between the universities and residents for 3 community cleanups.
    • Worked with Duquesne University’s public history department to assist with South Side Voices: Stories on Carson.

    Goal 4 – Increase Resident Involvement in Neighborhood Stabilization/Revitalization

    • South Watch has met monthly since April, 2017 to discuss code violations, trash issues and other concerns with city, university and state officials.
    • Sponsor a home tour/garden tour to showcase homes/gardens in our neighborhood.
    • Encourage resident awareness and engagement in community projects through social media.

    Goal 5 – Beautification

    • Weeded and mulched over twenty tree beds on Sarah and Jane between 22ndand 24th
    • Worked with member of Ascend to remove debris and mud from the underpass above Mary on 22nd. Power washed the sidewalks and removed weeds from the street and sidewalk as well.
    • Moved the Esser Plaza project ahead by:
      • Working with La Quatra Bonsi on finalizing the new design
      • Having five public meeting to review the designs with over 75 residents giving feedback
      • Meeting with the funders on a regular basis to update progress
      • Will move into the final design phase this fall as well as begin fundraising
    • Continued to clear the Riverfront Trail of invasive plants/trees
    • Cleared the “Dog Park” area along the trail of weeds/debris
    • Several residents put in their own street trees with our encouragement
    • Graffiti Watch continues to remove graffiti once a month
    • Continued to send notices and letters to residents and property owners concerning garbage, weeds, snow removal and debris on sidewalks and property
    • Continue to work with Duquesne to remediate problems with student residents

    Goal 6 – Parking and Transportation

    • Engage monthly at South Watch meetings with representatives of the Pittsburgh Parking Authority to discuss enforcement of residential permit parking (RPP).

    Goal 7 – Liquor License Management

    • Continue to develop an understanding of the liquor license process; working more closely with the Nighttime Economy Office and our city councilman.

    Goal 8 – Main Street Management

    • Members of the Carson Street Study task forces.
    • Provide input into the use of Parking Enhancement District (PED) monies.
    • Highlighted/Celebrated the 25th Anniversary of Carson Street being designated a Historic District through South Side Voices:  Stories on Carson, the oral history project. 
    2017-18

    Goal 1 – Residential Zoning Enforcement

    • Community meetings for St. Matthews, 27th and Sarah, Sarah and Sidney, 20th and Jane
    • South Watch has identified 5 properties with significant code violations and is working with Permits, Licenses and Inspections (PLI) to remedy them.
    • Reviewed the revised riverfront zoning code and met with Bruce Kraus to discuss changes.

    Goal 2 – Improve Public Safety

    • Hosted National Night Out in August
    • Continuing to advance Block Watches in the neighborhood.
    • In attendance at Carson Street infrastructure meetings to ensure that resident concerns around safety are addressed.
    • South Watch meetings include discussions around weekend saturation detail statistics and crime trends.
    • Engaged with city officials including Zone 3 police to address “summer traveler” camping along the Riverfront Trail.
    • Continue to work with the city forester, public works, Zone 3 police and our councilman to clear and maintain Riverfront Trail so that it is safe for all users.
    • Through Community Development Block Grant Monies, we secured 9 gates (from Lux Ornamental) for residents in the 16th and 17th Wards.

    Goal 3 – Expand University Relations

    • Have connected The Office of Commuter Affairs with Zone 3 police, Environmental Services and residents to resolve issues around parties and trash.
    • Developed a process where Block Watches are the connection between the universities and residents for 4 community cleanups.
    • Developed a partnership with Duquesne University’s public history department to assist with South Side Voices, an oral history project.

    Goal 4 – Increase Resident Involvement in Neighborhood Stabilization/Revitalization

    • South Watch has met monthly since April, 2017 to discuss code violations, trash issues and other concerns with city, university and state officials.
    • Sponsor a home tour/garden tour to showcase homes/gardens in our neighborhood.
    • Support and promote the South Side Public Art projects.
    • Encourage resident awareness and engagement in community projects through newsletters.
    • Collecting stories about Carson Street and its buildings
    • Working with the Chamber to promote the 25th Anniversary of East Carson Street  historic designation.

    Goal 5 – Beautification

    • Cut 3 tree pits and planted 20 trees.
    • Cleared invasive plants/trees and campsites from the Riverfront Trail from S 10th to S. 18th.
    • Rededicated the parklet at 11th and Carson after several years of updating the area.
    • Graffiti Watch cleans neighborhood graffiti at least once a month.
    • Sent notices and letters to residents and property owners educating them about the refuse regulations.
      • Approximately 50 properties were remediated after one or two notices.

    Goal 6 – Parking and Transportation

    • Attended planning and feedback sessions with Port Authority in the redesign of the Smithfield Street/E. Carson corridor.
    • Engage monthly at South Watch meetings with John Fournier of the Pittsburgh Parking Authority to discuss enforcement of residential permit parking (RPP).

    Goal 7 – Liquor License Management

    • Met with Dave Breingan of Lawenceville United to learn their process for working with new bars/restaurants on liquor license applications.

    Goal 8 – Main Street Management

    • Member of the team that is working with Fourth Economy on the East Carson Street Study.
    • Have provided input into the use of Parking Enhancement District (PED) monies.
    2016-17
    • Document local voices through an oral history project in conjunction with Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – South Side.
    • Address South Side graffiti by engaging local artists to design and fabricate murals (public art)
    • Begin the first code compliance meeting (South Watch) in September and continue to meet monthly
    • Work with the South Side Chamber of Commerce and the South Side Bar and Restaurant Association to do the following:
      • Manage ways to reduce the negative effects of the nighttime economy
      • Develop ways to increase the number of retail businesses that are more inclusive of the needs of the residents.
      • Continue to promote and market the positive qualities of South Side
    • Showcased 9 homes and the Oliver Bath House during the 26th annual Historic South Side Home Tour
    • Completing the work with South Side residents in the purchase and installation of gates in order to prevent entrance into their alleys and yards. (Community Development Block Grant)
    • Working with the city’s public works department to address concerns around crosswalk painting and traffic signage.
    • Working with city officials to keep Riverfront Park Trail free of train jumpers
    • Working with Friends of the RiverFront to clear the brush on both sides of the Riverfront Park Trail
    • Communicating the council’s work with the South Side community through the South Side Pittsburgh Reporter and recently developed “community news” eblasts
    • Working with Engineers without Borders to redesign and refresh Esser’s Plaza
    • Assisted in the formation of a parking task force made up of residents and business owners to identify potential solutions for daytime parking for businesses.  Enforcement on numbered streets now begins at 4:30 PM and on name streets at 2:30 PM.  On all streets enforcement continues until 2 AM
    • Developing 3 additional block watches
    • Continuing to remove graffiti through monthly paint outs
    • Planting at Ormsby Park (Love Your Block Grant)
    • Began the code compliance meetings (South Watch) in March
      • Educating residents about refuse regulations
    • Convened four community meetings around zoning changes
    • In attendance at Zoning Board of Adjustment hearings when South Side properties are requesting variances and special exceptions
    • Partnered with Tree Pittsburgh to plant 17 trees in the South Side and weed and add mulch to over 30 more
    • Working with PittServes and Duquesne University students to assist with community projects
    • Working with Duquesne University’s Office of Commuter Affairs to assure that the students are responsible residents.
    • Working with the South Side Chamber of Commerce, South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association on the neighborhood plan
    • Supporting the Spring Gala and Neighborhood Block Party
    • Provided sponsorships to other community organization events
    • Supported Brashear Association and Ormsby Community Center in their holiday toy drives
    2015-16
    • Showcased 10 homes during the 25th annual Historic South Side Home Tour.
    • Working with South Side residents in the purchase and installation of gates in order to prevent entrance into their alleys and yards. (Community Development Block Grant)
    • Working with the city’s public works department to address concerns around crosswalk painting, traffic signage, catch basins and sewers, handicap ramps, sidewalks and curbs, street patching and paving and street closures.
    • Working on a community process for new/transfer liquor license applications to review and engage the community in new license requests/transfers.
    • Assisted in the formation of a parking task force made up of residents and business owners to identify potential solutions for daytime parking for businesses.  
    • Working throughout the year on various beautification projects, most recently the planting at Ormsby Park (Love Your Block Grant)
    • Partnering with the South Side Chamber of Commerce, the South Side Bar and Restaurant Association and other community groups to improve the quality of life for local residents.
    • Working on a code compliance group to address code violations within the South Side.
    • Working with PittServes and Duquesne University students to assist with community projects.
    • Working with Duquesne University’s Office of Commuter Affairs to assure that the students are responsible residents.
    • Provided sponsorships to other community organization events.
    • Supported Brashear Association and Ormsby Community Center in their holiday toy drives.
    AS_Garden Tour
    RC_Esser Park_DUQ_cleanup

    We are currently working on new goals. Check back for updates.