On May 15, the City Planning Commission voted 4-2 in favor of LG Realty’s luxury office & retail plan for the Penn Plaza site in East Liberty, where hundreds of residents were displaced in 2016 and 2017. The vote came after four and a half hours of public testimony and deliberation on the plan.

Penn Plaza Support and Action is disappointed in the Planning Commission’s decision. However, we applaud our community for coming together to speak out against this plan. Over 1,200 residents wrote letters urging the Commission to vote “no” on the plan, and dozens showed up to protest it at the hearing. Both the Pittsburgh Planning Department and Planning Commission mentioned it was the biggest response to a plan in Pittsburgh’s recent history. Not only that, but public testimony remained focused on the ethical implications of displacing hundreds of residents. We never lost sight of what we’re truly for: holding Pittsburgh to its promises of affordable housing.

Additionally, we’ve exposed ways in which the public process favors developers — and our collective outcry is changing the system. Commissioners unanimously passed a “resolution of concern” asking the City to change the way it presents information on the consequences development has on residents and neighborhoods. This could potentially help the Commission make more informed decisions in the future.

Even though this vote was decided, the struggle isn’t over. We will never stop supporting displaced residents, and we will continue fighting for affordable housing on the site and in the City.

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