Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ross officials deny HEARTH development...

My fellow Tattlers,

Ross Township officials nixed plans for HEARTH's housing development earlier this week. While this Tattler is thinks many came out to the meeting on Monday, this issue is far from dead.

From the Post-Gazette:

Ross commissioners last night rejected a plan to build 11 units of affordable housing on Rodenbaugh Avenue.

The project was proposed by Trek Development Group and HEARTH. Jerry Drozynski, president of HEARTH's board, said it was likely the partners would appeal the decision to Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.

While this Tattler is in favor of an idea such as this plan, I feel it would have been located in an area in Ross Township that will undergo dramatic changes in the future. That neighborhood will deal with an elementary school closing in 2009 and this just felt like it wasn't the right spot for this type of housing at this time.

If it were to be proposed in a different area of the township, I most likely would support the plans. While this Tattler understands that free space is scarce in Ross, this plan just isn't right for that section of Ross.

Even though Ross Township commissioners have denied the plans, HEARTH officials plan to appeal the decision. This Tattler thinks they may be successful in their efforts.

Working to keep you posted...


Paul said...

I'm curious why you think this is a good plan or project where ever it gets placed?

Sure the idea of housing for single mothers might give us the warm fuzzies and make us think were doing something to help them, but the track records of such plans is pretty dismal.

The women themselves may be required to work (though they never really are) and go through background and criminal checks, but there teenage kids aren't and neither are the parade of men who will eventually stream in and out of the housing.

What's starts out as a noble effort to help women and their children will inevitably end up being a flophouse for drug dealers, welfare cheats, dead beat fathers, child predators and every other type of criminal and deviant male who tends to find financially desperate women looking for companionship easy targets.

You can bet your last dollar that where ever the units end up being built, within months of their completion they will be ground zero for all manner of criminal activity and the ripple effects on the surrounding neighborhood due to the men who will unofficially occupy them as well.

It may not technically be public housing because of income requirements but it'll have all the same characteristics none the less.

SirFuller said...

Well, I believe if you were to build something that may add a bad element in a shady neighborhood -- it wouldn't make much of a difference but would fit right in.

However, building the same plan in a safe, closely-knit neighborhood could work because neighbors would be more likely to get things done if something were to happen (call the cops, etc).

I'm not saying that Rodenbaugh Avenue is in the ghetto, but the changes that the neighborhood will undergo will not make it an attractive area to live in.

This plan would make it even less attractive.

Paul said...

Well I don't live in Ross so the location is less of an issue to me than the plan itself.

The patterns established over time are pretty indisputable in that anytime you cluster groups of at risk kids and families into single identifiable locations, whether it be in public housing, group homes or so called "affordable housing" project such as the one proposed, you make it all the easier for those who target and exploit the residents of them to do so.

Whether in Ross, Northside, Hazelwood or East Hills, you might just as well be handing out sandwich boards with the words vulnerable on the front and targets on the back to those who move in, especially the children.

Any real attempt to help people in such circumstance should include efforts to diffuse and integrate them into a community as quietly as possible in order to protect them... not shine a big spot light on them and give predators, drug dealers and what not directions to their homes.

I'd argue that plans like this are not appropriate for any neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

This is not just for women with children from HEARTH program, but anybody with-in the income gidelines. The rents are $600-$900 which include utilities. What is to stop them from allowing Section 8 eventually. They would make more money. This is a HEARTH/TREK project. TREK is a for profit corporation.
Our community is quiet and very low crime and we want to keep it that way.
Also the land is heavily forested, steep sloped, slide prone area. The core drillings apparently showed red bed (clay) present. When it rains heavily there is a great deal of runoff.

Paul said...

"This is not just for women with children from HEARTH program, but anybody with-in the income gidelines."

Not according to what's been written about it and the comments from the project developers. It was/is billed as affordable housing for single mothers and their children...

You know, like the one on Troy Hill that just had her ten month old daughter sexually assaulted by her live in boyfriend whom she left the child alone with.

And before anyone goes off on some rant about my insensitivity toward these needy women - I'd highly recommend some reading time with the FBI crime statistics relating to abuse and exploitation of children and the role single mothers playing in perpetuating it.

I promise you'll be shocked at what you read and amazed at how much time and effort is wasted warning children about strangers when it should be single mothers and the unrelated men they bring around their kids that we should warning about.

Concerned Ross Twp. Taxpayer said...

Hearth has been taking advantage of the Ross Twp. tax paying citizens for the past 12 years. They have been using the North Hills schools without paying 1 cent in real estate taxes. Call your Ross Twp. commissioners and ask why the 15 apartments they are using on St. Benedict's property was not rezoned to become tax paying property. This has cost the Ross Twp. taxpayers millions of dollars. Hearth & Trek Development could care less about peoples homes being flooded from the removal of 5 acres of trees from property that has a severe water runoff or about the safety of children that would have to walk on a very steep road with no sidewalks. All they see is dollar signs from the money they are getting(OUR TAX DOLLARS) to build this project. It's time the Ross Twp. taxpayers speak up. Remember your neighborhood could be next for what is being called"affordable housing".

Anonymous said...

This is not just for single Mothers and their children. HEARTH will only have a small part in this. Maybe 4 of the townhouses. The newspaper interviews make it sound like it is, but it is untrue. The PG had to print a correction in one of their additions.
I live close to were this might be built and have been involved in rallying the community to fight this.
Why should our tax dollars go to building $170,000 for each town home for people who are working and can afford to rent their own apartment or buy their own homes. They happen to want to live in Ross.
We will be sitting in our homes with are heat turned down to save a few bucks, while their furances will be cranked up cause they are not paying for their utilities....we are paying for it.
They are getting $2.1 million through the PHFA tax credits (federal money) and $640,000 from the county which is federal home monies. Only about $300,000 is donations.
There are seniors that are living in the area making much less then the proposed tenants. They are struggling. The money should have gone to help them!!
Oh, I forgot the seniors down the hill will get something from HEARTH and the "good" sisters. They will get the water run off..esp if the retention tanks fail. We all know how well the tanks work.
Gee I seem to recall how well the tanks don't work in Ross Park Mall and the millions of dollars spent to build the Gurties Run tanks that also don't work.
If they appeal, we will collect money for an attorney and an engineer.

Paul said...

Ah but you are so very, very wrong because the tanks at the mall and Girty's run work exactly as they're supposed to work. The problem is you simply don't understand what their real function is. You THINK they're intended to do something about rain water and sewage problems but their real purpose is to keep well connected friends of people like Lana Mazur and James Burn employed in make work jobs.

Why are you supposed to spend money to build projects like this in your neighborhood? Because the people who will live there will turn out to vote for certain types...

Now that the city machine has begun to run out of people to tax to support their cronyism and nepotism they've gerrymandered a council district for James Burn, almost nailed Drozd and have set about replicating the city's system out were the former city residents have fled to.

Keep voting for Mazur, Burns and Altmire and you'll have lot's more of these projects on your doorstep and before long you won't be able to tell where the city's ghettos end and the suburbs of Ross begin.

Anonymous said...

Hey! Where is Jerry O'Brian? He didn't show up to vote on the Hearth/Trek development even though it is in his district. Hope the voters remember how concerned he was regarding this very contraversial issue. He knew how the majority of his district felt opposing this project. We thought he was elected to represent the majority of people in his ward. Thanks to his wife who is on the Ross Twp. planning board for voting no on this development.At least someone in the family has guts.