Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Things I Find Interesting - Part I

Saw this in the PG today:

The Riverlife Task Force filed an appeal today challenging the city planning commission's Jan. 14 approval of the Majestic Star casino design, including the controversial 10-level parking garage being built behind it.

The task force and others in the local design community fear the massive 3,800-space garage has the potential to overwhelm the glass and steel casino itself and mar views of the city skyline from Mount Washington, the South Side, the West End Bridge and the Fort Pitt Bridge.

During a hearing Jan. 14 before the planning commission approved the design, Clifford Levine, an attorney for Riverlife, had argued that accessory structures, such as garages, are limited to 20 feet in height under city zoning laws without a variance from the Zoning Board of Adjustment. The garage is 119 feet high.
Those of you that are sstrong of memory may recall that Mr. Levine used to be the chair of the zoning board of adjustments back when Tom Murphy was mayor.

And who, exactly, is on the board of directors for the Riverlife Task Force, you might ask? Why it's a veritable cornucopia of movers and shakers in Pittsburgh, including, but not limited to, female billionaire philanthropists, former directors of City Planning, former directors of the Urban Redevelopment Authority, riverfront Developers, Steelers Presidents, Former Editors of the Post Gazette, current Allegheny County Executives, and current Mayors of Pittsburgh.

You'd think that such a board would be more circumspect in its criticism of the casino, especially considering the last two members listed... but they aren't.

I find that interesting.

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