Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Council Pauses to Remember Aggie Brose

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Council Pauses to Remember Aggie Brose

Article excerpt

A low celebratory whistle and applause erupted from a small crowd in Pittsburgh City Council chambers Wednesday when the members gave the final unanimous "aye" votes to pass a special affordable housing zoning designation for Lawrenceville. And council members took time in the same meeting to remember a fierce and beloved community advocate, Aggie Brose.

After council's 8-0 vote, developers in Lawrenceville who plan to build at least 20 apartment units must now dedicate 10% of them as affordable.

"This is really a historic moment," said Councilwoman Deb Gross, who represents the neighborhood and sponsored the bill. "This was one of the major items suggested by our affordable housing task force."

The group of roughly eight residents, community organizers and legal advocates - a composite of the several dozen who have repeatedly spoken at neighborhood meetings, to the planning commission, and at a public hearing on the issue - gave out a cheer.

"This is really exciting. It's not going to solve all our problems, but it's a really huge step and important step and it's going to make a real difference. I think we should be really proud of it," said Dave Breingan, executive director of the community group Lawrenceville United.

Next up, he said, is to advocate for state-level protections for longtime Lawrenceville homeowners who may face inflated taxes after property reassessment.

Council members also approved an agreement between the city and its water authority that promises to keep the utility public and outlines financial responsibilities between the two entities.

Though the agreement with the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority received unanimous approval, Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith cast a "reluctant aye," she said, only after receiving a commitment from Mayor Bill Peduto and PWSA to address recurring flooding in her district. …

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