Pittsburgh City Council unanimously voted down a bill that would have doubled the Mexican War Streets historic district after residents who would have been affected by the measure voiced strong opposition.
Kirk Burkley, a Mexican War Streets property owner and attorney, applied for the expansion because he wants to preserve the neighborhood's historic feel. A community group plan concluded that it could draw more residents to the neighborhoods.
But at a public hearing last week, many residents who live in the proposed expansion area said they didn't want to be subjected to the requirements that would come with living in a historic district. They worried it would be onerous and expensive and protested that they had been cut out of the process.
The conflict inspired Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle to propose the creation of conservation districts, which are like historic districts but have less stringent requirements that could be tailored to what the community values. Today, he introduced legislation to authorizing the city planning department to create conservation districts.
Moriah Balingit: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-2533 or on Twitter @MoriahBee.