[HOME]

  1. Introduction
  2. Open Letter to the Board of Trustees
  3. University's Response to Open Letter
  4. Response to University
  5. YouTube Documentary
  6. Preuniversity Settlers
  7. Oakland Bill of Rights
  8. Declaration of Freedom
  9. Problems
  10. Solutions
  11. Actions
  12. UPMC
  13. PITT
    SempleFest
  14. Jul. '09
  15. Aug. '09
  16. Sept. '09
  17. Oct. '09
  18. Origin of SOUL
  19. WPXI - Group talks trash
  20. National Disgrace
  21. Gratitude
  22. Support Letters
  23. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
  24. Pittsburgh City Paper
  25. Media - Broken Trust?
  26. Feb. '10
  27. Jun. '10
  28. Done Deal?
  29. Mayor's Reply
  30. Pitt Fireworks
  31. Pitt Fireworks
  32. Pitt Fireworks
  33. Aug. '10
  34. Sep. '10
  35. Letter to Legislators
  36. Letter to Chancellor
  37. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
  38. A Call for Compassion
  39. WPXI Coverage
  40. Human Dignity
  41. Letter to the Editor
  42. SempleFest
  43. Request for Apology
  44. The Shame of a University
  45. Firebombs Must End
  46. Call To Action
  47. Fireworks Press Release
  48. Shadow on the Lawn
  49. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Article
  50. Right-to-Know Law Testimony
  51. University Impact Aid Law
  52. Proposal University Impact Aid Law
  53. Nordenberg Must Resign
  54. Allegheny County Council Testimony
  55. Time for New Leadership Message
  56. Time for New Leadership Testimony
  57. Class-Action Lawsuit?
  58. Nordenberg Must Resign Paid Message
  59. Time for A New Beginning
  60. Letter to the Editor
  61. Letter to the Editor
  62. Pittsburgh City Council Testimony
  63. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article
  64. A New Paradigm
  65. In Memoriam: Robert "Bob" Casciato
  66. Symbol of Domination
  67. Revised University Impact Aid Proposal
  68. Letter to Chancellor Gallagher
  69. Letter to Chancellor Gallagher
  70. Community Objectives
  71. Letter to Chancellor Gallagher
  72. City Planning Commission Testimonies
  73. Letter to Chancellor Patrick Gallagher
  74. Pittsburgh City Council Testimony
  75. Pittsburgh City Council Testimony
  76. Pittsburgh City Council Testimony
  77. End The Shame
  78. Pittsburgh City Council Testimony
  79. Letter to Chancellor Gallagher
  80. Letter to Chancellor Gallagher
 
Enough Is Enough! Trashed street photo.

[HOME]

  1. Introduction
  2. Open Letter to the Board of Trustees
  3. University's Response to Open Letter
  4. Response to University
  5. YouTube Documentary
  6. Preuniversity Settlers
  7. Oakland Bill of Rights
  8. Declaration of Freedom
  9. Problems
  10. Solutions
  11. Actions
  12. UPMC
  13. PITT
    SempleFest
  14. Jul. '09
  15. Aug. '09
  16. Sept. '09
  17. Oct. '09
  18. Origin of SOUL
  19. WPXI - Group talks trash
  20. National Disgrace
  21. Gratitude
  22. Support Letters
  23. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
  24. Pittsburgh City Paper
  25. Media - Broken Trust?
  26. Feb. '10
  27. Jun. '10
  28. Done Deal?
  29. Mayor's Reply
  30. Pitt Fireworks
  31. Pitt Fireworks
  32. Pitt Fireworks
  33. Aug. '10
  34. Sep. '10
  35. Letter to Legislators
  36. Letter to Chancellor
  37. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
  38. A Call for Compassion
  39. WPXI Coverage
  40. Human Dignity
  41. Letter to the Editor
  42. SempleFest
  43. Request for Apology
  44. The Shame of a University
  45. Firebombs Must End
  46. Call To Action
  47. Fireworks Press Release
  48. Shadow on the Lawn
  49. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Article
  50. Right-to-Know Law Testimony
  51. University Impact Aid Law
  52. Proposal University Impact Aid Law
  53. Nordenberg Must Resign
  54. Allegheny County Council Testimony
  55. Time for New Leadership Message
  56. Time for New Leadership Testimony
  57. Class-Action Lawsuit?
  58. Nordenberg Must Resign Paid Message
  59. Time for A New Beginning
  60. Letter to the Editor
  61. Letter to the Editor
  62. Pittsburgh City Council Testimony
  63. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article
  64. A New Paradigm
  65. In Memoriam: Robert "Bob" Casciato
  66. Symbol of Domination
  67. Revised University Impact Aid Proposal
  68. Letter to Chancellor Gallagher
  69. Letter to Chancellor Gallagher
  70. Community Objectives
  71. Letter to Chancellor Gallagher
  72. City Planning Commission Testimonies
  73. Letter to Chancellor Patrick Gallagher
  74. Pittsburgh City Council Testimony
  75. Pittsburgh City Council Testimony
  76. Pittsburgh City Council Testimony
  77. End The Shame
  78. Pittsburgh City Council Testimony
  79. Letter to Chancellor Gallagher
  80. Letter to Chancellor Gallagher

City Planning Commission
Three-Minute Oral Testimony

June 16, 2015 Hearing

I am in staunch opposition to the proposed development of Campus Advantage at 3407 Forbes Avenue and trust this commission will be the same. The true purpose of this project, as I have provided in additional testimony to this commission, is to provide student housing for the University of Pittsburgh. Campus Advantage is seeking a height variance from the Zoning Board of Adjustment. A decision has not yet been rendered. Should the variance be granted, appeals will be made until the decision is reversed.

Campus Advantage executives stated to the Zoning Board of Adjustment and at a community meeting that they could not proceed without a variance. They initiated this meeting, which is their prerogative, but the action should signal a red flag to this commission, the city and county justice departments, and to investigative reporters in our local free press.

You can dismiss the letters of support from city council members in the zoning board files, because the council members are too far removed from the proposed project. If the University of Pittsburgh wanted to destroy businesses and build student housing on any major business street where council members live, there would not be letters of support. The agenda of these members seems to be confining Pitt's cancerous spread to Oakland, and not allowing it into their own neighborhoods.

You can also dismiss the letter of support from Oakland Planning and Development Corporation. This project does not support the Oakland 2025 Master Plan, because Pitt refuses to slow its ever-increasing student enrollment. The recently built Nordenberg Hall houses 559 first-year students. Administrators constructed that building knowing they could count on the planning commission to give them whatever student housing they needed to satisfy their uncontrolled growth. South Bouquet Street went from 200 longtime residents and a dozen students decades ago, to three residents and 700 students today. What if that happened where you and your family live?

This project is about the insatiable greed of the University of Pittsburgh and its partners. It is not about human dignity. I asked an executive of Campus Advantage: “What are the benefits to the elderly longtime residents of Oakland?” His reply was, “I never thought about that question.”

That is precisely the question and issue that should be examined by this commission. Oakland is an iconic and historical neighborhood. The residential community of Oakland existed long before there was a University of Pittsburgh there. It doesn't exist to make money for Pitt or its partners. You have promised to uphold the code that states “Pittsburgh's overall character is defined to a great degree by its diverse and unique residential areas,” and that any development must “preserve the character of existing neighborhoods.” The decimation of Oakland's residential community must end. Let the changes begin today.

Further information about Pitt's impact on Oakland is at www.OaklandDignity.com

Carlino Giampolo

Salus Populi Suprema Lex


City Planning Commission
Additional Hand-Delivered Testimony

June 16, 2015 Hearing

I would like to provide additional testimony for City Planning Commission members regarding the proposal of Campus Advantage at 3407 Forbes Avenue.

This project, for all intents and purposes, is to provide student housing for the University of Pittsburgh. For Campus Advantage and its supporters to insist otherwise is to willfully deceive the City Planning Commission and the Oakland residential community.

Campus Advantage specializes in student housing management and operations, and claims to be the industry leader in student housing. Its website states that it has “markets featuring a university with more than 8,000 full-time undergraduate students enrolled” and “properties within three miles of a university campus.” It should be of interest to commission members why Campus Advantage chose the Oakland community.

Here are a few examples detailing why the fundamental purpose of this project is to provide student housing for the University of Pittsburgh:

When the Oakland Planning and Development Corporation hosted a community meeting for this project, the community announcement subject heading was: Public Mtg On Plans For Proposed Student Rental Housing at 3407 Forbes, Tue 4/14 6pm.

Campus Advantage executives at that meeting stated that they have met with University of Pittsburgh administrators, and they have not approached any other universities. They referred to the University of Pittsburgh as their “Host University.”

There are no letters of support from university administrators to the Zoning Board of Adjustment, other than from the University of Pittsburgh.

In his letter of support to the Zoning Board of Adjustment as Chair of the Oakland Task Force, Attorney Paul Supowitz, University of Pittsburgh Vice Chancellor for Community and Governmental Relations, referred to the project as a “student apartment project.”

Campus Advantage submitted to the Zoning Board of Adjustment a letter of support from Councilman Dan Gillman which stated: “the Apartment Building will fill a gap for the high demand of student housing in Oakland.” The submissions also contained a letter from Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle, which stated: “the project will provide 130 units of much needed, quality student housing in Oakland.”

A letter of support from Hurley Associates stated: “it will offer much needed safe, modern student housing.”

One cannot say that this project will provide “dormitory beds” for the University of Pittsburgh students because of the city's definition of dormitory. However, it should be abundantly clear from the above that the purpose of this project is to provide student housing for the University of Pittsburgh.

The Planning Commission members must ask probing questions that push past Campus Advantage's assertions that this project is intended as a multifamily development and an apartment building available to everyone. To permit the continuation of their deception would be a dereliction of duty of the planning commission members.

These questions must also address the potential devastating impact upon the lives of Oakland residents, especially the longtime residents who have suffered the most from the University of Pittsburgh's uncontrolled growth.

It is of paramount importance that an in-depth Impact Statement as to how this project will affect the quality of life for Oakland residents, especially the longtime residents, be in the possession of City Planning Commission members before any decision is made to approve this project. For members not to have that in-depth assessment would be a significant breach of trust with the Oakland community.

Other similar projects in the past have had a negative impact on Oakland's residential community. Decline in longtime residential population, the devastation of South Bouquet Street, binge drinking, litter, traffic and parking are just a few samples of this negative impact.

Commission members should be aware of the contents of the Oakland 2025 Master Plan. It's difficult to believe that commission members can, in good conscious, assert that the master plan specifically encourages the uncontrolled construction of student housing in Oakland.

There are already 30,000 University of Pittsburgh students in Oakland. The recently built Nordenberg Hall houses 559 first-year students only. Where are these new students going to be housed when they leave Nordenberg Hall? Are University of Pittsburgh administrators confident the City Planning Commission will green light any project they support to build student housing?

Are commission members absolutely certain that this project will lessen the demands for students to live in the residential neighborhood? Will it “relieve a great deal of pressure that has been placed on a densely populated residential neighborhood,” as asserted by Council President Bruce Kraus in his letter of support to the Zoning Board? Constructing more student housing has not done so in the past.

What will be the impact to the binge drinking problem in the residential neighborhood of Oakland? How much of a further decline in Oakland's longtime residential community will there be? What are the benefits to the longtime residents of Oakland? Do commission members have definitive answers to these important questions?

The proposed project is not just about brick and mortar and the physical makeup of the building. It is about the civil liberties and quality of life for the residents of this historical neighborhood, especially the longtime residents.

Should the residential community of Oakland not be given full protection under the law, a class action lawsuit is a very real possibility. For commission members not to have full knowledge of how this project will negatively impact these residents would be morally irresponsible, as well as a serious injustice to the Oakland community.

Carlino Giampolo

Salus Populi Suprema Lex

 

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