Planning for the Future

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The Wilkinsburg Plan is in full swing, and over the next few weeks, residents and business owners will have the opportunity to participate in shaping Wilkinsburg’s future. Funded by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Delta Development Group, Inc., is leading a group of consultants in an innovative, three-phased planning initiative for the borough that includes a five-year management plan and financial study, a comprehensive community plan, and a business district master revitalization plan.

The first area of focus has been the development of a five-year management and financial plan. Over the past months, the consultants have spent time with borough officials to review and assess the borough’s current financial situation, services and operations. This portion of the planning initiative is about half completed, and the consultants are currently working with officials to develop short- and long-term strategies to reduce expenditures, increase tax revenues, and operate more efficiently. The management and financial plan will prioritize the borough’s financial and management needs and ensure that future resources are focused on the most critical needs.

The comprehensive community plan is also under way. This plan will provide a “blueprint” to guide the borough over the next 10 years to determine future land use and development objectives, to meet the housing needs of current and future residents, to provide adequate infrastructure for moving people and goods through the borough, and to provide adequate public facilities and utilities to serve the needs of the Wilkinsburg community. The comprehensive plan will build on recent planning efforts, and will provide strategies and tools for implementation.

Over the past months, the consultants have reviewed prior planning documents and have documented current conditions and expected trends in the borough in preparation for developing future planning objectives. The steering committee and the consultants have also begun a visioning process that started with a physical assessment of the business district and a preliminary review of market indicators that will be used to help shape the business district revitalization plan. The next step will be to re-imagine the business district through an interactive planning process called the Business District Revitalization Strategy.

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