On Tuesday, September 22nd and Wednesday, September 30th, Preservation Pittsburgh's President, Matthew Falcone, testified before City Council against Reverend Burgess' proposed amendments to the city's historic preservation ordinance. Collectively, these changes would ensure that only those who own property could meaningfully participate in the historic preservation process and shaping their communities. It would also raise the threshold for creating or expanding a city historic district to a super-majority of residents. Each of these changes are without precedent in other cities and could quite possibly run contrary to the U.S. Supreme Court's Penn-Central ruling.
While it was clear from councilmember's comments the city has no desire to alter the current preservation code in such a fashion, they did want to respect Councilman Rev. Burgess' right to begin a larger conversation about historic preservation and the bill will now move to the city's Historic Review Commission for comment. We will continue to advocate for maintaining the current city code and provide you with updates as matters unfold.