Harrison • Brackenridge • Tarentum
Joint Comprehensive Plan
DRAFT PLAN UNVEILED HARRISON, BRACKENRIDGE AND TARENTUM, FORWARD TOGETHER The three northernmost communities along the Allegheny River in Allegheny County are in a position to forge a future that capitalizes on their location, assets and ambition for change. Multi-Municipal Comprehensive Plan Forging Our Future (Draft) Harrison • Brackenridge • Tarentum
HBT Comprehensive Plan – Community Meeting 2020.02.17 Harrison Township resident Michelle Goetzinger created this fantastic video about the upcoming community meeting for the HBT Comp Plan. Check out the February 17, 2020 community meeting page for more information. We hope you’re able to attend!
HARRISON, BRACKENRIDGE AND TARENTUM, FORWARD TOGETHER
The three northernmost communities along the Allegheny River in Allegheny County are in a position to forge a future that capitalizes on their location, assets and ambition for change.
STEERING COMMITTEE. Our joint steering committee has met five times starting on February 12, 2019 with the most recent meeting on October 8, 2019. Our committee reviewed all of the public input and helped generate the Key Issues.
PUBLIC MEETING. We conducted our first public meeting on June 3, 2019 at the Salvation Army gym. We had about 80 people attend who generated 140 ideas on things that could be improved and 50 things they thought were positive things in the communities.
QUESTIONNAIRE. We received about 500 responses to the digital questionnaire. The top 4 areas of concern were (1) Drug issues/Crime, (2) Dilapidated Buildings, (3) Emergency Services, (4) Streets and Roads
KEY PERSON INTERVIEWS. Based on contacts provided to us by the steering committee we interviewed 21 people from the area. People included: developers, bank managers, non-profit directors, members of the faith community, business owners and municipal staff.
OTHER PUBLIC INPUT. We met with state senator Lindsay Williams on September 12, 2019, to discuss this planning process and to seek her help in identifying opportunities for public funding. Several of our steering committee members conducted “pop up” events and interviewed people at the YMCA and the Library for this plan.
All three municipalities recognize the importance of addressing blight and property deterioration. The communities have had some success in addressing blight on a case-by-case basis through code enforcement, legal action, property acquisition, remediation, demolition and/or redevelopment.
Looking ahead we believe that property deterioration can best be addressed through a coordinated effort among the communities. Click here to learn more about the problems blight creates and the efforts to address this item.
As employment patterns changed and population declined in our communities since the 1970s, disinvestment has created economic stress in the communities’ commercial areas. Commercial property vacancies has increased throughout all three towns.
Other external factors and the global transition to online retail have created additional pressure. Looking ahead we feel that social enterprise and community & economic development goals can best be met through a coordinated effort among the communities, in collaboration with existing businesses and non-profit organizations. Read more about the efforts to create new development opportunities in our communities.
The three Allegheny River Valley communities share several important assets and characteristics such as riverfront access, parks, sidewalk connectivity, and trail planning. All of these are valuable and important to the communities and create a basis for additional opportunities that could have even greater impact.
This section of the comprehensive plan represents both “strengths to build on” and “problems to solve.”
Looking ahead we feel that the communities can benefit from increased community connectivity and the assets of riverfront views, river access, parkland and recreation. Learn more about our next steps for trail, park and riverfront development.
In the late 20th century, as populations shrank and disinvestment occurred, our small downtown’s faltered and some properties deteriorated. Communities became more diverse and less centered on steel mill and manufacturing employment. “We’re not an old mill town anymore,” one local elected official stated, “but what are we?”
Now, in the third decade of the 21st Century, the three communities do not have a commonly understood description of how they see themselves today and in the future. Looking ahead we feel that creating a joint “identity” or “brand” will help build upon the strength and assets of our communities.
News and Media
Public’s concerns, suggestions sought to shape future of 3 communities – May 21, 2019
Residents of 3 A-K Valley areas brainstorm for future – June 10, 2019
Brackenridge, Harrison, Tarentum officials take to streets to get ideas on community plan – June 12, 2019
Brackenridge, Harrison and Tarentum continue joint planning effort – January 27, 2020
Proposal outlines future, identifies key issues in Harrison, Brackenridge, Tarentum – September 27, 2020
Tarentum schedules meetings for public to comment, officials to act on comprehensive plan – October 6, 2020
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