Past Blight Busters

Past Blight Buster Presentations

Session DetailsDownloadable Presentation and Hand-Outs
Monday, June 26, 2017:
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, Illegal Dump Free PA
Monday, May 22, 2017:
Allegheny Goatscape
Monday, April 24, 2017:
Roy Kraynek from the Allegheny Land Trust discusses Transfer of Development Rights Program
Monday, March 27, 2017:
Shannon Sandberg an Air Pollution Control Engineer discusses Building Permits
Monday, February 27, 2017:
Allegheny CleanWays (ACW) recently completed a two-year study on illegal dumping in the Pittsburgh neighborhoods of Hazelwood and Beltzhoover. During this presentation ACW’s Programs Director, Janée Romesberg, shared their findings, strategies, and recommendations for illegal dumpsite mitigation.
Allegheny CleanWays – Dumping Policy Recommendations
January 2017:
No Meeting
Monday, December 21, 2016:
No Meeting - Happy Holidays
Monday, November 21, 2016:
Chris Blackwell and Damian Buccilli discuss the application of the “Blight Buster Toolbox” in Municipality of Penn Hills
Monday, October 24, 2016:
Kay Pierce and Chris Goswick from Allegheny County, Planning Departmen discuss Stormwater Management Ordinance, Zoning & SALDO Ordinances, and the Planning Grant Program
Monday, September 26, 2016:
Ellie Newman from Allegheny County CountyStat and Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center will discuss Allegheny County Open Data.
Monday, August 22, 2016:
Mara Dowdy from Town Center Associates discussed the work that they’ve done which focuses on the revitalization of our main street business districts and the website that they manage Additionally, this presentation discussed strategies for creating available space for new businesses in central business districts.
No Electronic Presentation or Handouts
Monday, June 27, 2016:
Christian from CivicMapper discussed his work in our region to demonstrate their valuable technical tool. CivicMapper is a team of experts in the application of geographic information systems (GIS) from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Their mission is to enable and empower our clients to use the geospatial data they depend on to better support their missions. They offer a wide range of services, from consulting on unique projects to providing on-demand support using a GIS "Department-As-A-Service" model. Christian is co-founder and vice president of CivicMapper. He combines his technical expertise in geographic information systems with his knowledge of municipal business processes to help organizations operating in the civic sphere to better leverage geospatial technology to support their missions. He formerly worked as an urban planning and urban design consultant with O2 Planning + Design in Calgary, Alberta, and prior to that with the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh.
No Electronic Presentation or Handouts
Monday, May 23, 2016:
Jamie Graham from the Allegheny County Health Department will discuss Environmental Assessments for Demolition
Monday, April 25, 2016:
Ginny Leary who was formerly with the Allegheny County Health Department (now retired) will discuss the Hoarding Task Force – Department of Aging, Department of Human Services
Monday, March 21, 2016:
Jim Price provided information about the Sustainable Pennsylvania Community Certification Program. This program is a platform for demonstrating excellence, accelerating the policy and practice of good government and gaining recognition statewide. Learn how the Municipal Certification program, a program managed by the Pennsylvania Municipal League and recognized by DCED, helps incorporate sustainability into your daily municipal work. A community that embraces sustainability will improve financial stability, social equity and environmental stewardship. We will discuss how working towards these goals through the criteria laid out in the program will help prevent and mitigate the effects of blight and abandonment both directly and indirectly.
Sustainable Pennsylvania Community Certification Program
Monday, February 22, 2016:
Bruno Mediate from the Allegheny County Adult Probation Program discussed the Adult Probation Community Resource Center which opened in McKeesport in November 2015. This program provides supervision and services to offenders in the Mon Valley Region who in turn can participate in community projects, like neighborhood clean ups. He is looking forward to explaining more about his program and working with community leaders and groups to discuss projects for the upcoming season.
No Electronic Presentation or Handouts
January 2016:
No Meeting
December 2015:
No Meeting - Happy Holidays
Monday, November 16, 2015:
Kevin Boyle, Community Coordinator with Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group discussed the Reimagining Communities Initiative. The Reimagining Communities Initiative was established in 2011 with the goal of building capacity within distressed neighborhoods. Kevin, who is currently working on the ground in the borough of Sharpsburg, will share PCRG’s holistic approach to community development.
Monday, October 26, 2015:
Jennifer Layman, Regional Partnership Director of the Student Conservation Association, discussed SCA’s River and Trail Towns Outreach Corps programs. The Trail Town Outreach Corps was developed in 2009 to give young people hands-on sustainability experience promoting community revitalization, conservation, tourism, and recreation along the Great Allegheny Passage. The River Town Outreach Corps was developed in 2011 along the same model to promote these goals in the Monongahela River corridor.
Monday, September 28, 2015:
Dr. LuAnn Brink, Chief Epidemiologist from the Allegheny County Health Department discussed the Allegheny Community Indicators project. As part of its ongoing efforts to be more data driven, the Allegheny County Health Department developed the Allegheny Community Indicators (ACI) dashboard. The ACI dashboard contains a set of public health indicators, which are characteristics used to describe the health of a population. They include a wide variety of topics including chronic and infectious disease, income, mortality, and environmental factors. Dr. Brink will demonstrate this new tool and explain how it contributes to the current initiatives of the Health Department and to our communities.
Monday, August 24, 2015:
Liz Kozub and Jason Heider discussed the Turtle Creek Valley Joint Code Enforcement Program.
Monday, July 27th, 2015:
Domenick Carroll, from US Congressman Doyle’s Office and Kathy Mitchell from Allegheny County Department of Economic Development discussed federal programs that address blight, like the Community Development Block Grant and HOME program.
No Electronic Presentation or Handouts
Monday, June 22nd, 2015:
George Lambrinos from the Steel Valley COG reviewed the Tri-COG Healthy Housing Market Analysis, which takes a in-depth look and assesses the multiple layers which go into any functioning real-estate market.

Next the Tri-COG interns, who were brought on by the Tri-COG to help facilitate the analysis, went over LocalData, an online cloudbased tool which seamlessly allows for parcel based surveys.

Lastly, Evaine Sing from gtech goes over their new vacant lot platform called LotstoLove and explains how its becoming the region’s landingpad for reclaiming and activating vacant lots and cataloging already implemented and successful projects.
gtech's L2L Presentation 6.22.2015

Healthy Housing and Local Data 6.22.2015
Monday, May 18th, 2015:
Ian McMeans from Homestead Borough and Michael Knoop from Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) discuss how perceived liabilities like vacant lots can be used as assets in storm-water management among other projects happening throughout the borough in partnership with WPC, Steel Valley School Districts and others.
Stormwater Managment in Small Urban Places 5.18.2015
Monday, April 27th, 2015:
Benjamin Walker, CEO of ExperiLearn, goes over the basics of the experiential learning where engaging activities are intertwined with the classroom to help promote retention and real personal growth.
ExperiLearn Presentation 4.27.2015

ExperiLearn Handout
Monday, March 23rd, 2015:
Drew Hohensee, the Assistant Vice President of Community Outreach at Wells Fargo Bank, goes over the mortgage foreclosure process and the procedure Wells Fargo follows in order to preserver not only the the home's value but the neighborhood's integrity.
Property Preservation Path
Monday, February 23rd, 2015:
Prisca Ohito, a Coro Fellow on behalf of the University Center for Social and Urban Research, presents the highly anticipated Southwestern Pennsylvania Community Profiles.
Southwestern Pa Community Profiles
Monday, January 26th, 2015:
Ted Mucellin discusses how municipalities across the nation are combating blight through the tracking of mortgage foreclosures. His team works with local municipalities to pass an ordinance which requires banks to register foreclosures with your local government, allowing you to not only spot problems ahead of time but also get the banks to properly maintain their properties.
This blight strategy is unique in the sense that helps while paying for itself and then some. It does this by imposing a registration fee, giving municipalities both a service and an additional revenue stream.
If you are interested in Foreclosure registration please call John Stephen at 412.606.7149 or email
Model Ordinance:
FPRC Sample Ordinance Township.City

Vacant Property Registration Slides

Allentown News Report on Foreclosures:
Monday, December 29th, 2014:
Canceled due to Holidays
No Handouts
Monday, November 24th, 2014:
Canceled due to Holidays
No Handouts
Monday, October 27th, 2014:
Myrna Newman, Executive Director of Allegheny Cleanways, discusses the region's problem with illegal dumping and how her organization is cleaning up the mess through the deployment of several different programs and committed volunteers.

ACW Presentation Notes
Monday, September 22nd, 2014:
George Pettrone goes over the basics of small and large Estate Administration, how much each might cost to carry out , and how it can it can effectively be used to acquire and mitigate blight.
Notice & Costs Associated with Small Estate Admin.
Petition For Distribution of a Small Estate & Order of Court
Monday, August, 25th 2014
Pat McGrail goes thorough strategies and solutions available to address blight on the municipal level.
Solutions to Blighted Property
Monday, July 28th, 2014:
Tri-COG presents its Land Banking Business Plan
Land Bank Business Plan Presentation
Monday, June 23rd, 2014:
Marisa Manheim and Rayden Sorock talk about the history of the Allegheny Grows program and how one can apply for the upcoming season.
Allegheny Grows Info Session
Monday, May 26th, 2014:
Robert Gabbianelli from the Allegheny County Housing Authortiy talks about its voucher program, how it works and how it has evolved over the years.
No Electronic Presentation or Handouts
Monday, April 28th, 2014:
John Kromer, professor at the University of Pennsylvania and an author to a number books relating to Urban Growth and Developmet, talks about Land Banking and its potential in the Mon Valley.
No Electronic Presentation or Handouts
Monday, March 31st, 2014:
Doug Leeper Discusses a multi-municipal approach to Code Enforcement and what does and does not work.
No Electronic Presentation or Handouts
Monday, February 24th, 2014:
Chris Brown and Bill Fontana talk about PA Keystone Core Services
Monday, January 27th: 2014:
Irene McLaughlin and George Lambrinos present Part 2 on how Land Banking would connect with Allegheny County's Tax Sale System
Abridged Tax and Land Bank Sale
Monday, December 16th, 2013:
West Homestead's 2020 plan update and potential for new housing starts
WH 2020 Plan
Monday, November 25th, 2013:
Irene McLaughlin, JD and George Lambrinos present Part 1 of the Intersection of Land Banking and Allegheny County's Sheriff Sale
Traditional Tax Sale
Land Banking and the Tax Sale
Donation Flowchart3rd class tax sale
Title Clearing Matix
Monday, October 28th 2013:
Michael Halpern, Director of Community Initiatives at Safeguard Properties, explores the impact of foreclosures on communities and solutions for municipalities.
SecureView Presentation
Monday, September 23, 2013:
Monday, August 26th, 2013:
Michael G. McCabe Esq describes Land Banking and delinquent property tax enforcement including the Allegheny County Amendment to the Land Bank Law.
Monday, July 22nd, 2013:
John Schombert of 3 Rivers Wet Weather focuses on Low Impact Development on Vacant Lands.
Source Reduction in Your Municipality
Urban vs Natual Runoff
Green Infastucture Resource Guide
Green Infastucture Benefit Chart
Monday, June 24th, 2013:
Delta Development Group summarizes the fiscal impacts of blight in our communities.
Cost of Blight
Tuesday, May 28th, 2013:
Irene McLaughlin, JD presents Pennsylvania's new Land Banking Act and how land banking can affect Allegheny County
LandBanking in ALCO
Monday, April 22nd, 2013:
GTECH talks its sustainable programs around preventing blight and reclaiming vacant land
Monday March 25th, 2013:
Casa Collinge from Allegheny County Department of Economic Development talks about their Community Development Programs
ACED Presentation
Monday, February 25th, 2013:
Kendall Pelling from East Liberty Development Inc. (ELDI) talks about revitalization block by block in East Liberty and ELDI's Land Recycling Program
ELDI Land Recycling
Monday, January 28th, 2013:
Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission - Presents model zoning forms and documents and permitting standards for solar energy system installations
Solar Zoning Ordinance
Solar Photovoltaic Permit Application
Monday, December 17th, 2012:
Pittsburgh Neighborhood Community Information System (PNCIS) on how to use their online mapping tool
Online Demonstration - No Electronic Presentation or Handouts
Monday, November 26th, 2012:
West Homested updates us on its Legacy 2020 Plan Update
WH 2020 Plan
Monday, October 22nd, 2012:
Swissvale's municipal cost saving strategies & code enforcement
Swissvale Strategies
Swissvale Occupancy Inspection Checklist
Monday, September 24th, 2012:
Wilkinsburg - The Tax Compromise and other municipal programs
Tax Base Expansion App. For Tax Compromise
Ordinance No. 2840
Ordinance No. 2802
Code Violation Letter
Monday, August 27th, 2012:
West Homestead's Legacy 2020 Plan
WH 2020 Plan
Monday, July 23rd, 2012:
Gerik Jenco introduces available techniques of acquiring property when they are tax delinquent
Gerik Jenco Donations Law
Monday, June 25th, 2012:
Mapping Blight, what it looks like on both a local and regional level
Blight Maps Presentation
Tuesday, May 29th, 2012:
Property Maintenance and Professional Code Enforcement Software
TRI-COG Property Management Database
Monday, April 23rd, 2012:
East McKeesport presents its data collection methodology
East Mckeesport Story
LGA East McKeepsort Presentation
Monday, March 25th, 2012:
An Lewis introduces the Fight Blight Progam
Blight Working Group