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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 28, 2016 12:01 PM
From: Senator Randy Vulakovich and Sen. Jay Costa, Sen. Wayne D. Fontana
To: All Senate members
Subject: Amendment to the Pittsburgh Parking Authority’s Enabling Act to Support Private Development
We intend to reintroduce SB 1351, which amends the Pittsburgh Parking Authority’s enabling act to assist in supporting private development. Demand for parking continues to grow in the City of Pittsburgh, as evidenced by the increased number of private developers that have recently requested that the Parking Authority dedicate parking to support private projects. The Parking Authority believes that it has the expertise and financial wherewithal to provide parking to support certain private projects desired by the Administration, which could foster the continued redevelopment of the City of Pittsburgh.

To date, the Parking Authority has had limited flexibility in accommodating these requests. Pennsylvania courts have construed the Authority’s enabling act as prohibiting the Parking Authority from engaging in transactions that primarily benefit a private enterprise like a developer (versus transactions that primarily benefit the general public, such as public parking on a first-come, first-served basis). It would be helpful for the Parking Authority to have the ability to engage in transactions that directly support private development, assuming the private project meets certain criteria (e.g. there is broad support for the project, the dedicated parking will be financially feasible, and the tax exempt status of the Parking Authority’s bonds will not be negatively impacted). The legislation also protects current parking garages that are at or near capacity from taking away spaces for the purposes of dedicating spaces to private interests.

Accordingly, the Parking Authority would like to pursue an amendment to the appropriate enabling act applicable only to cities of the second class (Pittsburgh) that allows the authority to engage in transactions that are for the benefit of private developers, in certain circumstances. The substance of the proposed legislation the Parking Authority envisions would allow it to allocate some percentage of its parking spaces to directly support private developers, assuming certain criteria are satisfied.

SB 1351 was cosponsored last session by Senators Bartolotta, Brewster, Reschenthaler, Stefano, Vogel, and Ward.

Introduced as SB252