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“Rezoning recommended for Mayview land”

I found this in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday, September 4, 2008, and it discusses the current line of thinking in regards to the possible uses for Mayview State Hospital land after it is closed.

Rezoning recommended for Mayview land
Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Mayview State Hospital property is likely to be rezoned soon for use by business parks, but it’s not likely to stay that way very long.

The South Fayette Planning Commission last Thursday recommended the B-1 business park zoning for 335 state-owned acres along Chartiers Creek. The state is planning to close the hospital and sell the property, which is zoned for rural residential use.

“People haven’t put a whole lot of thought into what the property should be when it grows up,” township solicitor Jon Kamin said. “B-1 would be a good use for it as we continue to study it — commercial zoning, but thoughtful commercial zoning.”

The South Fayette commissioners and planning commission have been trying to encourage commercial growth.

Business park zoning would ensure that if a developer bought land and tried to build on it immediately, it would be an office/warehousing/light industrial use.

The planning commission will also, however, start discussing soon what it would like to see in a long-term zoning plan for the main portion of the property. There has been talk of mixed-use village-style zoning to create an old-fashioned neighborhood with modern amenities.

There is a more specific vision, however, for the unused part of the hospital, which lies to the west of Mayview Road.

The portion, about one-fifth or one-sixth of the total property, is up a steep slope and abuts the township’s Fairview Park. The township is interested in acquiring the property to expand the park, and even if it doesn’t, would like to see compatible development there.

The planning commission Thursday said it would address that by starting work on language for a conservation/recreation district to be added to the township’s zoning ordinance, something that does not exist in the ordinance now. The district would be developed with the Mayview property in mind, but could be applied to other areas as well.

Mr. Kamin warned the planners that “we can’t just say there will be no development whatsoever.” Creating a zone so strict that the property would become de facto park space would constitute what’s called “regulatory taking,” he said — taking control of a property by ordinance rather than acquiring it legally.

“But we can custom-tailor it so that any development there would fit,” he said.

The planning commission also discussed concerns that have been raised over natural gas exploration that is going on throughout the region. North Fayette recently passed an ordinance limiting the hours of drilling and the areas where it can be done, and it’s been an issue in other municipalities as well.

Mr. Kamin, however, noted that a recent Commonwealth Court decision ruled that federal laws supercede local ones on drilling, making ordinances like North Fayette’s unenforceable, in his opinion. That ruling is being heard by the state Supreme Court, but “we shouldn’t be interfering with property rights when we know it’s an area in flux,” he said.

South Fayette engineer Dave Gardner noted that there have been “horror stories” about drilling companies taking the tops of ridges off and leaving areas a mess when they’re done.

Mr. Kamin said “the best thing for us to do for landowners would be to educate them as to their rights.”

He said landowners approached by drilling companies can negotiate various things into a contract, including buffering, remediation and sound-proofing for machines. And he advised them that given the amounts of money involved, a property owner would be wise to get a lawyer to work out the contract.

Brian David can be reached at bdavid@post-gazette.com or 412-722-0086.
First published on September 4, 2008 at 5:28 am

Rep. Kathy Rapp authors legislation “imposing moratorium on all future state hospital closures”

I received Rep. Kathy Rapp’s fall 2008 newsletter in themal toda and discovered tha while sh was boasting about stopping the privitization of forensics at Warren State Hospital.  The article continued and indicated she had authored hb1455 calling for a study to determine the approximate number of inmates who are mentally ill.  She also is ctinuing her quest to put amoratorium on the closure of state hospitals until this study can be cmpleted.

Here’s a link to the full electronic version of her Fall 2008 newslette so you can ead the full text yourself. 

https://share.acrobat.com/adc/document.do?docid=0aa61039-6d5c-4761-9cf0-17a243a9253c

The link is a nightmare, but I made it so it was easy to find and faster to download or preview online if you prefer.  I posted it uing a free service at http://www.acrobat.com  you can create and share pf files for free.

“CMHS CONSUMER AFFAIRS E-NEWS SEPTEMBER 4, 2008”

I receive regular emails from CMHS and thought this one might be of interest to folks.  It covers studies done by the CDC (I’m assuming CDC stands for Center for Disease Control) about mental health related statistics.  I thought i was interesting, and thee are links inclued that allow you to see the full reports.

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CMHS CONSUMER AFFAIRS E-NEWS SEPTEMBER 4, 2008
___________________________________________________

CDC Releases Two Data Briefs on U.S. Mental Health

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics recently released the following two data briefs examining rates of children’s mental health services use and depression in U.S. households:

Use of Mental Health Services in the Past 12 Months by Children Aged 4-17 Years: United States, 2005-2006

Key findings

·       In 2005-2006, 15% of U. S. children aged 4-17 years had parents who talked to a health care provider or school staff about their child’s emotional or behavioral difficulties. This included 18% of boys and 11% of girls.

·       Approximately 5% of children were prescribed medication for difficulties with emotions or behavior. A large majority of these children (89%) were prescribed medication for difficulties with concentration, hyperactivity, or impulsivity, which are symptoms of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

·       Approximately 5% of children received “treatment other than medication” for emotional or behavioral difficulties. Most of these children – 60% – received this treatment from a mental health private practice, clinic, or center.

To view the entire report, please see: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db08.htm

Depression in the United States Household Population, 2005-2006

Key findings

·       In any 2-week period, 5.4% of Americans 12 years of age and older experienced depression. Rates were higher in 40-59 year olds, women, and non-Hispanic black persons than in other demographic groups.

·       Rates of depression were higher among poor persons than among those with higher incomes.

·       Approximately 80% of persons with depression reported some level of functional impairment because of their depression, and 27% reported serious difficulties in work and home life.

·       Only 29% of all persons with depression reported contacting a mental health professional in the past year, and among the subset with severe depression, only 39% reported contact.

To view the entire report, please see: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db07.htm

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