Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Harrisburg City Council approves two development projects, including tiny homes for veterans

Rendering of the tiny home village for veterans.

At a final legislative meeting before taking a summer break, Harrisburg City Council on Tuesday approved two development projects.

A village of tiny homes for veterans on S. Front Street can move forward, along with a mixed-use office and apartment building on N. Cameron Street.

The tiny home village received a vote of 6-1, with council member Shamaine Daniels voting against it.

The project was proposed by nonprofit Veterans Outreach of Pennsylvania, which plans to build 15 tiny houses and a community center at 1103 S. Front Street to provide temporary housing and support services for homeless veterans.

At the council meeting, some residents expressed concern with the site of the project, saying that it was prone to flooding.

However, representatives with the nonprofit said that, while the area is in the 500-year floodplain, they plan to build the houses a few feet off of the ground.

Another development proposal for the conversion of a long-abandoned building into office and apartment space on Cameron Street got the go-ahead from council in a 5-2 vote. Council President Wanda Williams and council member Danielle Bowers voted in opposition.

Bowers explained that she would not vote in affirmation of the project because developer Harrisburg Commercial Interiors would not commit to participating in the city’s affordable housing program.

In other council action, Harrisburg will move towards ending what has been a long process in dealing with artifacts purchased by former Mayor Steve Reed. In 2015, many collectibles and artifacts were seized from Reed’s home and storage units, many that were bought with public money.

Council approved a resolution to work with Cordier Auctions & Appraisals, as well as Reed’s estate, to auction off the remaining items and split the funds between the city, estate and auction company.

Also on the topic of Harrisburg history, council approved the adoption of updated Historic District Design and Preservation Guidelines which lay out the rules for homeowners when making changes and repairs to their properties.

Council also voted unanimously to appoint David West as the Director of Public Works. He takes the place of former director Aaron Johnson, who recently retired.

Lastly, council member Ausha Green said that the city will be releasing information and applications for the Citizen’s Law Enforcement Advisory Committee this week. Council voted to create the board in Nov. 2020 in hopes of increasing police accountability.

Council will take a summer hiatus and will return on Aug. 24.

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