One ELDI member who spoke with NEXTpittsburgh says she saw Thursday’s meeting as ECHO Realty’s chance to prove how much the company is really listening to residents and stakeholders.

“I have heard different things,” says Donna M. Jackson, an ELDI board member who heads the Larimer Consensus Group. “I just want to hear what they have to say.”

Jackson was not pleased with the idea that the ELDI meeting was not open to the public.

“I think that’s kind of bad,” she says. “It doesn’t affect just a few people. It affects a lot of people. They need to come out and talk to the people at large.”

Then there’s Berner, the retiree who moved to Shadyside from Zelienople about three years ago and now lives in a townhouse next to the Shady Hill strip mall.

“What appealed to me [about Shadyside] was the beauty of the streets and the diversity, both racial and ethnic . It just looked like a nice place to live,” Berner says. And an 85-foot-tall apartment building doesn’t gel with her version of that neighborhood, she stressed.

“That’s something that just destroys the ambience of the community,” she says. “When you have something that tall, it prevents daylight from coming into the surrounding community — and that’s counterproductive.”