Watch CBS News

Mt. Lebanon Residents Upset Over Proposed Townhouse Development

MT. LEBANON, Pa. (KDKA) -- Neighbors in Mt. Lebanon say they're fighting back against a proposed townhome development.

The property in question sits along Moffett Street near at least three schools. The signs in the nearby front yards say it all: "No to 41 townhouses."

mt lebanon townhouses
(Photo: KDKA's Meghan Schiller)

"You can't stop development, I understand that, but 41 in 3 acres seems like a bit of an overstep," said resident Chuck Blumenschein.

That's why Blumenschein and his fellow neighbors plan to fight back against a proposed development along Moffett Street across from Jefferson Elementary and Middle schools.

The neighbors told KDKA that UPMC currently owns the property, formerly a hospice center, but the real estate listing said it's worth more than $4 million.

"It's about 3.25 acres, they're going to tear this building down, that's the proposal, and put in 41 townhouses," said Blumenschein.

Proposed townhouses that neighbors said don't fit the street filled with single-family homes and three schools.

"You have in this small area in this one short street over a thousand children converging here pretty much at one time in the morning and then when they let out in the afternoon," said Cynthia Bognar, Mt. Lebanon resident.

Neighbor Cynthia Bognar and nearly 200 others signed a petition to try to stop the development in its current form. It cites safety concerns for the walking school children, overcrowding and stormwater impacts.

Mt. Lebanon's planning department confirms the developer, Craft Pittsburgh, did submit a formal application seeking approval for the proposed plan for 41 townhouses.

The plan includes townhouses sold like condos, with each unit having multiple floors. There would be two rows of townhomes, with one row up along Moffett Street and the other row behind.

That's only the first step of a multi-step project that would involve many public meetings and a final vote from the five elected officials who make up the board of commissioners, according to the planning department.

KDKA's Meghan Schiller also learned the property along Moffett Street is zoned "R3 residential," meaning townhouses are acceptable, according to the planning department.

Neighbors understand but disagree with the interpretation of the zoning code, pointing out the code also says it's intended to "preserve, promote and protect" and include unobstructed front yards, pedestrian-scale streetscapes and buildings designed to be compatible with the neighborhood.

"It's not in keeping with Mt. Lebanon's principles for zoning, it's not like the neighborhoods around here," said Blumenschein.

Anyone can go to the Mt. Lebanon Municipal Building during normal business owners to look at the proposed plans. The office can't provide copies but told KDKA that residents can look at the plans and take notes.

Since the developer submitted a formal application seeking formal approval, the next time this will be discussed is at the upcoming planning meeting on Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. Mt. Lebanon will post a Zoom link and agenda on its website for any interested residents.

Neighbors looking for more information or to view the plans can contact Ian McMeans at

Neighbors interested in signing the petition can find more information here.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.