Health club plan clears hurdle in Mt. Lebanon
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Kossman Development Co. cleared the first of several hurdles in its intent to build an LA Fitness center at Castle Shannon and Mt. Lebanon boulevards.
Developers hoping to construct the 46,000-square-foot health club in a site zoned R-2 residential in Mt. Lebanon have secured a text amendment to the municipal ordinance. A 3-2 vote at a commissioners meeting Monday added a new "Section 406.4.2 - Health Club" to Section 1402 Definitions.
Traffic studies and the presentation of land development proposals are just a few of the coming issues. In March, the Mt. Lebanon Planning Board recommended against adoption of the proposed text amendment to the ordinance.
Residents, particularly those on Thornycroft Avenue, Thornwood Drive and Shady Lane, had collected about 500 signatures discouraging the amendment.
Several spoke "for" and "against" before the vote. The final count went 3-2, with Joe DeIuliis, Dale Colby and Raja in favor, and Dan Miller and John Daley against.
"There can be no dispute that LA Fitness is a fine organization," Mr. Miller said before voting. He went on to outline the history of the property, which Kossman has owned since the 1950s and has attempted to develop at least four other times.
"The Kossman family has had this [property] for almost 60 years; they should know it is zoned residential."
In other business, commissioners took another look at the "road diet" concept that might help reduce traffic woes on the busy corridor of Washington Road from the high school to Shady Avenue.
Task Force member Barry Long presented a slide show that suggested making this part of Washington a three-lane area. One lane each would be dedicated to traffic in each direction, with a turn lane in the middle. This turn lane might also include loading zones for the numerous delivery trucks that service area businesses, and parking lanes would be widened. This study is ongoing.
A worrisome pedestrian crosswalk in front of Washington Elementary was also addressed. A "hawk" signal that would allow pedestrians to halt vehicle traffic was raised as one possible solution.
A public hearing also was held to consider stretching the municipal street reconstruction over two years. Additional funding would come from the issue of $2 million in General Obligation bonds. Also, Mt. Lebanon hopes to refinance roughly $2.8 million in bonds, based on current market conditions.
"The plan is on June 22 to sell our bonds competitively and come back that evening and ask for formal approval of sale by the commissioners," said William McKain, director of finance.
Niando Construction was awarded a contract for the road work, which includes improvements to Main Entrance, White Oak Circle, Briarwood Avenue, Foxland Drive, Glenridge Lane, Osage Road, Morrison Drive, Arden Lane, Florida Avenue, Academy Place and Greenhurst Drive.
Niando's total bid was $1,893,101.65. Originally, all of the bids had included two other streets that were later removed from the proposal.
First Published June 11, 2009 6:13 am