Friday, December 08, 2006

Blighted Site?

From Thursday's Post-Gazette South Section

The Mt. Lebanon Planning Board has agreed that land slated to become a luxury condominium complex called Washington Park meets the criteria for a blight designation.

The board voted 2-1 Nov. 28 to approve a basic conditions report prepared for developer Michael Zamagias Interests, which said the eight parcels on Washington Road at Bower Hill Road meet the Urban Redevelopment Law definition of blight. The plan argues the term is warranted because the buildings on the site have defective design, the current use is economically undesirable and the lot layout is faulty.

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Blogger Bill Matthews said...

Because of the "blight", the Municipality is determined to fleece Mt. Lebanon taxpayers with this TIF (Tax Increment Financing) proposal.

The Municipality NEVER considered that the site could be developed without public subsidy, it just took the developer's word that public assistance was "mandatory".

Most of the diverted taxes (+/-84%) are diverted from the school budget. Consequently, the Municipality is championing diverting education dollars, to pay for project related costs.

From the Municipality’s website - the Zamagias Properties plan diverts monies from the school budget as follows:

$3,050,000 for 18 Mt. Lebanon Parking Authority parking spaces (upper level) and associated infrastructure and 14 roof parking spaces

$468,920 for Sidewalks and curbs

$410,000 for Public Plaza amenities

$144,000 For Underground electric on Washington Road

$100,000 for Heated sidewalk

$100,000 for Offsite storm water and sanitary improvements

$88,000 for Street parking on Washington Road

$75,000 for Turn Lane at Bower Hill Road

$20,000 for Bus Stop

The school budget will be what it will be. While these and other expenses are paid with diverted tax dollars, the rest of the Community will be making up the diverted education funds with their own tax bill.

What's wrong with this picture?

December 09, 2006 2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill Matthews said: $75,000 for Turn Lane at Bower Hill Road

Can't we just do this with or without any TIF or new building? Mt Lebanon roads really need some updates, and I'm not talking resurfacing. More turning lanes, less stop lights, etc. We need to get out of the fifties.

December 12, 2006 7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with anonymous. Mt. Lebanon needs to get out of the '50's, and take on a more progressive attitude. New housing development is needed and more old housing needs to be replaced. It should not be at the expense of other needed projects. Anybody doing anything about this?

December 13, 2006 9:55 AM  

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