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New community cropping up

| Thursday, July 10, 2003

The first of 45 new homes planned on land that used to be part of Mt. Lebanon Cemetery are to be completed this fall.

Dan Caste of Caste Development said 10 homes in the Main Line II neighborhood already have been sold, and 60 people want to tour the model unit when it's completed.

The interest, he said, is coming from the South Hills and also from city neighborhoods such as Shadyside.

"Mt. Lebanon never had a community like this," Caste said.

As construction proceeds on the model for Main Line II, Caste is preparing to go before the commissioners Monday night for approval to slightly change the 11-acre development.

Caste wants to expand 12 of the lots to allow for customization, such as patios or three-car garages, instead of the two-car garages present on most homes. The development would lose three-tenths of an acre of open space.

Each building in the complex will have two units, each with two stories and 3,000 square feet. They will be in a carriage home style, with master bedrooms on the first floor and additional bedrooms upstairs.

Caste, who has lived in Mt. Lebanon all his life, said the homes are targeted to older people who want to stay in Mt. Lebanon, but might not want to maintain larger houses and lawns.

Of the 45 homes, 35 will have no basements.

Mt. Lebanon municipal planner Keith McGill noted four new subdivisions are under construction, or are going through the approval process in the mostly-developed community.

Most are on the southern end, near the Sunset Hills development, or off Connor Road.

"We've actually got quite a flurry of construction, for an older community," he said.

The Main Line II homes will sell for prices starting at $369,900.

McGill noted the development, even with Caste's proposed changes, still exceeds municipal requirements for open space.

Mt. Lebanon requires 2.3 acres of open space for a development that size, and even with the changes, the plan still would have 2.4 acres.

The Main Line II development will differ from the original, nearby Main-Line development off Shady Drive, which has two- and three-story townhouse-style units. The community is named for the affluent suburb of Philadelphia that is located near commuter railways.

Caste, who didn't develop the original Main-Line a decade ago, bought the land for Main Line II from Mt. Lebanon Cemetery.

The site, while part of the cemetery, wasn't zoned to be used for burial purposes. It was zoned R-2, appropriate for townhouses or planned residential developments.

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