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MT. LEBANON (KDKA) – A Mt. Lebanon couple is suing a local brewery for disturbing the peace of the neighborhood.
The lawsuit was just filed last Wednesday. Large noisy crowds, parking issues and customers urinating on a nearby property are just a few of the concerns the couple mentioned in the lawsuit.
“The rear deck that’s on the Hitchhiker Brewing Company, that deck is only located 11 feet from the property line from the plaintiff’s property,” said attorney Robert Goldman.
Robert Goldman is representing the couple that lives in a home that’s right behind the brewery. Adelle Nalevanko and Jason Sheraw bought the home before the brewery was there. As business grew, the couple says, so did the noise.
“There’s more patrons, I believe, on the exterior than on the interior and the plaintiff’s complaint is because of the crowd size, noise, music, events that’s not compatible with a residential neighborhood,” said Goldman.
The couple is also suing the municipality of Mt. Lebanon, claiming the municipality was aware that Hitchhiker did not have a restaurant type liquor license and instead was issued a brewery pub liquor license from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.
The complaint states the area is zoned for businesses that are of low intensity and unobtrusive to the surrounding neighborhood.
“In the summertime, when you have your windows open, it can disturb your sleep. You’re sound asleep, and then you hear doors slam and then you hear, ‘hey,’ loud voices, then you get startled,” said neighbor Linda Cartwright.
“The restaurant always has people outside at night. Maybe not as loud, maybe not as late but you know you have to accept the fact that if you live on commercial district area you’re gonna have people coming and going,” said neighbor Rich Vanoverberg.
In the meantime, Hitchhiker posted a sign outside, warning patrons to be considerate of the brewery’s neighbors. However, the couple’s attorney says that’s not working.
“The only way to really bring Hitchhiker business into compliance with current zoning is they scale back current operations, and if they can’t scale back, move their location to another location where they can have crowds they want,” said Goldman.
Officials with the municipality of Mt. Lebanon did not get back to KDKA’s Amy Wadas, but the founder of Hitchhiker Brewing, Gary Olden did stating:
“Since 2013, Hitchhiker Brewing Co. has been an engaged member of the local business community, operating in compliance with all government and municipal regulations, while remaining conscientious of its commercial and residential neighbors. Many of the allegations contained in the complaint are false or misleading. While we look forward to addressing those allegations, we are more interested in a quick and sensible resolution to this matter so that we can continue to focus our energy on Hitchhiker Brewing Co.
Many of the allegations contained in the complaint are false or misleading. While we look forward to addressing those allegations, we are more interested in a quick and sensible resolution to this matter so that we can continue to focus our energy on Hitchhiker Brewing Company.”
The attorney representing the couple said the case will likely have to go in front of a judge to address the concerns of everyone involved in the lawsuit. The couple declined to comment.