Unity in the Community

Logo for Unity In The Community


our neighbor is great, but the 3 a.m. barking from her beagle is not. If you’re losing sleep and can’t reach a compromise with your neighbor, give the Mt. Lebanon Community Relations Board (CRB)’s mediation program a try. 

The CRB provides a free non-binding mediation service to help neighbors whose disputes have reached an impasse. Free mediation is a common-sense alternative to filing a costly complaint with the magisterial district judge. Any Mt. Lebanon resident can request mediation, and if the other party agrees to participate, the process can help you find a solution. 

Why use a mediator when there are Mt. Lebanon regulations? Municipal rules don’t clearly address all issues, and a CRB mediator can help with creative solutions. Possible topics that can lead to agreements include proposed structural changes, lawn care, parking disagreements and excessive noise. Residents report that talking through problems with an unbiased third party is not only helpful, but defuses tensions and repairs relations with neighbors. 

How does the mediation process start? To initiate a CRB mediation, contact the CRB staff liaison, Robyn Vittek, vittekr@einetwork.net or 412-942-0922. Once both sides agree to participate, the trained CRB mediator conducts confidential discussions between the parties. An agreement may be reached quickly through conversations and email, or the parties may meet in person with the mediator. 

In mediation, the CRB mediator ensures that all parties work together in a mutually acceptable format. If both sides agree, the mediator will draft a Mediation Agreement, outlining the mutual expectations, and the participants will sign the resolution, which is typically a compromise. If the parties can’t agree, participants can file a complaint or continue to work toward resolution on their own. 

If your contentious neighbor texting isn’t resolving your issues, consider trying old-fashioned face-to-face conversations with a neutral CRB mediator. It may be just what you need to resolve neighborly disagreements and get back to a good night’s sleep. 

Unity in the Community is sponsored by the Mt. Lebanon Community Relations Board.