The Pennsylvania Land Use Law Library
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Key Topic: Zoning Validity Challenges

Ordinance limitation on number of lots that can be subdivided from property was not unconstitutional.

Penn St., L.P. v. East Lampeter Twp. Zoning Hearing Bd., 84 A.3d 1114 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2014).

Applicant owned a 16.11-acre tract of land located in the Township's Rural Zoning District.  Applicant intended to subdivide the property and develop single-family homes on 54 parcels.  Applicant filed a challenge to the Zoning Ordinance both arguing that the property was reverse spot zoned and arguing that a provision limiting development of properties between ten and twenty-five acres to one additional lot was unconstitutional.

On appeal, the Commonwealth Court held that Applicant failed to establish reverse spot zoning and that it was not enough that Applicant's rurally zoned property existed as a peninsula within commercially zoned properties and the Township's Urban Growth Boundary that was designated for development.  As to the other claim, the Township was authorized to restrict development and subdivision of lots of that size in utilizing its police powers, consistent with its intent to preserve prime agriculture and farmland.

 

 

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