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Key Topic: Zoning Validity Challenges

Glen-Gery Corp. v. ZHB of Dover Twp.
856 A.2d 884 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2004)

Glen-Gery wanted to challenge the procedural validity of an ordinance in Dover Township years after it was enacted. The ZHB dismissed the case because it declared that they did not have jurisdiction over the case since the challenge commenced beyond the statutorily required 30 days after enactment.

The factual background and reasoning to determine if the amended Judicial Code prohibited actions beyond 30 days is very similar to Taylor v. Harmony Twp. Board of Commissioners, 851 A.2d 1020 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2004). The court expressly accepted Taylor as controlling.

Glen-Gery attempted to distinguish the Taylor decision on the basis that the ordinance at issue in that case was not a zoning ordinance. The court disagreed and stated that the Judicial Code applied to the MPC authorized ordinances.

The final argument Glen-Gery asserted was that amended Judicial Code was not applicable to its case because the ordinance was adopted prior to the revision of the Judicial Code. The Court stated that the legislature may enact laws that burden rights retroactively, but may only do so explicitly. Because the statute clearly stated that it covered any action commencing after December 31, 2000, the amended Judicial Code controlled this case and time barred Glen-Gery's procedural challenge.

 

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