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Key Topic: Zoning Validity Challenges

Appeal of Rezoning: Rezoning Distinguished from Validity Challenges

Baker v. Chartiers Township, 163 Pa Comwlth.574, 641 A2d 688 (1994)
Note: Appeal Denied

Cross Reference: MPC Section 909.1(b), also 609.1(a), 1002-A

Under MPC Section 909.1(b) the legislative body has exclusive jurisdiction to consider requests for rezoning. The governing body acts in its "legislative" role and such decisions are not subject to direct judicial review. The proper form of appeal is a validity challenge to the zoning hearing board. Once a decision is rendered by the zoning hearing board, an appeal can be filed within the Court of Common Pleas.

The curative amendment procedure prescribed under MPC 609.1(a) requires the governing body to act as a quasi-judicial body considering the legal merits of the challenge to the validity of the ordinance and accompanying curative amendment. Appeals from decisions under MPC 609.1 also go to the zoning hearing board under MPC 909.1 and 1002-A.

In this case Appellant improperly appealed a rezoning to the Court of Common Pleas. The Court of Common Pleas rejected jurisdiction. On appeal, the Commonwealth Court upheld the lower court dismissing the appeal. The court also refused to remand the appeal to the zoning hearing board. Because of the passage of time, the Appellant then had no further appeal rights.

 

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