Cases are listed below in chronological order:
*Click on case name to review case summary.
- This decision discusses the quality of evidence required for objectors to meet their burden of proof of adverse impacts that will result from a proposed use. The court also dismisses the objectors' challenge to the constitutionality of the zoning ordinance where the objector raised the argument on appeal rather than by filing a challenge in accordance with the MPC.
Kretschmann Farm, LLC v. Twp. of New Sewickley (2016)
- Apartment complex permitted as replacement to nonconforming manufacturing use where evidence demonstrates that the apartment complex will not be more detrimental to the neighborhood and public welfare than the existing nonconforming use.
4154 Roosevelt St., LLC v. Zoning Hearing Bd. of Twp. of Whitehall (2014)
- Thorough examination of the shifting burden of proof in a special exception proceeding.
Markwest Liberty Midstream & Res., LLC v. Cecil Twp. Zoning Hearing Bd. Range Res. - Appalachia, LLC (2014)
- Limitations on grounds for denial of a special exception.
Oasis v. Zoning Hearing Bd. (2014)
- Condition on approval was unreasonable where it required the installation of certain improvements during an earlier phase when normally those improvements would not otherwise be required until a later phase.
Whitehall Fiduciary, LLC v. Zoning Hearing Bd. (2012)
- Conditions imposed upon a conditional use approval must be reasonable – meaning the condition must relate to a zoning ordinance standard or be authorized by the MPC, and must be based on facts supported by the record.
HHI Trucking & Supply, Inc. v. Borough Council (2010)
- Where applicant demonstrates compliance with objective criteria in zoning ordinance, burden shifts to objectors to prove with a high degree of probability that proposed use will have abnormally adverse effects.
Marquise Inv., Inc. v. City of Pittsburgh (2010)
- New activities or improvements that are qualitatively different than an existing nonconforming use in terms of size, processes, etc. are not permitted under the natural expansion doctrine.
200 W. Montgomery Ave. Ardmore, LLC v. Zoning Hearing Bd. (2009)
- In issuing a special exception concerning animal operations, a municipality may impose conditions more stringent than those provided by Federal and State law, and conditions designed to promote public safety and health will be upheld absent an abuse of discretion
Good v. Zoning Hearing Board of Heidelberg Township (2009)
- Addition of topsoil manufacturing and rock crushing at nonconforming nursery was not permitted as a natural expansion of the nonconforming use.
Harrisburg Gardens, Inc. v. Susquehanna Twp. Zoning Hearing Bd. (2009)
- A neighboring landowner successfully challenged a conditional use permit – granted by deemed approval based on the municipality's failure to issue a written decision – as the permit was improper where the proposed use was prohibited by the applicable zoning ordinance and the landowners failed to obtain seven necessary variances prior to filing their application for conditional use permit
In re: Appeal of Deemed Approved Conditional Use (2009)
- Zoning Hearing Board satisfied the MPC requirements for a written decision when denying an application.
Pennsy Supply, Inc. v. Zoning Hearing Bd. (2009)
- A special exception cannot be granted with conditions when all the requirements for the special exception are satisfied and there is no evidence of record supporting the imposition of the conditions
Coal Gas Recovery, L.P. v. Franklin Township ZHB (2008)
- Applicant’s conditional use application was denied because it failed to comply with all the requirements of the ordinance
K. Hovnanian Pennsylvania Acquisitions, LLC v. Newtown Township Board of Supervisors (2008)
- An objector to a special exception application that satisfies the objective criteria for the use must produce more than speculative evidence of harm
Tennyson v. Zoning Hearing Board of West Bradford Township (2008)
- Where an applicant fails to meet all requirements for a special exception, a zoning hearing board has no duty to grant a special exception application with conditions
Elizabethtown/Mt. Joy Associates, L.P. v. Mount Joy Township Zoning Hearing Board (2007)
- A Zoning Hearing Board does not have authority to allocate sewage capacity between proposed development projects
Greth Development Group, Inc. v. Zoning Hearing Board of Lower Heidelberg Township (2007)
- An applicant for a special exception permit has the burden of demonstrating that the proposed use satisfies the objective criteria for the permit under the applicable zoning ordinance
Hoppe v. ZHB of the Borough of Portland (2006)
- Governing board may not deny a conditional use application on grounds of pre-existing dangerous traffic condition or in absence of sufficient evidence of a high probability that the proposed use substantially threatens the welfare of the community
In re: Appeal of the Cutler Group, Inc. (2005)
- To reject a conditional use application, there must be evidence to support the denial
Borough of Perkasie v. Moulton Builders, Inc. (2004)
- Conditions on approval of special exception valid if reasonable and not a manifest abuse of discretion
Leckey v. Lower Southampton Twp ZHB (2004)
- The conditions on a conditional use must relate to the health, safety or welfare of the community
LTS Development, Inc. v. Middle Smithfield Township Board of Supervisors (2004)
- Special Exceptions
Agnew v. Bushkill Twp. ZHB (2003)
- Special Exception, variance, non-conforming use
Domeisen, et al. v. ZHB of O'Hara Twp. (2003)
- Non-conforming uses, special exceptions, and conditional uses
Finegan v. Board of Supervisors of Earl Twp. (2003)
- Safety and welfare standards for special exception
Accelerated Enterprises, Inc. v. Hazle Twp. (2001)
- Concrete evidence of an expert nature required before zoning hearing board can find a high probability that special exception is not in the public interest
In Re: Brickstone Realty Corp. (2001)
- Denial of a special exception for a communications tower must be supported by substantial evidence
Omnipoint v. ZHB of Pine Grove Twp. (1999)
- Once the requirements of the ordinance are satisfied, objectors bear the burden of proof
Pennsylvania Bureau of Corrections v. City of Pittsburgh (1987)
This site is designed to provide summary review of selected Pennsylvania and Federal Court decisions related to land use and land use controls. The information contained herein, although produced by professionals, is not intended to render any legal service. Nor should the materials herein be utilized as a substitute for professional services. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the service of an attorney or other professional should be sought. DCED makes no representations, warranties or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or suitability of the information provided herein.
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