Kohr v. Lower Windsor Twp. Board of Supervisors,
910 A.2d 152 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2006).
There is no requirement that the sewer planning process be completed prior to the granting of a preliminary subdivision and land development plan, only that the process be commenced.
A landowner wished to develop single family homes and townhouses on a 900-acre parcel. The Township denied the preliminary land development plan noting, among other things, that the landowner’s plan did not appropriately address the development’s sewer requirements, the landowner had obtained the proper DEP permits, and that the landowner only had an “agreement to agree” with a public utility company, not a binding contract to provide a sewer solution.
The landowner appealed the Township’s decision to the Court of Common Pleas. The trial court reversed the Township’s decision. In so doing, the trial court concluded that the alleged lack of a recommendation from DEP was immaterial because the Township could have merely approved the land development with a condition to ensure such a recommendation was provided in the future. The Township appealed.
The Commonwealth Court rejected the Township’s arguments that the sewer agreement did not satisfy the requirements of the Subdivision Ordinance and Act 537 by noting that such defects, if existing, should have been addressed through an approval conditioned on obtaining all permits from DEP. The Court concluded that there is no requirement that the sewer planning process be completed prior to the granting of a preliminary subdivision and land development plan, only that the process be commenced.
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