BPG Real Estate Investors-Straw Party II, L.P. v. Bd. of Supervisors, 990 A.2d 140 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2010).
Settlement agreement cannot allow for development of property that was not the subject of the land use decision that was appealed.
Developer filed a land use appeal and mandamus action to invalidate conditions imposed upon a conditional use approval. Developer reached a court-approved settlement agreement with the Township for Developer’s 51-acre parcel that was the subject of the conditional use application, but the settlement agreement also provided for the development of an adjoining property owned by another developer. Neighbors who objected to the settlement agreement appealed.
The Commonwealth Court determined that Section 1001-A of the Municipalities Planning Code gives a trial court authority to rule only on matters decided by the municipal body and described in the notice of appeal. Because Developer’s appeal challenged conditions attached to the conditional use approval, the trial court’s authority was limited to the subject of the underlying conditional use approval (i.e. Developer’s property). Consequently, the trial court could not approve a settlement agreement including provisions for development of land other than Developer’s 51-acre parcel.
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