Lamar Advantage GP Co., LLC v. City of Pittsburgh, 67 A.3d 156 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2013).

Procedural requirements for adoption of zoning amendment are less strict under Second Class City Code than the MPC.
Case Details:

The City introduced a bill amending sections of the City’s sign code related to electronic signs and to set standards for abandoning nonconforming signs.  The Planning Commission reviewed the bill at a public hearing and recommended revisions.  A second bill was drafted incorporating some of the revisions proposed by the Planning Commission.  The second bill was later amended so as to prohibit electronic advertising signs in certain districts while also reducing the permitted light levels for electronic signs.  The second bill was passed by Council and signed into law by the Mayor.

Appellant appealed, alleging procedural defects with the second bill because it never went back to the Planning Commission for review and a public hearing after the revisions were made – as required by the Second Class City Code and the City’s own code.  Affirming the trial court’s determination, the Commonwealth Court held that the second bill did not need to return to the Planning Commission because the revisions to the second bill did not change the overall purpose of the second bill.  The revisions merely tightened certain restrictions, and did not modify the purpose of the bill which was to regulate electronic advertising signs.  Because the second bill as revised was substantially the same as the second bill in its unrevised form, there were no issues with the procedures followed by the City in enacting the bill.

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