Miravich v. Twp. of Exeter, 6 A.3d 1076 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2010).

Appellant to subdivision or land development plan approval need not have attended or participated in any of the municipal meetings at which the plan was considered in order to establish standing.
Case Details:

Township’s Board of Supervisors approved Applicant’s preliminary subdivision and land development application for residential development of a lot.  Appellants, who were adjacent landowners, appealed the approval, but the trial court determined Appellants lacked standing because they neither attended nor took part in any of the several meetings conducted by the Township at which the plan was considered.  The trial court relied on the MPC’s provisions for standing in front of a zoning hearing board.

The Commonwealth Court reversed and remanded because it determined that standing in front of a governing body reviewing a subdivision and land development plan is significantly different than standing before a zoning hearing board considering zoning issues.  As a result, “standing,” as afforded by the MPC is not relevant with respect to appeals of approved subdivision and land development plans.  Rather, standing in such an instance is comprised of “substantive standing” and “procedural standing.”  The former considers whether the litigant has a sufficient interest in the outcome of the litigation to be allowed to participate,” while the latter considers “whether one has asserted his right to participate sufficiently early.”  Moreover, standing for zoning hearing board purposes requires significant notice procedures, and such procedures are lacking and not required with respect to subdivision and land development approval.  As a result, an appellant need not have attended or participated in any of the meetings at which the plan was considered.

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