Schmader v. Cranberry Twp. Bd. of Supervisors, 67 A.3d 881 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2013).

Notices of decisions should include the date of the decision or at least a cover letter with a date for the transmission of the notice of decision.
Case Details:

Appellant was cited by the Township’s Zoning Officer for violations of the Township’s Zoning Ordinance.  Appellant appealed to the Zoning Hearing Board which issued a decision adverse to Appellant after conducting a hearing.  The Decision was mailed to Appellant, but it did not include a cover letter stating the date the Decision was rendered and the date by which Appellant must appeal (30 days after the Decision is mailed) under 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 5572 and Section 1002-A of the MPC, 53 P.S. § 11002-A.  Appellant filed his appeal more than 30 days after the Decision was mailed.

The Commonwealth Court determined that his Appeal would have been denied because it was not timely filed but for the fact that Appellant’s due process rights were being denied because the Township failed to notify Appellant of the mailing date or the date the appeal period began to run.  Consequently, Appellant’s appeal was timely because it was filed less than 30 days from receipt of the Decision.  Had the Township advised Appellant of the appeal deadline, Appellant’s appeal would have been denied.

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