Haller v. Lower Windsor Twp. Board of Supervisors,
867 A.2d 755 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2005)
Township forwarded the first version of a proposed zoning ordinance to the County Planning Commission for review. Two months and two revisions later, the Township held a public hearing on the proposed zoning ordinance, and subsequently adopted it.
Resident’s appealed to the court of common pleas arguing that the Board failed to follow proper zoning enactment procedures and thus the court should void the Ordinance. Specifically, the Residents argued, the Board failed to include explanatory materials when it sent various revisions of the Ordinance to the County Planning Commission as required by Section 607(c) of the Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. § 10607(c). In addition, Residents argued, the Board erred by holding a public hearing just nine days after it last revised the Ordinance. The court of common pleas agreed with Residents on both arguments and voided the Ordinance. Board appealed.
Affirming the decision below, the Commonwealth Court held that Section 607(c) is mandatory and required the Board to include explanatory materials when it sent the Ordinance to the County Planning Commission. In addition, reasoning from its prior decision in Muhlenberg College, the court concluded that Section 607(e) should be construed consistently with Section 609(c), and held that Section 607(e) required the Board to wait at least 45-days before holding a public hearing as measured from the date of its last revision and “re-submittal” to the County Planning Commission.
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