LVGC Partners, LP v. Jackson Township Bd. of Supervisors, — A.2d —-, 2008 WL 2002504 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2008).

The deemed approval in Section 508(3) of the Municipalities Planning Code applies only to the 15-day period set forth in the MPC and not to the five-day period of Section 22-303(3)(E) of the Township SALDO.
Case Details:

On January 15, 2007, the Jackson Township Board of Supervisors (Board) rejected LVGC Partners, LP and Lebanon Valley Golf Club, Inc.’s (Landowner) plan to develop its property into various housing units.  Notice of the rejection was sent within the 15-day period established in Section 508(1) of the MPC but beyond the five-day notification period of Section 22-303(3)(E) of the Township SALDO (Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance).  Landowner filed a mandamus action, seeking deemed approval of its plan since it argued that under the SALDO, the failure to notify the Landowner within five days constituted a deemed approval.  The Board filed preliminary objections.

The trial court granted the Board’s preliminary objections, stating that noncompliance with Section 22-303(3)(E) of the Township SALDO did not result in a deemed approval since the section failed to contain such a provision.  Landowner appealed.

The Commonwealth Court affirmed the trial court’s decision, stating that there must be an express legislative statement of deemed approval in a statutory or ordinance provision in order for a deemed approval to exist.  Section 22-303(3)(E) does not contain such a provision and although Section 508 does refer to time limits set by subdivision and land development ordinances, the deemed approval provision in Section 508(3) of the MPC specifically refers to only the 15-day period set forth in the MPC, found specifically in Section 508(1).

Date of Decision: 5/12/08

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