Meadows of Hanover Development, Inc. v Board of Supervisors of South Hanover Township, 557 Pa 478, 734 A.2d 854, Supreme Court (July 22, 1999)
Township May Not Deny Subdivision Approval Due to Developer's Failure to Comply with Section 508(4) Schedule Submission Requirements
Cross Section Reference: MPC § 508(4)
The benefits of Section 508 (4) pertaining to the effect of changes in zoning ordinances on plats accrue only to the developer, not to the municipality. A municipality’s grant of preliminary approval may not be withheld for a developer’s failure to comply with Section 508 (4)(v) and (vi) schedule submission requirements.
In this case the developer filed a preliminary subdivision plan for the Board’s approval to develop the property in fifteen stages over a 13 year period. The Supervisors rejected the plan for numerous reasons including a denial based upon the failure to provide a schedule for the proposed sections and deadlines for application for final plat approval pursuant to MPC Sections 508 (4) (v) & (vi).
In a case of first impression, the Supreme Court held that provisions of the MPC pertaining to the effect of changes in zoning or subdivision ordinances on plats could not be the basis for a municipality’s denial of approval. Unless the municipality changes its zoning or planning ordinance, Section 508 (4) has no relevance to the approval process. Section 508 (4) governs only how changes in the municipal ordinance shall effect plats during the pendency of an application. The purpose of the section is to grant the developer immunity from changes in the zoning and planning laws for the duration of a project, and that immunity can be waived if the developer fails to comply with the schedule submission requirements.
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