Mountain Village v. The Board of Super. of Longswamp Twp., 828 A.2d 411 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2003), 6/12/03:
Note: Appeal Granted in part
Mountain Village submitted a land development plan for expansion of a mobile home park. In turn, the Township billed Mountain Village for review fees, including $14,070 in legal fees. Mountain Village filed with the Township a notice disputing the fees and, thereafter, filed a complaint under the Declaratory Judgments Act seeking a declaration that a municipality cannot charge review fees for the legal services of a solicitor under Sections 503 and 510 of the MPC. At the close of oral argument, Mountain Village filed a motion for summary judgment. The Township filed an answer in opposition that requested that summary judgment be granted in its favor. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the Township and ordered Mountain Village to pay the outstanding fees.
Mountain Village appealed the decision. Reversing the trial court, the Commonwealth Court held that fees charged by a municipal solicitor for plan review are not recoverable under Section 503 of the MPC because he is not a “professional consultant.” The Court explained that the term “professional consultant” means “scientific professionals — engineers, land surveyors, geologists and landscape architects — . . . [and] that the sections contemplate fees only for such technical reviews.”
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