Bradley v. Zoning Hearing Bd. of the Borough of New Milford, 63 A.3d 488 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2013).
Transfer of objector's property during pending appeal resulted in objector's loss of standing and dismissal of appeal.
Objector did not live in the borough, but was the owner of property located adjacent to another property that had received a use variance over his objections. Objector appealed to the trial court, but while the appeal was pending, he transferred title to the property to a corporation to which he was the sole shareholder and president. The corporation did not intervene in the appeal and Objector did not move to amend the appeal to include the corporation. Upon the expiration of the 30-day intervention period, the Zoning Hearing Board filed a motion to dismiss the appeal since Objector was no longer a “person aggrieved” based on his transfer of the property to the corporation.
The Commonwealth Court affirmed the trial court’s decision that the dismissal was proper because the corporation, not Objector, now owned the property. Individuals utilize corporations to avoid liabilities of the business; however, that also means that the shareholders do not own the corporation’s assets. As a result, Objector no longer owned the property and, thus, could not be a person aggrieved to maintain standing.
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