Metro Bank v. Bd. of Comm’rs of Manheim Twp., 120 A.3d 426 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2015).

"Pass-by trips" may be included when calculating impact fees associated with Section 505-A(a)(2) of the MPC and Transportation Capital Improvements Plans.
Case Details:

Applicant sought approvals to build a bank branch in the Township.  The Board of Commissioners included “pass-by trips” (i.e. traffic already on the highway system) when calculating the number of peak-hour trips that would exist post-development.  The number was relevant because it affected the impact fee Applicant would be required to pay under the Township’s Transportation Capital Improvement Plan.  Applicant argued the “pass-by trips” would exist regardless of whether development occurred and, therefore, should not be included.  The trips were included because the Ordinance required the total peak-hour trip and the Board of Commissioners determined that the MPC only required that “pass-by trips” be excluded for a second and different impact fee assessed if the development would generate over 1,000 trips (exclusive of “pass-by trips”).  The trial court affirmed citing the Rule of Statutory Construction and refusing to imply language.

On appeal, the Commonwealth Court affirmed and, after reviewing the extensive procedures required of a municipality to adopt a traffic impact fees, concluded that:

Because the General Assembly added the more specific “new peak-hour trips, net of pass-by trips” language in Section 505-A(h) at the same time it specified only “peak-hour” trips in Section 505-A(a)(2), and because more specific language should not be implied where excluded, we conclude that the legislature perceived a difference between the terms, and intended to exclude pass-by trips only when evaluating whether a municipality can assess an additional transportation impact fee pursuant to Section 505-A(h).

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