The Boeing Co. v. Zoning Hearing Bd. of Ridley Tp.,
822 A.2d 153 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2003)

Case Details:

After prolonged litigation, Township entered into settlement agreement and consent decree (issued by a federal district court) with Owner of a non-conforming adult entertainment facility (AEF) located in a residential district. By Ordinance, Township enacted the terms of the settlement agreement and consent decree providing for re-location of the AEF to an industrial district. Forty-five days after Township enacted the Ordinance, the owner of property adjacent to the AEF’s designated relocation site challenged the Ordinance before the zoning hearing board. Objector argued that the Township had engaged in illegal spot-zoning and contract-zoning. Board dismissed the challenge as untimely and Objector appealed.

Although the terms of the settlement agreement allowed the AEF to operate outside of the zoning ordinance and under specially adopted regulations that did not wholly comply with the Township’s zoning ordinance, the court of common pleas, interpreting the Commonwealth Court’s prior decision in Summit Township Taxpayer’s Association, concluded that such departures, when authorized by judicial decree affirming the terms of the settlement, may not be attacked at a later date by third parties who had notice of the agreement but who failed to intervene when the terms of the settlement agreement were being negotiated.

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