Conditional Uses and Special Exceptions

In re: Appeal of Deemed Approved Conditional Use (2009)

A neighboring landowner successfully challenged a conditional use permit – granted by deemed approval based on the municipality’s failure to issue a written decision – as the permit was improper where the proposed use was prohibited by the applicable zoning ordinance and the landowners failed to obtain seven necessary variances prior to filing their application for conditional use permit.

In re: Appeal of Deemed Approved Conditional Use, 975 A.2d 1193 (Pa. Commw. 2009).

Date of Decision: 5/19/09


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Good v. Zoning Hearing Board of Heidelberg Township (2009)

In issuing a special exception concerning animal operations, a municipality may impose conditions more stringent than those provided by Federal and State law, and conditions designed to promote public safety and health will be upheld absent an abuse of discretion.

Good v. Zoning Hearing Board of Heidelberg Township, 967 A.2d 421 (Pa. Commw. 2009).

Date of Decision: 1/9/09


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Coal Gas Recovery, L.P. v. Franklin Township ZHB (2008)

A special exception cannot be granted with conditions when all the requirements for the special exception are satisfied and there is no evidence of record supporting the imposition of the conditions.

Coal Gas Recovery, L.P. v. Franklin Township ZHB, (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2008).

Date of Decision: 3/20/08


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Omnipoint v. ZHB of Pine Grove Twp. (1999)

A Township May Not Deny a Special Exception for a Telecommunication Tower without Substantial Evidence, Pursuant to the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Omnipoint v. Zoning Hearing Board of Pine Grove Township, 181 F.3d 403, (Third Circuit, 1999)
Note: Distinguished by Omnipoint Communications Enterprises v. ZHB of Easttown Twp., 248 F.3d 101


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Marquise Inv., Inc. v. City of Pittsburgh (2010)

Where applicant demonstrates compliance with objective criteria in zoning ordinance, burden shifts to objectors to prove with a high degree of probability that proposed use will have abnormally adverse effects.

Marquise Inv., Inc. v. City of Pittsburgh, 11 A.3d 607 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2010).


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