Municipal Procedure

Twp. of Robinson v. Esposito (2019)

Enforcement notices for zoning violations must comply with section 616.1(c) of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.

Twp. of Robinson v. Esposito, 2019 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 493 (May 31, 2019)

Date of Decision: 5/31/19


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W.J. Menkins Holdings, LLC v. Douglass Twp

A zoning hearing board may impose conditions on the approval of a variance if the conditions bear a reasonable relation to the public interest and are reasonable under the facts of the case. However, the board may not impose conditions that are outside of its authority.

W.J. Menkins Holdings, LLC v. Douglass Twp., 2019 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 407 (May 2, 2019)

Date of Decision: 5/2/19


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Coppola v. Smith Twp. Bd. of Supervisors

If an individual submits a letter of objections regarding a land use application and the letter is not read into the record at the land use hearing, the individual generally cannot appeal the decision unless the individual acted in good faith and complied with the board’s rules. If the individual acted in good faith and complied with the board’s rules, it is proper practice to remand the board’s decision for an additional hearing where all parties can contest or answer the objections.

Coppola v. Smith Twp. Bd. of Supervisors, 2019 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 405 (May 2, 2019)

Date of Decision: 5/2/19


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Board of Supervisors of Willistown Township v. Main Line Gardens, Inc., Pa. Commw. (2018)

The Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code permits municipalities to recover “all costs and attorney fees incurred as a result of the violation, which may encompass appeals from the enforcement notice.” Once the municipality establishes the relatedness of the fees, the burden shifts to the party contesting the fees to provide evidence establishing “a basis for segregating the hours spent on successful and unsuccessful claims.”

Bd. of Supervisors of Willistown Twp. v. Main Line Gardens, Inc., 2018 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 160 (May 9, 2018)

Date of Decision: 5/9/18


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Liberties Lofts LLC v. Zoning Board of Adjustment, Pa. Commw. (2018)

An objector waives the issue of an applicant’s standing to apply for zoning relief if the objector does not raise the issue at a zoning board hearing. A zoning board can conclude that an applicant is the equitable owner of the property based on the applicant’s testimony that he or she is the equitable owner of the property.

Liberties Lofts LLC v. Zoning Bd. of Adjustment, 2018 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 106 (April 2, 2018)

Date of Decision: 4/2/18


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Dowds v. Zoning Board of Adjustment, Pa. Commw. (2017)

The pending ordinance doctrine is inapplicable to land use applications submitted before the proposed ordinance becomes a “pending ordinance.” Although subsequent changes to an application might make the doctrine applicable, changes that are insubstantial or for clarification purposes, especially when the changes were made at the request of the municipality, will not subject an application for the pending ordinance doctrine.

Dowds v. Zoning Bd. of Adjustment, 165 A.3d 75 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2017)

Date of Decision: 6/27/17


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Borough of W. Conshohocken v. Soppick, Pa. Commw. (2017)

Under Sections 616.1 and 617.2 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC), a municipality may initiate enforcement proceedings against an individual who “has violated or permitted the violation of the provisions of a zoning ordinance.” Therefore, any enforcement actions are premature and cannot stand when initiated while an appeal from a notice alleging violations of a zoning ordinance is pending.

Borough of W. Conshohocken v. Soppick, 164 A.3d 555 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2017)

Date of Decision: 6/12/17


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Lower Mt. Bethel Township v. Gacki, Pa. Commw. (2016)

When a landowner receives a notice of violation of an ordinance and fails to appeal within the time permitted, he or she loses the right to appeal, resulting in a “conclusive determination of [the] violation of the [o]rdinance.”

Lower Mt. Bethel Twp. v. Gacki, 150 A.3d 575 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2016)

Date of Decision: 11/30/16


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