Cases are listed below in chronological order:
*Click on case name to review case summary.
- Municipality is not permitted through its zoning ordinance to regulate matters of parole and probation. The Commonwealth, alone, determines whether a Department of Corrections resident is a potential menace to public safety, and if the resident is permitted to enter a "work-release facility."
TWL Realty, LLC v. W. Hanover Twp. Zoning Hearing Bd. (2016)
- Discussion of the process for evaluating site-specific relief after a successful validity challenge.
Appeal of Bartkowski Inv. Group, Inc. (2014)
- Applicant for preliminary plan under PRD provisions was not required to identify specific uses within commercial buildings depicted on the plan.
Newtown Square E. L.P. v. Twp. of Newtown (2014)
- Ordinance limitation on number of lots that can be subdivided from property was not unconstitutional.
Penn St., L.P. v. East Lampeter Twp. Zoning Hearing Bd. (2014)
- Township's ordinance was de jure exclusionary where definition of treatment center did not include prisons and prisons were not permitted anywhere in the Township.
Atiyeh v. Bd. of Comm'rs of Bethlehem Twp. (2012)
- Discussion of burden of proof for procedural validity challenge filed more than thirty days after ordinance is adopted.
Messina v. East Penn Twp. (2012)
- Peninsula of land zoned residential surrounded on one side by commercial and residential zoning, on a second side by commercial zoning and a third side by residential zoning was not subject of reverse spot zoning.
Atherton Dev. Co. v. Twp. of Ferguson (2011)
- Overlay districts can be used to preserve agriculture but cannot be used to prohibit reasonable development altogether.
Main St. Dev. Group, Inc. v. Tinicum Twp. Bd. of Supervisors (2011)
- Municipality has opportunity to adopt its own cure after court rules the ordinance is unconstitutional and does not necessarily have to agree to the challenger's cure or requested site-specific relief.
Piper Group, Inc. v. Bedminster Twp. Bd. of Supervisors (2011)
- Zoning ordinance may not exclude bed and breakfast use from the entire municipality.
Thomason v. Zoning Hearing Bd. of Radnor Twp. (2011)
- Inconsistency with a comprehensive plan alone cannot be the basis for granting a curative amendment.
Briar Meadows Dev., Inc. v. S. Ctr. Twp. Bd. of Supervisors (2010)
- Legislative intent irrelevant when determining whether amendment constitutes spot zoning.
Takacs v. Indian Lake Borough Zoning Hearing Bd. (2010)
- Zoning ordinances regulating oil and gas operations, including restrictions on lot size, setback requirements and environmental protections, constitute traditional zoning which may be challenged only through the statutory zoning appeal procedure in the MPC. The Common Pleas Court could not exercise equitable jurisdiction to review the same unless the challenger first exhausted the appeal procedure in the MPC
Arbor Resources Limited Liability Co. v. Nockamixon Township (2009)
- Challenges to the validity of zoning ordinances based on the void ab initio doctrine were rejected based on the period of time of acquiescence – the period the ordinances survived without challenge, the reasonable reliance on the provisions of the ordinances by Township residents and the potential turmoil that would result upon declaring the ordinances void based on procedural defects in enactment
Geryville Materials, Inc. v. Lower Milford Township Zoning Hearing Board (2009)
- Use of property for alcoholics anonymous meetings did not constitute office use under zoning ordinance, and Zoning Hearing Board’s exclusion of such use was not a violation of the Federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act
Glenside Center, Inc. v. Abington Township Zoning Hearing Board (2009)
- An ordinance restricting development in an R-1 District to one unit per two acres was not invalid or subject to curative amendment where the restriction was reasonably related to the Township’s interest in protecting the public health, safety and welfare and the Ordinance did not completely exclude a legitimate use
Keinath v. Township of Edgmont (2009)
- Waiver and laches do not serve as a defense to a citizen’s action challenging a zoning amendment to permit a communications tower on public property where the municipality failed to provide sufficient information to put citizens on notice of the project
White v. Township of Upper St. Clair (2009)
- A property owner’s concerns about the impact of future development on his land were too remote to establish standing to challenge the validity of a zoning ordinance
Alexander v. Zoning Hearing Board of Mount Joy Township (2008)
- Evidence that the Township solicitor followed customary office procedures for mailing letters was sufficient evidence that the township complied with the requirements of the MPC for forwarding amendments to ordinances within 30 days of enactment even though there was no evidence of actual receipt by the planning department
Appeal of: Rural Route Neighbors (2008)
- Non-agricultural conditional and accessory uses do not undercut the validity of a Zoning Ordinance enacted to preserve active and productive agricultural lands.
Ethan-Michael, Inc. v. Union Twp. Bd. of Supervisors (2007)
- A municipality did not abuse its discretion by adopting a more restrictive ordinance with respect to flood plain boundaries than that required by FEMA
In re: Schieber (2007)
- The complete prohibition of off-site billboard advertising is unconstitutional. A successful constitutional challenge does not automatically entitle the challenger to a variance.
Lamar Advertising v. Borough of Deer Lake Zoning Hearing Board (2007)
- A sign ordinance limiting signs to twenty five square feet does not unconstitutionally exclude “industry standard” sized billboards
Exeter Twp. v. Exeter Twp. Zoning Hearing Board (2006)
- A challenge alleging procedural defects in the enactment of an ordinance may be brought more than thirty days after the ordinance's intended effective date
Glen-Gery Corp. v. Dover Twp. Zoning Hearing Board (2006)
- A zoning ordinance that limits the expansion of mining activities is not per se invalid for failing to provide for reasonable mineral development if the governing body completed the appropriate balancing analysis under Section 603 of the MPC
Hanson Aggregates Pennsylvania, Inc. v. College Township Council (2006)
- An ordinance reasonably provides for a particular use and does not create a de facto exclusion when all competing interests are balanced in a way that reflects the policy goals of the community
Larock v. Board of Supervisors of Sugarloaf Twp. (2005)
- Exclusionary zoning of car dealerships
Caln Nether Co., L.P. v. Board of Supervisors of Thornbury Twp. (2004)
- A Federal law prohibits a zoning ordinance that "substantially burdens" religious exercise
Congregation Kol Ami v. Abington Twp (2004)
- A municipality may impose disparate restrictions on equivalent uses within different zones
Crystal Forest Associates v. Buckingham Twp. Supervisors (2004)
- Must challenge a zoning ordinance with 30 days of its enactment
Glen-Gery Corp. v. ZHB of Dover Twp. (2004)
- An ordinance requiring connections to public water is not a “state created danger”
Johnson v. The Township of Plumcreek (2004)
- There must be a need for a wireless tower to prove that the township is unlawfully excluding it
Macioce v. ZHB of the Borough of Baldwin (2004)
- Zoning for agricultural preservation districts survives multiple challenges
McGonigle v. Lower Heidelberg Twp. ZHB (2004)
- Revised Section 5571(c)(5) of the Judicial Code limits the time to file procedural appeals from MPC ordinances
Rural Route Neighbors v. East Buffalo Tp. Zoning Hearing Board (2004)
- Reverse spot zoning
In re Appeal of Realen Valley Forge Greens Associates. (2003)
- Method of analysis to determine validity of multi-municipality zoning ordinance
In re Petition of Dolington Land Group and Toll Brothers from the Decision of the ZHB of Upper Makefield Twp. (2003)
- Under the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution, the threshold question of whether a use is unconstitutionally excluded from a particular zone is to determine whether the use is similar in kind to uses permitted in the zone
Congregation Kol Ami v. Abington Twp. (2002)
- Lot size requirements- must be economically reasonable
Fisher v. Viola, Jr., et. al. (2001)
- Uses in zoning ordinance prevail over uses stated in the comprehensive plan
In re Realen Valley Forge Greenes Associates (2001)
- Exclusionary zoning of public schools
Jim Thorpe Area School District v. Kidder Twp. (1999)
- Zoning ordinances validity under FHA and ADA
Marriott Senior Living Services, Inc. v. Springfield Twp. (1999)
- Size and deviation from comprehensive plan are factors to determine "spot zoning"
Baker v. Chartiers Twp. ZHB (1996)
- Enactment of zoning ordinance is a legislative act
Apgar v. ZHB of Manheim (1995)
- Rezoning distinguished from validity challenges
Baker v. Chartiers Twp. (1994)
- Multi-step, multi-factor test and scope of review for partial exclusionary zoning of multi-family dwellings
Surrick v. Zoning Hearing Board of Upper Providence Twp. (1978)
This site is designed to provide summary review of selected Pennsylvania and Federal Court decisions related to land use and land use controls. The information contained herein, although produced by professionals, is not intended to render any legal service. Nor should the materials herein be utilized as a substitute for professional services. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the service of an attorney or other professional should be sought. DCED makes no representations, warranties or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or suitability of the information provided herein.
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