Pennsylvania Real Estate, Land Use, Zoning, and Municipal Lawyers

This blog features case law related to real estate, land use, zoning, and municipal law in Pennsylvania

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Cornerstone Residence, Inc. v. City of Clairton, No. 18-1239 (3rd Cir. December 31, 2018).

In this appeal, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the City of Clairton’s zoning ordinance, which banned “treatment centers” for recovering drug and alcohol addicts from being located in residential areas, did not discriminate against recovering drug addicts in violation of the Fair Housing Amendments Act.

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Thorpe v. Upper Makefield Township, No. 17-3228 (3rd Cir. December 28, 2018).

In this appeal originating from Upper Makefield Township (the “Township”) in Bucks County, PA, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Appellant Dale Thorpe’s contention that the Township discriminated against him in various land use and zoning disputes based on his Native American race.

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Driscoll v. Zoning Bd. Of Adjustment of Philadelphia, No. 124 C.D. 2018 (Pa. Commw. Ct., December 27, 2018).

In this appeal from Philadelphia County, the Commonwealth Court determined that the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County correctly quashed an appeal from the issuance of a permit by the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections (“L&I”), where the applicant abandoned the permit.

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James v. County of Bucks, No. 46 C.D. 2018 (Pa. Commw. Ct. December 21, 2018).

In this appeal from a Bucks County jury verdict in favor of Esther James and against the County of Bucks, the Commonwealth Court discusses the extent of a land owner’s liability under the Recreational Use of Land and Water Act (“RULWA”).

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Brown v. Pa. Dept. of Health, 1425 C.D. 2017 (Pa. Commw. Ct. December 21, 2018)

In this appeal from a determination of the Office of Open Records (“OOR”) pursuant to a request under the Right-to-Know Law (the “RTKL”), the Commonwealth Court rejected the claim of requester, Alton Brown, who alleged that the Department of Health (“DOH”) did not disclose a complete record, and charged him unreasonable fees for the request.

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In re Appeal of Bd. of Auditors of McKean Twp., 1419 C.D. 2017 (Pa. Commw. Ct. December 21, 2018).

In this appeal from Erie County, the Commonwealth Court discusses the authority of a township’s Board of Auditors to set the compensation for township employees who concurrently serve as members of the Township Board of Supervisors.

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Heck v. Worcester Twp. Zoning Hrg. Bd., No. 1900 C.D. 2017 (Pa. Commw. Ct. December 19, 2018).

In this land use appeal from Montgomery County, the Commonwealth Court re-affirmed the requirement that an applicant seeking a dimensional variance from a provision of a local zoning ordinance prove that the subject property is burdened by an unnecessary hardship to justify the requested relief.

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Smith v. Bd. of Supervisors of W. Pennsboro Twp., No. 873 C.D. 2017 (Pa. Commw. Ct. December 19, 2018).

In this land use appeal from Cumberland County, the Commonwealth Court refused to strike down a Township’s adoption of two zoning ordinances, which rezoned a property from residential to industrial, on procedural grounds relating to notice and public comment.

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Borough of Parkesburg v. Rzonca, No. 1393 C.D. 2017 (Pa. Commw. Ct. December 17, 2018).

In this appeal from a decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, the Commonwealth Court held that a property owner subject to an enforcement notice under the International Property Maintenance Code of 2009 (the “Code”), can be deemed to have been placed on notice of alleged Code violations, even if the enforcement notice was facially defective, without running afoul of the property owner’s due process rights.

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Salahub v. N. Cornwall Twp. ZHB, 1322 CD 2017 (Pa. Cmwlth. Oct. 11, 2018) (UNREPORTED).

The owner of an existing 18-hole golf course appealed the denial by the zoning officer of his request to add a bowling alley to the property as an accessory use, or alternatively requested a variance. 

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