In this mandamus action out of Washington County, a billboard company (“All State”) sought to compel a Borough to issue billboard permits after Borough Council failed to act on the applications for nearly 6 months. The Court of Common Pleas of Washington County granted summary judgment, based in part on the fact that the proposed billboards would only have been permitted if the zoning ordinance were found to be exclusionary. The Commonwealth Court reversed, stating the underlying merits of the applications was irrelevant where a deemed approval was asserted, and remanding the matter to determine whether the applications had been deemed approved.
On November 26, 2008 Gaughen submitted a land development plan to the Borough Manager of Mechanicsburg seeking approval for a 5-unit apartment complex under the Borough’s Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance (SALDO). On December 10, the Borough Engineer issued a memo stating that the plan did not comply with certain provisions of the Zoning Ordinance, SALDO, and Stormwater Ordinance. Thereafter Gaughen never submitted a revised plan to the Borough and the Borough never notified Gaughen that his application was incomplete or not filed. The 90-day period in which the Borough had to act on Gaughen’s plans, pursuant to the Municipalities Planning Code (MPC), expired on February 24, 2009. On February 25th the Borough received an extension from Gaughen’s engineer. On June 2nd the Borough officially denied Gaughen’s plan. Six months later Gaughen instituted a mandamus action seeking a deemed approval based on the Borough’s failure to act on the plan or receive an extension by February 24th.