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

Tag: Judge Simpson

In Re: Appeal of Penneco Envtl. Sols., LLC from the decision of the Zoning Hearing Bd. of the Borough of Plum, No. 931 C.D. 2018 (Pa. Commw. Ct., March 8, 2019).

In this appeal from Allegheny County, the Commonwealth Court reaffirmed the principal that under Pennsylvania law, municipalities may not require a party to obtain permits from outside agencies before granting zoning relief. The Court held that in such a scenario, the appropriate procedure is to condition approval of the zoning relief upon the applicant receiving such permits, as opposed to denying the application outright.

Continue reading

Court Re-Affirms That Municipalities Have Broad Discretion In Granting Land Development Applications

In this land use appeal out of Allegheny County the Commonwealth Court was asked to weigh in on the amount of discretion a municipality has to grant land development applications based on certifications by professional engineers and conditioned upon subsequent state and federal review. The court was also asked to determine the level of detail post-construction maintenance plans for stormwater facilities must have, and whether municipal approval can be granted despite an ongoing dispute over the scope of a utility easement necessary to construct the project as proposed. In affirming the lower court’s decision, the Commonwealth Court held that municipalities have broad discretion in choosing to grant or deny a land development application, and that the court will seldom second guess such decisions.

Continue reading

MPC Notice Requirements Not Satisfied By Objector’s Presence At Zoning Board’s Oral Decision

In this petition to open a judgment and intervene in a land use appeal the Commonwealth Court determined that a zoning board’s obligation to notify objectors of its final decision is not satisfied by the objectors being present at the board’s oral decision.  Rather, objectors must still be provided with notice of the decision, and failure to do so may permit objectors to make an untimely appeal where extraordinary cause exists.

Continue reading

Prepayment Demands For RTKL Responses Do Not Have To Be Made In Initial Response To Requestor

This case presents a matter of first impression regarding the timeframe within which an agency may demand prepayment under § 1307(h) of the Right-to-Know Law (RTKL). The court found that while a prepayment demand does not have to be made in an agency’s first response to a RTKL request, it can only be made after a full legal review has been completed.

Continue reading

OOR Has Broad Discretion To Order In Camera Review Of Documents Withheld From RTKL Disclosure Based On Privilege

In this interlocutory appeal from a decision of the Office of Open Records (OOR), the Commonwealth Court held that government entities withholding information subject to a Right-to-Know Law (RTKL) request must provide affidavits with sufficient information to demonstrate why the information is non-disclosable or OOR has broad discretion to order in camera review of the information at issue.

Continue reading