Obligations under the Equal Access Act

By: Amanda Sundquist Following up on its recent guidance on bullying and harassment, on June 14, 2011 the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) issued a “Dear Colleagues” letter regarding the impact of the Equal Access Act (the “Act”) on gay-straight alliances (GSA) and similar student-initiated groups addressing LGBT issues. OCR reminds school districts that the […]

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New Prevailing Wage Analysis For Preconstruction Leases

On November 23, 2011 the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania rendered a decision that may have far reaching implications with regard to state, county, municipal and school district leasing of buildings and office space.

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Plan Opposition By Board of Supervisors Members

By: Amanda J. Sundquist In ,Crandell v. Pennsbury Township Board of Supervisors, et al. — A.2d — (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2009), the Commonwealth Court addressed public opposition to a plan by a Township Board of Supervisors member.  Fenton, a resident who ultimately became a board member, formed a group to oppose a developer’s plans.  After […]

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An Arrow for the Quiver of Municipalities and Neighbors Opposing Amateur Radio Tower Antennas

Amateur radio operators in the United States have a long history of helping their communities, especially in times of disaster or unrest. They are our neighbors and members of our community, but encouraged by proclamations that ” you can put an antenna anywhere…” some enthusiasts seek to install not just an antenna, but a tower […]

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U.S. Supreme Court Permits Religious Prayer at Local Government Meetings

By: Andrew D.H. Rau & Amanda J. Sundquist Constitutional questions regarding the use of prayer to open municipal meetings have often come before the courts, as discussed in a prior blog entry in the public school context. This week, the United States Supreme Court issued an important decision upholding the right of a town board to open […]

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The telecommunications industry is evolving and expanding – how can your municipality stay on top of new developments?

By: Andrew Rau  Municipalities across Pennsylvania are quickly realizing that the early stages of the cell tower and telecommunications era are giving way to a new regulatory and land use world—one of micro towers, fiber lines and new technology. There are four areas of focus for municipalities in staying on top of the changing legal […]

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Unpaid Property Taxes not so easily avoided in Pennsylvania – Act 93 of 2013 Empowers Taxing Authorities

By: Kimberly P. Venzie Act 93 of 2013 was signed into law and became effective January 26, 2014. Act 93 of 2013 allows for a taxing authority to reduce a delinquent tax claim to judgment and then file the claim for unpaid property taxes in the judgment index with any court of common pleas. Thus, […]

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Long Outdated Bid Limit Laws Updated by Pennsylvania Legislature

On November 3, 2011, Act 84 of 2011 was signed into law in Pennsylvania and becomes effective on January 1, 2012. Act 84 amends certain provisions of the Second Class Township Code which require Townships to advertise and seek bids for purchases and contracts of a certain minimum dollar amount.

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The Marcellus Shale Debate: Local Zoning or State Control?

By: Andrew D.H. Rau If momentum forms behind a bill introduced in Harrisburg, the traditional understandings of local zoning control in Pennsylvania could be in for a major adjustment.  The legislation sponsored by Senator Joseph Scarnati would provide for impact fees to be paid by Marcellus Shale drillers across the state.  But a component of […]

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Marcellus Shale & Local Zoning

By: Andrew D.H. Rau The oil and gas industry’s race to develop the Marcellus Shale across Pennsylvania has brought to the forefront the tension between large-scale development interests and local government.  Pennsylvania boroughs, townships and cities are grappling with the limits of local zoning power as they consider the means of regulating and controlling drilling […]

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Possible New Horizons for Deteriorated Properties – Tougher Enforcement on Neighborhood Blight coupled with Tax Relief might work to benefit Communities throughout Pennsylvania

By: Kimberly P. Venzie As discussed in my previous blog on November 24, 2010, the Neighborhood Blight Reclamation and Revitalization Act (the “Act”) empowers municipalities to take legal action against owners of deteriorating properties and deny municipal permits in certain circumstances. Municipalities across Pennsylvania are drafting ordinances, and in many cases, are ready to adopt […]

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Neighborhood Blight Reclamation and Revitalization Act – Act 90 of 2010 – New Law Expands Enforcement Powers for Pennsylvania Municipalities

The Neighborhood Blight Reclamation and Revitalization Act (the “Act”) – signed into law on October 27, 2010, effective on April 25, 2011 – empowers municipalities to take legal action against owners of deteriorating properties and deny municipal permits in certain circumstances.

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Government Ethics

Anthony Verwey discusses the “Public Officials and Employee’s Ethics Act” in the video below.  Give Anthony a call if you have any questions about this Act at (610) 692-1371. [flv:http://www.utbf.com/land-zoning/videos/Anthony-Verwey-Government-Ethics2.flv 450 250]

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