We Listen.

2017 Township Reorganizations

By: Andrew D.H. Rau Just as the last New Year balloon drops, a municipal official’s thoughts often turn from celebration to reorganization. Yes, it is that time of year again if you operate under the Second Class Township Code. The governing statute calls for the meeting on the first …

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Fair Housing Update: New Federal Guidance, and New Questions

By: Andrew D.H. Rau Zoning and land use practitioners have long looked to federal guidance interpreting the Fair Housing Act (FHA) in order to consider its interplay with state and local land use and zoning laws. Now, the U.S. Justice Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development …

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Modernizing Housing Ordinances

By: Amanda J. Sundquist The White House has released a tool kit to help municipalities modernize zoning regulations related to housing. The tool kit suggests a number of potential starting points that a local government can use to encourage growth opportunities and affordable housing. Some suggestions include: Streamlining …

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New Legislation Allows Municipalities to Appoint Alternate Members of Planning Commissions

On October 7, 2015, Governor Wolf signed into law Act 42 of 2015 which amends Pennsylvania’s Municipalities Planning Code to permit municipalities to appoint up to three residents of the municipality as alternate members of the municipality’s planning commission. More specifically, Act 42 addresses appointment of alternative members of the planning commission and assigns them …

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What are the potential impacts of a pipeline easement on your Pennsylvania Property?

Chester County, Pennsylvania currently has a least two active pipeline projects winding through it. The Columbia Pipeline Group’s Eastside Expansion Project which runs from West Vincent to West Bradford, and Sunoco Logistics Mariner East 2 Project running from northwest to southeast Chester County. Hundreds of Chester County residents have been or will be …

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Permit Extension Act Part II: Tolling Provisions Apply To Uniform Condominium And Planned Community Acts

The amendments to the Permit Extension Act (“PEA”), Act 31 of 2015, have now specifically included condominium and planned community Declarations within the tolling provisions of the PEA. There had been concern in the development community that in the wake of the Commonwealth Court’s Logan Greens Community Association, Inc. v. Church Reserve, LLC …

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Amendment Clarifies PA’s Permit Extension ACT

Amendments to Pennsylvania’s Permit Extension Act have clarified provisions suspending the expiration dates of certain approvals obtained by developers and property owners. On July 10th Governor Wolf signed into law Act 31 of 2015 which amends Pennsylvania’s Permit Extension Act, 53 P.S. § 11703.1 et seq. The change of most interest to developers/property owners and …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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