If you own two adjacent lots, you might be interested in the following recent case:
In Cottone, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court examined when and how two adjoining lots may merge in the face of a change to the zoning ordinances. The Court determined that if two adjoining, but separately owned, lots are rendered undersized by a new zoning ordinance, the two properties will continue to be treated as a lawful, nonconforming size. Even if the lots later come under common ownership, they will not be presumed to merge and instead the municipality would have to prove that the new owner intended to use them as one integrated parcel. Conversely, if the same two adjoining lots had been under common ownership at the time the ordinance changes, the two lots are now considered undersized, and are presumed to have merged.
For more information on how this case may affect your property or development plans, please contact our office.
Cottone v. Zoning Hearing Board of Polk Township, 292 C.D. 2007 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2008).