We Listen.

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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Long Outdated Bid Limit Laws Updated by Pennsylvania Legislature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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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 …

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New Permit Extension Law Impacts Developers and Municipalities

By: Andrew D.H. Rau This week’s budget approvals in Harrisburg included legislation that will have an effect on landowners, as well as state and local government entities across Pennsylvania.  Senate Bill 1042, signed into law as Act 46, will extend the life of many land development and related approvals, if the approvals are in …

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Municipalities and Developers: Take A Closer Look At Settlement Agreements

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court’s recent decision in BPG Real Estate Investors v. Newtown Township may cause developers and townships to more carefully consider whether settlement agreements are reaching too far. The ultimate result may be courts refusing to approve such settlements. In the BPG decision, the Commonwealth Court determined that a settlement agreement between …

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The Rise of Wind Power – Changing Landscapes in Pennsylvania

The use of windmills as an energy source is on the rise and rapidly growing in Pennsylvania, even in residential neighborhoods. While windmill farms can be an interesting and peaceful sight from afar, the construction of a windmill in a backyard in a residential neighborhood may not be as welcoming. In the case Tink-Wing Mountain …

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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.  …

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