Legislative Update in Pennsylvania

August 2011Newsletters In the Zone

House Bill No. 1718 proposes to amend several sections of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC) by changing the manner in which subdivision and land development applications are reviewed and amending requirements stemming from subdivision and land development approvals.

First, House Bill No. 1718 proposes to amend Section 503 of the MPC by requiring municipalities to designate by resolution or ordinance three approved professional consultants “from different firms in each discipline who are readily available to provide services in the municipality and the applicant may select a professional consultant from among the approved consultants and such professional consultant shall be the municipality's consultant for that particular application.” (Please note the MPC defines “professional consultants” as “persons who provide expert or professional advice, including, but not limited to, architects, attorneys, certified public accountants, engineers, geologists, land surveyors, landscape architects or planners.”)

The proposal further provides that if an applicant selects a professional consultant, only review fees by the selected consultant may be charged to the applicant.
The proposal also suggests an amendment to Section 509 of the MPC, which addresses completion of improvements or guarantee thereof as a prerequisite to final plan approval. House Bill No. 1718 proposes to limit a municipality—in situations where the governing body accepts dedication of all or some of the required improvements following completion—to requiring the posting of financial security to secure the structural integrity of said dedicated improvements as well as the functioning of said dedicated improvements [...].

House Bill No. 1718 also proposes to amend Section 510 of the MPC by requiring a municipality to designate three approved engineers from different firms “who are readily available to provide services in the municipality and the developer may select an engineer from this list to perform the inspection of the improvements on behalf of the municipality.” Furthermore, if the developer selects an engineer pursuant to the foregoing, the municipality may be required “to reimburse the governing body only for inspection fees of the selected engineer.”

Finally, House Bill No. 1718 also proposes to amend Section 510 of the MPC in order to give a developer more time to challenge bills in connection with the inspection of the improvements.

For more information, please contact David H. Comer at 610.397.7963 or [email protected].

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