Proposed Legislation in Pennsylvania – November 2007

November 2007

HB 1341: This bill proposes to further provide for the contents of subdivision and land development ordinance by providing that a subdivision and land development ordinance may include “[p]rovisions requiring the applicant to provide notice to cable television providers in order for them to have an opportunity to make an offer for the installation of cable television improvements, as a condition precedent to final approval of plans […].”

HB 780: This bill proposes to add language to the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code providing for the appointment of alternate members to planning commissions.

SB 312: The bill proposes to provide for an educational impact fee and assessment in certain school districts and contains provisions for determining such a fee and assessment.

HB 299: This bill proposes to amend the notice requirements for amending an ordinance that will affect the zoning map. It proposes to delete the language in §609(b) of the MPC that states a good faith effort and substantial compliance is sufficient. The bill proposes to add language to §609 that states no amendment shall be valid unless all the notice requirements are complied with and the burden of proving compliance is on the municipality.

This bill has not been passed yet. It was referred to the Committee on Local Government on February 7, 2007.

HB 318: This bill proposes to establish the authority and procedure for creating a highway corridor conservation easement and also a highway corridor overlay district. This would be a new act known as the Highway Corridor Enhancement Act and the purpose would be to give municipalities alternative means to retain and protect the areas along highway corridors and to better control the erection of signs.

This bill has not been passed yet. It was referred to the Committee on Local Government on February 7, 2007.

HB 846: This bill proposes to amend the notice procedures for a municipality prior to enacting any amendments to a subdivision and land development ordinance, zoning ordinance or the comprehensive plan. The bill proposes to require a municipality to satisfy “mailed notice” by mailing notice of the proposed ordinance or plan amendment to landowners or owners of a mineral interest in land if the landowner or owner of mineral interest requested mailed notice and provided the municipality with a stamped, self-addressed envelope. However, failure to receive such mailed notice will not invalidate an ordinance or plan amendment.

This bill has not been passed yet. It was referred to the Committee on Local Government on March 19, 2007.

HB 904: This bill proposes to authorize a municipality to place a temporary moratorium on new development by enacting an ordinance to temporarily suspend the acceptance of development applications in order to permit enactment or revisions to the comprehensive plan, zoning ordinance or subdivision and land development ordinance.

This bill has not been passed yet. It was referred to the Committee on Local Government on March 22, 2007.

HB 1280: This bill proposes to amend certain provisions of the MPC concerning “traditional neighborhood development.” The bill proposes to revise the language of the provision to allow a traditional neighborhood development to be either in the form of an overlay zone or an outright designation, regardless of it being a new development or extension of an existing development. The bill also proposes to delete the requirement that the streets be “rectilinear or grid pattern” and proposes to allow an “interconnected network of streets.” The bill also proposes to authorize a municipality to enact SALDO provisions applicable to a traditional neighborhood development, including compactness, pedestrian orientation, street geometry, etc.

This bill has not been passed yet. It was referred to the Committee on Local Government on May 8, 2007.

HB 1329: This bill proposes to amend the procedure for challenging the validity of a land use ordinance based on procedural issues or defects in its adoption and proposes to require such challenges to be raised by appeal directly to the common pleas court.

This bill has not been passed yet. It was referred to the Committee on Local Government on May 24, 2007.

HB 1525: This bill was recently introduced to amend certain language concerning ordinance consistency with a municipality’s comprehensive plan under §303 of the MPC. The proposed bill states that a governing body shall adopt and amend a comprehensive plan and that said plan shall be used as a guide by the municipality in adopting or amending land use ordinances or in taking official action. The proposed bill also proposes to require a municipality to make a finding that a proposed ordinance is generally consistent with the comprehensive plan. The current language states that no action of a municipality shall be invalid or subject to a challenge on the basis it is inconsistent with the comprehensive plan. The proposed bill proposes to delete that language and require the municipality to make a formal finding that the action is generally consistent with the comprehensive plan. However, the bill further proposes to include language that an ordinance adopted after a finding of general consistency with the comprehensive plan shall not be invalid or subject to challenge on the basis that it is inconsistent with the comprehensive plan. The finding shall be considered at a public hearing.

This bill has not been passed yet. It was referred to the Committee on Local Government on July 6, 2007.

HB 1787: This bill proposes to amend the section of the MPC concerning municipal curative amendments. It proposes to add procedures for a municipality to follow after an appellate court finds the municipality’s zoning to be invalid. After such a finding by the appellate court, the municipality would be able to declare that its zoning ordinance may be invalid and prepare a curative amendment or, within 270 days of the decision enact a curative amendment to validate or reaffirm the validity of the ordinance.

This bill has not been passed yet. It was referred to the Committee on Local Government on August 1, 2007.