Blog

https://zoningandlanduselaw.foxrothschild.com/

In the Zone Blog

Success in the real estate industry often hinges on making smart choices – and on being informed. Fox’s In the Zone blog serves as a resource for developers, investors, lenders, design firms, landlords, tenants and more. Focusing on zoning and land use, we report on trends and news in obtaining approvals and permits for new development, project financing, LEED certification and environmental regulation and enforcement.

Recent Blog Posts

  • Attempts to Amend Conditions of Approval In a recent case decided by the PA Commonwealth Court, titled Toll Brothers and Orleans Homebuilders v. Upper Uwchlan Township, the court upheld the decision of the Court of Common Pleas and the Board of Supervisors to deny the developer’s request to amend a previously granted conditional use approval to eliminate a condition requiring developer to construct an internal roadway.  Developer presented testimony as to reasons for this amendment, including the preservation of additional woodlands, wetlands, steep slopes and floodplains. ... More
  • New Jersey Assembly Bill 1425/Senate Bill 3233 Enacted, Ensuring Reforms Performance and Maintenance Guarantee Requirements Jack Plackter writes: Assembly Bill 1425/Senate Bill 3233, which was signed into law on January 15, modifies the requirements for furnishing performance and maintenance guarantees under the Municipal Land Use Law and modifies the current limitations on the collection of inspection fees. Under the law, a municipality will only be able to require developers to post performance guarantees to cover improvements being dedicated to a public entity. This law favors developers. It reduces the bonding cost because it narrows the categories of items... More
  • Bucks County Planning Commission The Bucks County Planning Commission has increased its filing fees for 2018.  The base fees for residential subdivisions, land developments and conversions remain the same, but the additional lot multiplier fees have been increased by $5 for each lot/unit.  The base fees for nonresidential land developments remain the same, but the multiplier fees for developments under 5,000 square feet has increased by $5 per 1,000 square foot of gross floor area and, for developments over 5,0000 square feet, the overall... More
  • Alternative On-Lot Sewer Systems for New Subdivisions in Pennsylvania As a supplement to my blog back on August 23, 2017, as to the use of alternate on-lot sewer systems for planning new subdivisions, attached is the PA Builders Association information sheet on the new legislation. DEP and the Sewage Advisory Committee (“SAC”) continue to work on the regulations referenced in the legislation.  Enclosed is a letter, dated December 11, 2017, containing the SAC’s recommendations to DEP. More to follow as DEP works to finalize the performance standards and review methodology.   December 11,... More
  • Peaceful Self-Help in Pennsylvania In Pennsylvania, landlords are prohibited from employing self-help evictions when dealing with tenants and former tenants. However, query if such prohibition exists when property owners seek to evict trespassers. Trespassers are not subject to the Landlord and Tenant Act. A “tenant” occupies an owner’s premises in subordination to the owner’s title and with his express or implied assent. Not so for trespassers. A property owner who never engaged in a landlord-tenant relationship with a trespasser may be permitted to employ peaceful... More
  • Opinion Letters in Loan Transactions- An Added Cost for Borrower Legal opinion letters (“Opinion Letter”) have become a very valuable piece of a loan transaction for all parties involved.  More often, Lenders are now requiring that a Borrower’s counsel provide an Opinion Letter at the closing of a transaction.  An Opinion Letter addresses legal conclusions and opines as to the legal effect and legitimacy of the transaction and can be relied on by the Lender in a transaction. While the Opinion Letter is a valued commodity for the Lender to receive,... More
  • No Shortcuts at Special Exception and Conditional Use Hearings Many times, at hearings to obtain either special exceptions or conditional use approvals, applicants, for one reason or another, are under the impression that they simply have to call one or two witnesses to confirm, in a cursory manner, compliance with the requirements for the requested relief. Unfortunately, that type of “short cut” approach can come back to bite the applicant in the you know what. A recent case, titled Appeal by Grande Land, LP v. Manheim Township Zoning Hearing... More
  • Proposed Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning in Philadelphia In June of this year, Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez of Philadelphia’s City Council introduced Ordinance No. 170678 to require all new and renovated residential development projects in the City of over 10 units to include at least 10% of the project units as “affordable”.  Under the terms of the ordinance, at least 25% of the affordable units have to exists on the project site, while the other 75% can either be built elsewhere or be addressed via a payment into the City’s... More
  • More Delays Forthcoming with NPDES Permits The NPDES general permit for stormwater discharges associated with construction activities will expire on December 7, 2017. DEP has announced that the general permit will be administratively extended until December 7, 2018. This administrative extension will continue the terms and conditions of any open statewide general permit for a specific period of time following expiration of the general permit program; however, the only option for obtaining NPDES permit coverage from December 8, 2017, until a reissued PAG – 02 is... More
  • Warrington Township, Bucks County On November 2, 2017, at 7:30 p.m., the Warrington Township Planning Commission intends to review an updated Comprehensive Plan for the Township. After this Comprehensive Plan is reviewed by the Planning Commission, it will then be sent, along with the Planning Commission’s recommendation, to the Board of Supervisors for review and action. Such action is likely to be taken before the end of the year. After the new Comprehensive Plan is adopted, the Board of Supervisors have indicated their willingness... More