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

  • DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY – CHELTENHAM TOWNSHIP The Cheltenham Township Community Development Corporation (CTCDC) is seeking proposals from qualified applicants for the acquisition and redevelopment of a 5 acre parcel of land, zoned commercial, and owned by the Township.  CTCDC’s objective is to achieve a redevelopment of the parcel in accordance with the newly passed Township zoning plan.  A successful submission will provide the optimal satisfaction of the following objectives: Generating long term tax revenues for the Township and School District. Minimizing the need for variances or other changes... More
  • Objectors Have a Heavy Burden When Opposing a Special Exception The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania recently confirmed the standards by which an applicant is entitled to special exception approval, which could help applicant’s in preparing their cases before a zoning board. In Monroe Land Investments v. Zoning Board of Adjustment and the City of Philadelphia, et al, 2018 WL 1462211, the Commonwealth Court affirmed the decision of the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas to reverse the City of Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment’s decision to deny a request for a... More
  • IT’S THAT TIME AGAIN. WHAT TIME? TIME TO REVIEW YOUR PENNSYLVANIA REAL ESTATE ASSESSMENTS. Are the real property taxes assessed against your property out of proportion to the actual value of your property?  If so, what should you do? First, you need to determine if you have a basis to file an appeal to the county board of assessment for your property. To do so, you need an experienced real estate assessment attorney and a qualified appraiser. On commercial and industrial properties, as well as rental residential properties, two calculations often make the determination if you... More
  • ALERT- New Environmental Justice Regulations Coming Soon to New Jersey! David Restaino writes: On April 20, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 23 (EO 23) committing state government to making intelligent environmental decisions in communities that are disproportionately affected by environmental degradation. EO 23 requires that the NJDEP take the lead in developing guidance that would require state departments and agencies to consider “Environmental Justice” in implementing their responsibilities. The first draft of the guidance will be due in six months, after which time there shall be another 90 days for the... More
  • New Project Information Form Required for Appeals to the City of Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment The City of Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment has imposed a new requirement for filing Appeals.  As of April 9, 2018, an applicant seeking a variance or special exception from the Zoning Board of Adjustment must submit a Project Information Form prior to filing an Application for Appeal.  The Project Information Form requires basic information regarding the proposed project, including but not limited to, the name and contact information of the applicant, a description of the proposed project, approximate length... More
  • Black Letter Law for the Grant of Special Exceptions in Pennsylvania In the case of Polaris v. Fayette County Zoning Hearing Board, the Commonwealth Court reversed a decision of the Court of Common Pleas and the underlying zoning hearing board to deny an application to use a property as a methadone clinic. In this case, Polaris argued that the ZHB erroneously denied its special exception application on the grounds that Polaris had not met its burden of proof and that the proposed clinic would adversely affect the health, safety and welfare... More
  • 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