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MONUMENTAL PROPERTIES v. BOARD COMMISSIONERS TOWNSHIP WHITEHALL (11/08/73)

decided: November 8, 1973.

MONUMENTAL PROPERTIES, INC., APPELLANT,
v.
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE TOWNSHIP OF WHITEHALL, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County in case of Monumental Properties, Inc. v. Board of Commissioners of the Township of Whitehall, No. 593 September Term, 1972.

COUNSEL

Thomas F. Traud, Jr., with him Theodore J. Zeller, Jr., and Butz, Hudders & Tallman, for appellant.

Harry A. Kitey, for appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Rogers.

Author: Rogers

[ 11 Pa. Commw. Page 106]

This is an appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County dismissing the appeal of Monumental Properties, Inc. from a decision of the Board of Commissioners of Whitehall Township disapproving a preliminary land development plan.

The appellant, Monumental Properties, Inc., owns a tract of land in Whitehall Township containing about

[ 11 Pa. Commw. Page 10721]

acres of land located in an R-2 residential zoning district. Apartment dwellings were and are a permitted use in the R-2 zoning district and Monumental proposed to erect an apartment complex consisting of a number of buildings.

There was extant at all times pertinent hereto an ordinance of Whitehall Township entitled "Whitehall Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance of 1971." This ordinance was adopted pursuant to Article V of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, Act of July 31, 1968, P.L. 805, 53 P.S. § 10101. Section 501 of Article V, 53 P.S. § 10501, confers upon the governing bodies of municipalities the power to regulate subdivisions and land developments. The Whitehall Township ordinance does so in great detail.

Monumental's plan of development consisting of the erection of a number of apartment structures was a land development, defined in Section 107(11) of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, supra, 53 P.S. § 10107(11), as "the improvement of one lot . . . for any purpose involving . . . a group of two or more buildings." Therefore, as it was required to do, Monumental undertook to conform to the township's subdivision and land development ordinance. There follows the sequence of events pertinent to its application:

December 7, 1971 --

Monumental submitted a sketch plan for review by the Township Planning Commission, as recommended by the subdivision and land development ordinance. The sketch plan showed the proposed density of the development as 12 units per ...


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