Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County in case of Traymore Associates v. Board of Supervisors of Northampton Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, No. 74-9673-08-5.
Harry C. Barbin, with him Barbin, Lauffer & O'Connell, for appellant.
Robert C. Steiger, for appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson. Judge Kramer did not participate in the decision in this case.
[ 24 Pa. Commw. Page 565]
Appellant is the owner of approximately 20 acres of land, known as Northampton Industrial Park II, Section 4, situate at the end of Industrial Drive, Northampton Township, Bucks County. On February 27, 1974, a preliminary subdivision plan was submitted to appellee which was deemed approved when appellee failed to act on it within 90 days as provided by the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (PMPC).*fn1
On June 3, 1974, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) revoked the highway occupancy permit previously issued to Northampton Township for the entrance of Industrial Drive to Jacksonville Road because of drainage problems at that intersection. The only access to appellant's proposed subdivision is over Industrial Drive, the only entrance to which is now unauthorized by PennDOT. It should be noted that all the surface water on appellant's land flows away from the Jacksonville Road-Industrial Drive intersection and that appellant's plan will have no impact on the flooding in that area.
Appellant submitted to appellee, for its approval, the final subdivision plan on July 16, 1974. The final plan was, in all material aspects, identical to the preliminary plan which had been deemed approved. Appellee, at a public
[ 24 Pa. Commw. Page 566]
meeting in September, 1974, refused to approve the plan on the basis that in the time interval between submission of the preliminary plan and the final plan, the private access road to the tract became legally unusable by reason of PennDOT's revocation of the permit whereby the access road was permitted to open onto a state highway.*fn2
On October 15, 1974, appellant filed an appeal from appellee's decision to the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County pursuant to Section 1006 of the PMPC.*fn3 After accepting additional evidence, on July 10, 1975, the court entered an opinion and order affirming the refusal of appellee to approve appellant's subdivision plan, with the provision that such approval be granted at such time as a permit for the reopening of Industrial Drive on Jacksonville Road is issued.*fn4 It is from this determination that the instant appeal is taken.
Appellant raises two issues on appeal to this Court. First, appellant contends that the appellee and the court below failed to specify the defects in its application as required by law. Second, appellant contends that, when a preliminary application has been approved, the applicant is entitled to ...