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BUCKS COUNTY HOUSING DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION v. ZONING HEARING BOARD TOWNSHIP PLUMSTEAD ET AL. TOWNSHIP PLUMSTEAD (09/07/79)

decided: September 7, 1979.

BUCKS COUNTY HOUSING DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
v.
ZONING HEARING BOARD OF THE TOWNSHIP OF PLUMSTEAD ET AL. TOWNSHIP OF PLUMSTEAD, APPELLANT. BUCKS COUNTY HOUSING DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION V. ZONING HEARING BOARD OF THE TOWNSHIP OF PLUMSTEAD ET AL. FRANK J. EARNHEART ET AL., APPELLANTS



Appeals from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County in case of Bucks County Housing Development Corporation v. Zoning Hearing Board of the Township of Plumstead; Township of Plumstead; Frank J. Earnheart; Robert C. J. McKinstry and Marie K. McKinstry; Frederick J. Rarig and Reva Mae Rarig; and Plumstead Township Civic Association, No. 76-6530-09-5.

COUNSEL

George M. Bush, with him Albert L. Blackman, Jr., for Township of Plumstead.

Frank J. Earnheart, for Frank J. Earnheart, Robert C. J. McKinstry, Frederick J. Rarig, Reva Mae Rarig and Plumstead Civic Association.

Thomas J. Profy, III, with him Begley, Carlin, Mandio & Popkin, for Bucks County Housing Development Corporation.

Judges Mencer, Rogers and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.

Author: Craig

[ 45 Pa. Commw. Page 533]

The planned residential development (PRD) application of the Bucks County Housing Development Corporation (applicant) has resulted in an earlier appeal to this court, in Bucks County Housing Development Corp. v. Township of Plumstead, 25 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 354, 361 A.2d 447 (1976), where this court held that the PRD application was subject to a duly pending zoning ordinance amendment, which was later enacted.

[ 45 Pa. Commw. Page 534]

Thereafter the applicant pursued, before the Zoning Hearing Board (board) of the Township of Plumstead (township), a validity appeal attacking the constitutionality of the zoning ordinance amendment.

After holding hearings on eight dates between July 29, 1975 and March 11, 1976, the board on April 13, 1976 adopted a motion that the board "continue these hearings, pending the resolution between the township and applicant and the other intervening parties of the question of payment of stenographic expenses and the expense of the solicitor to the board."

The applicant, refusing to pay the expense of the board's solicitor, declared through counsel that applicant would invoke the 45-day rule of Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC) Section 908(9)*fn1 if the board failed to proceed with hearings or a decision.

On July 13, 1976, 91 days later, applicant filed an action in mandamus to compel approval of its PRD application as a "deemed decision" under MPC ยง 908(9) because the board did not, in the interim, hold any more hearings or issue any decision. From the granting of the requested mandamus order by the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, the township and objectors, who were parties ...


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