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BOARD COMMISSIONERS ABINGTON TOWNSHIP v. QUAKER CONSTRUCTION COMPANY AND HILLSIDE CEMETERY COMPANY (02/24/82)

decided: February 24, 1982.

BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF ABINGTON TOWNSHIP, APPELLANT
v.
QUAKER CONSTRUCTION COMPANY AND HILLSIDE CEMETERY COMPANY, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County in the case of Quaker Construction Company and Hillside Cemetery Company v. Board of Commissioners of Abington Township, No. 79-12908.

COUNSEL

Paul A. Logan, with him Thomas E. Waters, Jr., Waters, Gallagher, Collins & Masterson, for appellant.

J. Peirce Anderson, Kane, Pugh, Anderson, Subers & McBrien, for appellees.

Judges Mencer, Rogers and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt. Judge Palladino did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Blatt

[ 65 Pa. Commw. Page 9]

The Board of Commissioners of Abington Township (Board) seeks review of a judgment in mandamus filed by the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County ordering the Board to grant approval to the subdivision plan of the appellees.*fn1

The appellees sought approval from the Board to subdivide 63 acres in Abington Township for the construction of single-family residences. A tentative sketch*fn2 of the subdivision plan was submitted to the Department of Public Works of Abington Township, which recommended to the Board in a meeting on April 10, 1979 that the application be refused. The Board adopted that recommendation and took no further action on the proposed subdivision. On July 3, 1979, the appellees filed an action in mandamus seeking to compel the Board to approve the tentative

[ 65 Pa. Commw. Page 10]

    sketch, contending that the Board did not comply with the notification requirements of Section 508 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC),*fn3 Act of July 31, 1968, P.L. 805, as amended, 53 P.S. ยง 10508 and that the subdivision plan should therefore be deemed to have been approved. The court of common

[ 65 Pa. Commw. Page 11]

    pleas granted a peremptory judgment ordering that the Board approve the tentative sketch of the subdivision plan, and the Board's petition to open that judgment was dismissed. The Board's appeal of those two orders was denied by the court below and this appeal followed.

The Board first maintains that the notification requirements of Section 508 of the MPC do not apply here because the tentative sketch submitted by the appellee was not mandatory under the Abington Township Subdivision of Land Ordinance and this case is therefore not governed by this Court's decision in Mid-County Manor Inc. v. Haverford Township Board of Commissioners, 22 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 149, 348 A.2d 472 (1975), but is controlled by our holding in Raccoon Mountain, Inc. v. Perry County Planning Commission, 50 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 613, 413 A.2d 1170 (1980).*fn4

In Mid-County Manor we noted that, while the MPC envisions only a two-step process for the approval of a subdivision plan, the submission of a preliminary and a final plan, a township may require more than two steps. Id. at 156-57, 348 A.2d at 476, note 2. We concluded, however, that even if the governing body of a municipality does prescribe additional procedures, it must nevertheless comply with the notice provisions contained in Section 508 of the MPC. We concluded that the sketch and site plans filed by Mid-County as the first of three steps required in seeking plan approval should have been acted upon by the Township within 90 days and that its ...


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