Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County in the case of Arthur J. Bloom v. Lower Paxton Township, No. 3431S 1980.
Richard W. Cleckner, with him Gary C. Bender, Cleckner and Fearen, for appellant.
Bernadette Barattini, with her Richard H. Wix, Wix, Wenger & Weidner, for appellee.
Judges Rogers, Williams, Jr. and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.
[ 72 Pa. Commw. Page 533]
Arthur J. Bloom, representing Harrisburg Fore Associates (developer), appeals an order of the Dauphin County Common Pleas Court, which sustained the decision of the Lower Paxton Township Board of Supervisors to deny the developer an extension of time in which to secure final approval of his subdivision plan.
[ 72 Pa. Commw. Page 534]
On November 15, 1973, the developer submitted a preliminary plan to the township planning commission, describing a proposed townshouse apartment complex of 708 units called "Pond Ridge Village," located on a 79-acre tract in an area zoned R-2 (permitting apartment units) under the township zoning ordinance. On February 18, 1974, the supervisors rejected the plan because of traffic safety reasons. On appeal, the common pleas court affirmed the supervisors' decision, after hearing testimony from representatives of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, who testified that the department would not issue permits for road development because the proposed development was unsafe.
Subsequently, in Harrisburg Fore Associates v. Board of Supervisors of Lower Paxton Township, 21 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 137, 344 A.2d 277 (1975), this court reversed the common pleas court decision and remanded the case to the supervisors to grant final subdivision approval, conditioned upon the issuance of the required transportation permits. After a lengthy delay,*fn1 the developer submitted plans to the supervisors, who preliminarily approved these plans on November 6, 1978.
On May 19, 1980, the developer, after being unable to obtain sewer permits from the Pennsylvania Department
[ 72 Pa. Commw. Page 535]
of Environmental Resources (DER), applied to the supervisors for an extension of the protective period set forth in section 508(4) of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC),*fn2 which establishes a three-year period following either preliminary or final subdivision approval in which any subsequent change or amendment in a zoning, subdivision or other governing ordinance is rendered inapplicable as to that subdivision.*fn3 The developer was concerned that, once the three-year period expired, the proposed subdivision would be subject to the township's 1974 rezoning of the property from R-2 to R-1; no apartment dwellings are permitted in an R-1 district. Nevertheless, the township declined to extend the three-year protective period.
The developer first alleges that the common pleas court should have remanded the case to the supervisors because the supervisors failed to include written findings of fact as required by sections 555 and 754(a) of the Local ...