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WILLARD R. CROFT ET AL. v. BOARD SUPERVISORS MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP (08/22/83)

decided: August 22, 1983.

WILLARD R. CROFT ET AL., APPELLANTS
v.
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County in the case of Willard R. Croft, John Brown, Sidney T. Yates, Thomas J. Kardish, John J. McGrau, Jr., Donald H. Souilliard, William B. Fast, David R. Johnson, Arthur W. Doyle, and Solomon Rudmin t/a Woodbourne Associates, A Partnership v. Board of Supervisors of Middletown Township, No. 79-8317-10-5.

COUNSEL

Richard P. McBride, with him Edward F. Murphy, McBride, Murphy & Sudfeld, for appellant.

Martha F. Lindner, Brady, Lindner & Cullen, for appellee.

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

Author: Macphail

[ 76 Pa. Commw. Page 489]

Appellants*fn1 here challenge an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County denying their request for mandamus relief to compel the deemed approval of their tentative sketch subdivision plan pursuant to Section

[ 76 Pa. Commw. Page 490508]

of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC).*fn2

The pertinent facts, which have been stipulated to by counsel, reveal that Appellants own a tract of land containing approximately 122.63 acres in Middletown Township, Bucks County. On November 22, 1976, Appellants filed a tentative sketch plan, pursuant to the Township's subdivision ordinance, proposing a subdivision of the subject property into 291 lots with a minimum lots size of 10,000 square feet. On December

[ 76 Pa. Commw. Page 4912]

, 1976, the Township Board of Supervisors (Board) authorized the advertisement of a proposed zoning change of Appellants' property from R-2 to RA-2 which would, inter alia, increase the minimum lot size requirement from 10,000 to 30,000 square feet. The zoning change was adopted by the Board on January 18, 1977. On January 19, 1977 Appellants were notified by letter as follows:

Be advised that the Board of Supervisors at a meeting held on Tuesday, January 18, 1977 denied approval of the Tentative Sketch Plan for the above referenced parcel of ground because said plan does not conform to the existing zoning.

Appellants did not appeal that decision, but rather, instituted the instant mandamus action on July 18, 1979. Appellants contend that their tentative sketch plan is entitled to deemed approval pursuant to Section 508(3) of the MPC, 53 P.S. ยง 10508(3)*fn3 due to the failure of the Board to specify the defects in the plan and describe, with citations to appropriate portions of the ordinance, the requirements which Appellants failed to satisfy. It is well settled that a decision denying a subdivision plan must specify the defects in the plan with citations to the provisions in the ordinance or statute relied upon. Absent the requisite ...


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