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Polaris Renewal Services, Inc v. Fayette County

June 8, 2012

POLARIS RENEWAL SERVICES, INC., PLAINTIFF,
v.
FAYETTE COUNTY AND THE FAYETTE COUNTY ZONING HEARING BOARD,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Cathy Bissoon

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

I.MEMORANDUM

Pending before the Court is Defendants Fayette County and The Fayette County Zoning Hearing Board's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 9). For the reasons stated herein, the Court will grant the motion.

BACKGROUND

A.Factual Background

Plaintiff Polaris Renewal Services, Inc. sought to operate a medical clinic that offered methadone maintenance treatment ("MMT") at a location (the "Subject Property") in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Compl. ¶ 7 (Doc. 1). The Subject Property is located in a B-1 (General Business) Zoning District pursuant to County Ordinance and the Fayette County Zoning Map. Id. at ¶¶ 9-10. LLS Realty, LLC ("LLS"), leased the Subject Property to Plaintiff at the time of the events alleged in the complaint. Id. at ¶ 14. The Ordinance permits the operation of MMT facilities in B-1 Zoning Districts provided that the applicant meets the requirements of Section 1000-846 of the Ordinance and obtains a special exception. Id. at ¶¶ 11-12.

On July 2, 2009, LLS submitted an application to Defendant Fayette County for the grant of a special exception for the operation of a MMT facility at the Subject Property. Id. at ¶ 15. On November 30, 2009,*fn1 the Hearing Board denied LLS's application. Id. at ¶¶ 17-19.

On March 25, 2010, LLS filed a complaint in federal court against Defendants, claiming that the adoption, enactment, and enforcement of Section 1000-846 of the Ordinance discriminated against individuals with a disability in contravention of the Equal Protection Clause and Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Rehabilitation Act. Id. at ¶ 21. LLS and Defendants reached a resolution on September 28, 2010, allowing LLS to proceed with its plans for the Subject Property. Id. at ¶ 22.

Plaintiff next proceeded to obtain the approvals, permits, and licenses required to operate a medical clinic offering MMT at the Subject Property. Id. at ¶ 27. Sometime during the first half of 2011, while Plaintiff was still obtaining the necessary approvals, Defendant Fayette County closed its Medical Assistance behavioral health network to new providers. Id. at ¶ 28. Plaintiff thus alleges that as the sole and proximate result of the delays caused by Defendants' illegal adoption and enforcement of the Ordinance, Plaintiff has been deprived of the ability to service the majority of its potential customer base. Id. at ¶ 29.

B.Procedural Background

Plaintiff filed a complaint (Doc. 1) against Defendants on March 12, 2012. Plaintiff alleges that the adoption and enforcement of Section 1000-846 of the Ordinance was illegal and improper because it discriminates against individuals with a disability. Id. at ¶¶ 39, 48-49, 57-58. Plaintiff asserts a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that Defendants violated Plaintiff's right to due process of law guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Id. ¶ 39. Plaintiff also asserts claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") and the Rehabilitation Act ("RA"), alleging that Defendants discriminated against individuals who are disabled and suffering or recovering from a drug addiction, in contravention of the aforementioned statutes. Id. ¶¶ 48-49, 57-58.

Defendants filed a motion to dismiss (Doc. 9) the Complaint on May 2, 2012, arguing that all of Plaintiff's claims are untimely filed and barred by the applicable statutes of limitations, and that Plaintiff's substantive due process claim should be dismissed for failing to allege a protected property interest. Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss ¶¶ 11-12 (Doc. 9).

ANALYSIS

In deciding a motion to dismiss a complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), the Court must accept as true all factual allegations in the complaint and draw all inferences from the facts alleged in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Phillips v. Cnty. Of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 228 (3d Cir. 2008). To survive a motion to dismiss, the factual allegations in a complaint must "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its ...


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