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Metro Bank v. Board of Commissioners of Manheim Township

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

July 9, 2015

Metro Bank, Appellant
v.
Board of Commissioners of Manheim Township, Pennsylvania

Argued,  June 15, 2015

Appealed from No. CI-13-06391. Common Pleas Court of the County of Lancaster. Ashworth, J.

Kathryn L. Simpson, Harrisburg, for appellant.

William C. Crosswell, Lancaster, for appellee Manheim Township Department of Planning and Zoning.

William C. McCarty, Lancaster, for appellees Township of Manheim and Board of Commissioners of Manheim Township.

BEFORE: HONORABLE ROBERT SIMPSON, Judge, HONORABLE P. KEVIN BROBSON, Judge, HONORABLE JAMES GARDNER COLINS, Senior Judge.

Page 427

OPINION

JAMES GARDNER COLINS, SENIOR JUDGE

On June 10, 2013, the Board of Commissioners of Manheim Township, Lancaster, Pennsylvania (Board) denied the request of Metro Bank (Metro) to recalculate a transportation impact fee, as calculated by the Manheim Township Department of Planning and Zoning (Township) in the amount of $124,356.10. On July 16, 2014, the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County (Trial Court) upheld the Board's decision. Metro appealed to this Court for review, and, on October 8, 2014, the Trial Court filed a written opinion in support of its decision pursuant to Pa. R.A.P. 1925(a). For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.[1]

Metro intends to build a bank branch facility at 3199 Lititz Pike, located at the intersection of Lititz Pike and Airport Road in Manheim Township (Property). (Board Opinion, Finding of Fact (F.F.) ¶ 2, Reproduced Record (R.R.) at 275.) The Board's impact fee ordinance sets forth four transportation service areas with corresponding per-trip cost multipliers for calculating the transportation impact fee for a specific new development project. (Manheim Township Impact Fee Ordinance No. 1999-8 (Ordinance) Appendix B.1, R.R. at 273; see also Board Opinion, Conclusion of Law (C.L.) ¶ 9, R.R. at 280.) The Property is located in Transportation Service Area " B," where the per-trip cost multiplier used to calculate the transportation impact fee of new development is $1,130.51. (Board Opinion, F.F. ¶ 11, R.R. at 276; see also Ordinance Appendix B.I, R.R. at 273.)

The Township calculated the per-trip cost multiplier for Transportation Service Area " B" by dividing the " total cost of road improvements attributable to and necessitated by New Development" by the " anticipated peak hour trips generated by New Development consistent with adopted land use assumptions." (Ordinance Appendix B.I, R.R. at 273; see also Board Opinion, C.L. ¶ 9, R.R. at 280.) The Township calculates impact fees by multiplying the per-trip cost by the total number of peak-hour trips attributable to a new development project, which it determines in accordance with the Trip Generation Manual (Manual), published by the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE). (Ordinance Appendix B.II, R.R. at 274; see also Board Opinion, C.L. ¶ 11, R.R. at 280.) Total peak-hour trips count the combined number of trips entering and exiting the driveway(s) at the site of a specific new development project. (Board March 11, 2013 Hearing Transcript (H.T.) at 66, R.R. at 87.)

In October 2009, Herbert, Rowland, & Grubic, Inc. (HRG) submitted a traffic study to the Township on behalf of Metro, which indicated that the proposed bank branch facility would generate an estimated 110 total peak-hour trips, with a fifty-seven percent pass-by rate, for a total of forty-seven new peak-hour trips. (Board Opinion, F.F. ¶ ¶ 4-5, R.R. at 276.) New peak-hour trips subtract the amount of

Page 428

pass-by trips, which is the amount of trips to and from a new development project's driveway by cars that would have been on the roadway notwithstanding the project, from the amount of total peak-hour trips. (H.T. at 8-12, R.R. at 29-33.) ITE also publishes a Trip Generation Handbook (Handbook), which provides recommendations as to the amount of pass-by trips that will occur at a new development project. (Board Opinion, F.F. ΒΆ 20, R.R. at 277; H.T. at 9-10, R.R. at 30-31.) In the study, HRG multiplied the smaller number of new peak-hour trips ...


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