Pace Resources, Inc. v. Shrewsbury Tp. Planning Com'n

CourtCommonwealth Court of Pennsylvania
Writing for the CourtBefore CRAIG and COLINS, JJ., and BLATT; COLINS; WILLIAMS
Citation492 A.2d 818,89 Pa.Cmwlth. 468
PartiesPACE RESOURCES, INC., Appellant, v. SHREWSBURY TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION and Shrewsbury Township Board of Supervisors, Appellees. SHREWSBURY TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION and Shrewsbury Township Board of Supervisors, Appellants, v. PACE RESOURCES, INC., Appellee. PACE RESOURCES, INC., Appellant, v. ZONING HEARING BOARD OF SHREWSBURY TOWNSHIP, Appellee. SHREWSBURY TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION and Shrewsbury Township Board of Supervisors, Appellants, v. PACE RESOURCES, INC., Appellee.
Decision Date23 May 1985

Page 818

492 A.2d 818
89 Pa.Cmwlth. 468
PACE RESOURCES, INC., Appellant,
v.
SHREWSBURY TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION and Shrewsbury
Township Board of Supervisors, Appellees.
SHREWSBURY TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION and Shrewsbury
Township Board of Supervisors, Appellants,
v.
PACE RESOURCES, INC., Appellee.
PACE RESOURCES, INC., Appellant,
v.
ZONING HEARING BOARD OF SHREWSBURY TOWNSHIP, Appellee.
SHREWSBURY TOWNSHIP PLANNING COMMISSION and Shrewsbury
Township Board of Supervisors, Appellants,
v.
PACE RESOURCES, INC., Appellee.
Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.
Argued Jan. 31, 1985.
Decided May 23, 1985.

Page 819

[89 Pa.Cmwlth. 470] Donald L. Reihart, Laucks & Monroe, York, for Pace Resources, inc.

Gilbert G. Malone, Malone & Neubaum, York, for Shrewsbury Tp. Planning Com'n, Shrewsbury Tp. Bd. of Sup'rs, and Zoning Hearing Bd. of Shrewsbury Tp.

Peter D. Solymos, York, for appellees in all cases.

Before CRAIG and COLINS, JJ., and BLATT, Senior Judge.

COLINS, Judge.

In this appeal, we must determine whether Section 402 (approval of on-lot water systems) of the Shrewsbury Township (Township) Subdivision and Land Ordinance is void for vagueness and whether an amendment to that ordinance which rezoned a 39-acre tract from "industrial" to "agricultural" constituted discriminatory zoning.

In 1965, Pace Resources, Inc. (Pace) 1 purchased a 145.61 acre tract of land in the Township. Pace developed preliminary plans to subdivide this land and create an industrial park, to be known as Southern Industrial Park. At the time of the purchase and initial development of the subdivision plans, Shrewsbury Township had neither a zoning ordinance nor a comprehensive plan.

Pace divided its land into 47 lots and submitted a preliminary subdivision plan to the Township. The Board of Supervisors approved this plan on April 2, 1973. Pace submitted and later received final plan approval for several of these lots.

In November of 1976, the Township adopted its first Comprehensive Plan and its first Zoning Ordinance. Pursuant to this ordinance, Pace's entire tract was zoned "industrial".

[89 Pa.Cmwlth. 471] Pace resubmitted a preliminary subdivision plan for lots 28 through 40 and 44 through 47, in December of 1978. In addition, Pace submitted a "preliminary/final" 2 plan for lots 3 through 5, 7 through 16, and 41 through 43.

On January 9, 1979, the Board of Supervisors met with the Township solicitor and zoning officer to conduct a review of the Township's Zoning Ordinance and Comprehensive Plan. As a result of this meeting, several proposed zoning amendments were prepared by the solicitor and submitted to the York County Planning Commission, including a proposal to rezone 37 acres of Pace's land to "agricultural".

The Board of Supervisors met on February 7, 1979, and, after reviewing Pace's subdivision plan for the above-mentioned lots, presented Pace with a list entitled "Defects in Final Plan Subdivision by Southern Industrial Park." Pace requested and received a continuance to allow it to correct the enumerated defects. On March 7, 1979, at a joint meeting of the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors, Pace resubmitted its subdivision plan, which again was rejected. Formal written notice of the rejection and the reasons

Page 820

therefore were mailed to Pace on March 8, 1979. The crux of the Board of Supervisors' decision to deny Pace approval centered on Pace's failure to comply with Section 402 of the Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.

Pace appealed this decision to the Zoning Hearing Board (Board), which on December 22, 1980, dismissed Pace's appeal. Pace then filed several appeals[89 Pa.Cmwlth. 472] to the Court of Common Pleas of York County. 3 On August 31, 1983, the Court of Common Pleas remanded the matter to the Township Board of Supervisors for reconsideration of its decision to grant or deny approval of Pace's preliminary and final plans because the Court found that the Board of Supervisors had committed an error of law by relying on Section 402 to deny Pace's subdivision plans. On September 27, 1983, Pace filed an application for reconsideration of the order of August 31, 1983, with the Court of Common Pleas. On reconsideration, the Court addressed the constitutionality challenges previously raised by Pace. The Court, on March 12, 1984, dismissed each, including the allegation that spot zoning had occurred. Consolidated for disposition before this court are the appeals of Pace and the Township from orders of the Court of Common Pleas of York County dated August 31, 1983, and March 12, 1984. 4

Our scope of review where, as here, the lower court has taken no additional evidence is limited to a determination of whether or not the Board of Supervisors[89 Pa.Cmwlth. 473] has committed an abuse of discretion or an error of law. Ridgeview Associates v. The Board of Supervisors of Lower Paxton Township, 17 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 459, 333 A.2d 249 (1975).

We will first address the issue whether Section 402 of the Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance is void for vagueness.

Section 402 provides in pertinent part that:

The Board of Supervisors will approve individual on-lot water supply systems only when the feasibility study indicates that the Township and the Township engineer certifies that justification of the project necessitates consideration of this method, the water supply yield is adequate for the type of development proposed, the installation of such systems will not...

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8 practice notes
  • Pace Resources, Inc. v. Shrewsbury Tp., No. 86-5210
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • 12. Januar 1987
    ...of the amended ordinance. The Board's rejection of Pace's contentions led to an appeal and ultimately resulted in a May 23, 1985, 89 Pa.Cmwlth. 468, 492 A.2d 818, Commonwealth Court decision that found the rezoning of Pace's 37 acres to be illegal spot zoning. The court further found that S......
  • Woodwind Estates v. Gretkowski, No. 99-3280
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • 28. Februar 2000
    ...Twp., Monroe County, Pa., 437 A.2d 1308, 1309 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1981); See also Pace Resources, Inc. v. Shrewsbury Twp. Planning Commission, 492 A.2d 818, 821 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1985); Goodman v. Board of Commissioners of the Township of Whitehall, 411 A.2d 838, 841 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2. According to the de......
  • Baker v. Chartiers Tp. Zoning Hearing Bd.
    • United States
    • Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania
    • 15. Juli 1996
    ...the land area involved being only one of the determining factors. Pace Resources, Inc. v. Shrewsbury Township Planning Commission, 89 Pa.Cmwlth. 468, 492 A.2d 818 (1985). Rather, as held in Township of The key point is when a municipal governing body puts on blinders and confines its vision......
  • Plymouth Tp. v. Montgomery County, Nos. 3312
    • United States
    • Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court
    • 20. November 1987
    ...has articulated the true nature of spot zoning in Pace Resources v. Shrewsbury Township Planning Commission, 89 Pa.Commonwealth Ct. 468, 492 A.2d 818 (1985), pointing out that, properly understood, it is more than just discriminatory or "island" zoning--the land area involved being only one......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
8 cases
  • Pace Resources, Inc. v. Shrewsbury Tp., No. 86-5210
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • 12. Januar 1987
    ...of the amended ordinance. The Board's rejection of Pace's contentions led to an appeal and ultimately resulted in a May 23, 1985, 89 Pa.Cmwlth. 468, 492 A.2d 818, Commonwealth Court decision that found the rezoning of Pace's 37 acres to be illegal spot zoning. The court further found that S......
  • Woodwind Estates v. Gretkowski, No. 99-3280
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • 28. Februar 2000
    ...Twp., Monroe County, Pa., 437 A.2d 1308, 1309 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1981); See also Pace Resources, Inc. v. Shrewsbury Twp. Planning Commission, 492 A.2d 818, 821 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1985); Goodman v. Board of Commissioners of the Township of Whitehall, 411 A.2d 838, 841 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2. According to the de......
  • Baker v. Chartiers Tp. Zoning Hearing Bd.
    • United States
    • Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania
    • 15. Juli 1996
    ...the land area involved being only one of the determining factors. Pace Resources, Inc. v. Shrewsbury Township Planning Commission, 89 Pa.Cmwlth. 468, 492 A.2d 818 (1985). Rather, as held in Township of The key point is when a municipal governing body puts on blinders and confines its vision......
  • Plymouth Tp. v. Montgomery County, Nos. 3312
    • United States
    • Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court
    • 20. November 1987
    ...has articulated the true nature of spot zoning in Pace Resources v. Shrewsbury Township Planning Commission, 89 Pa.Commonwealth Ct. 468, 492 A.2d 818 (1985), pointing out that, properly understood, it is more than just discriminatory or "island" zoning--the land area involved being only one......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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