On March 21, 2011, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania affirmed a trial court’s decision that found Section 806(i) of the Tinicum Township’s Zoning Ordinance invalid as applied to Township areas zoned as Controlled Commercial, Commercial, Limited Commercial, and Planned Industrial. Section 806(i) is an overlay district that limits development on agricultural prime soils and prevented Main Street Development Group, Inc. (“Developer”) from building in a commercial zoned district. Developer challenged the validity of Section 806(i) in pertaining to non-agricultural zoned areas. The court concluded that “because the effect of Section 806(i), combined with the underlying zoning, causes the entire Township to become a de facto agricultural zone, it unduly disturbs the expectations created by the existing zoning ordinance, disrupts the balancing between preserving agriculture and allowing development as mandated by the MPC [Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code], and unreasonably restricts Developer’s use of its land.” For the complete court opinion please view Main St. Dev. Group, Inc. v. Tinicum Township Bd. of Supervisors.
Written by Jay Angle, Research Assistant