PENNSYLVANIA ZONING LAW AND PRACTICE Two-Volume Set Available for purchase HERE or at 800-247-3526.
Waiver of Right to Appeal by Stipulation. In Gravel Hill Enterprises, Inc. v. Lower Mount Bethel Township Zoning Hearing Board, decided on October 30, 2017, the Commonwealth Court decided that petitioners, who had belatedly sought intervention in an owner's appeal of the denial of a variance, had waived their right to appeal the trial court's decision to approve a settlement agreement between the owner and the Township. The petition for intervention was not filed until nine months after the appeal. Owner opposed intervention but later stipulated to withdraw its objection when the parties agreed in court that petitioners could express their views on a pending settlement both before the Board of Supervisors at a forthcoming public meeting and before the trial court. They agreed the trial court would be empowered to approve or disapprove the settlement "notwithstanding any positions taken by the Intervenors". This was considered a waiver of Intervenorsí right to appeal, in consideration of owner's withdrawal of its objection to the untimely intervention. The court applied a contract analysis to the courtroom stipulation. Separately, the Court decided that the settlement was vacated in part to the extent it included agreement by an adjoining landowner, not party to the variance application and whose land was situated in an adjoining Township, to refrain from certain land uses.