PENNSYLVANIA ZONING LAW AND PRACTICE Two-Volume Set Available for purchase HERE or at 800-247-3526.
Dimensional Variance - Environmental Benefits do not Support Significant Dimensional Variance. In an unreported decision, Appeal of Huttner et al., decided December 11, 2017, the Commonwealth Court affirmed a Northampton County trial court's reversal of a Zoning Hearing Board's grant of several dimensional variances to allow a four lot subdivision. The variances included allowing two lots to be reduced in size by nearly 50% of the minimum. The rationale was the conservation of woodlands, stream and steep slope at the rear of the property. Though there was testimony as to that reason, the Court found the facts supporting the variance application insufficiently developed. In particular, the ZHB made no findings on the feasibility of development options without the variances and so failed to adequately demonstrate the existence of unnecessary hardship. Authors Note: the virtue of the outcome alone does not support the grant of a variance.