Zoning

A zoning ordinance is much more than a menu of permitted uses; rather, it includes area and bulk regulations, regulation of sensitive land areas such as woodlands, wetlands and areas of steep slope, as well as historic resources, and nonconforming uses. A thorough familiarity with both the Pennsylvania Municipalities Code and the local ordinance in question is vital to achieving success when seeking to change or amend zoning code, or when applying for a variance, conditional use or special exception.

Closely related to land use, our MacElree Harvey zoning group exclusively represents builder/developers and landowners in all aspects of zoning from petitions for zoning ordinance amendments, to applications for special exceptions, variances, conditional uses, and expansions of nonconforming uses. From giving zoning advice to representing clients involved in all aspects of zoning, our land use group attorneys each have significant experience working with zoning laws and regulations. The team counts a SuperLawyer, a Top Lawyer, and a Rising Star among its members. Several of our zoning attorneys have experience representing municipalities or zoning hearing boards and serving on a Board of Supervisors; others clerked for the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania and the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County.

While our representation is confined to representing landowners, developers and tenants, our attorneys’ collective past experience allows us to provide insight into the thinking and functioning of local municipal government. We have substantial experience in preparing and presenting zoning cases, and we know how to present the evidence in support of an application, which may include fiscal and traffic impact studies, environmental analysis, geotechnical analysis, structural analysis, and other impact statements. Sometimes an approval is denied; by evaluating the likelihood of success on appeal, our experienced attorneys provide representation at the Court of Common Pleas and higher Appellate Court levels.

Many homeowners who decide to install additions to their homes or swimming pools learn that to install the pool of their dreams they must first obtain a variance. A storm water management, impervious coverage, and green space and set back requirements have become more stringent in recent years. This has resulted in many more homeowners requiring variance relief before they are permitted to install a swimming pool to meet these more complicated requirements.

MacElree Harvey’s land use attorneys are very familiar with residential variances for expansion of homes, installation of swimming pools and the like. We have established a track record of obtaining the variance relief needed in an efficient manner that makes the process as painless as possible for the homeowner.

If you would like to schedule a consultation, please call the firm at 610.436.0100 or submit the contact request form.