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Pennsylvania conditional use permit application meets resistance

When a developer in Pennsylvania wants to build a condominium or other type of multiple housing unit, it is important when they pick a location that is properly zoned for that type of building. If it is not, they may be able to get around it by applying for conditional use permits. Although this may seem like a straightforward and easy process, that is not always the case.

A perfect example is the conditional use permit currently being sought by a company in Pennsylvania that wishes to build 145 multiple-living units. The construction of the units has been met by much resistance from those that currently live in the area.

The land on which they wish to build the living unit is currently zoned M2, which is multiple dwelling. According to land use and zoning laws, this type of zone would only allow for the construction of 11 single-family dwellings. Therefore, the developers are seeking a conditional use permit.

At the most recent conditional use hearing, the residents of the surrounding area brought up their concerns with this development. The overarching themes of their concerns, however, include the following:

  • The development is inconsistent with the current character of the neighborhood
  • It will hinder the preservation of wetlands
  • The sales expectations will decrease property values
  • The condos will undesirably increase traffic

It is not uncommon for this type of application to be met by resistance. Obtaining a conditional use permit is not always easy and there are many steps that must be completed before it is approved. Therefore, those wishing to obtain a conditional use permit should make sure they understand all aspects of the process before moving forward with their project.

Source: Montgomery News, "Residents speak out as Ashbourne Hearing continues," Jarreau Freeman, June 19, 2014

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