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                                                      PRINTER'S NO. 1056



No. 904 Session of 2007



                                     AN ACT

     1  Amending the act of July 31, 1968 (P.L.805, No.247), entitled,
     2     as amended, "An act to empower cities of the second class A,
     3     and third class, boroughs, incorporated towns, townships of
     4     the first and second classes including those within a county
     5     of the second class and counties of the second through eighth
     6     classes, individually or jointly, to plan their development
     7     and to govern the same by zoning, subdivision and land
     8     development ordinances, planned residential development and
     9     other ordinances, by official maps, by the reservation of
    10     certain land for future public purpose and by the acquisition
    11     of such land; to promote the conservation of energy through
    12     the use of planning practices and to promote the effective
    13     utilization of renewable energy sources; providing for the
    14     establishment of planning commissions, planning departments,
    15     planning committees and zoning hearing boards, authorizing
    16     them to charge fees, make inspections and hold public
    17     hearings; providing for mediation; providing for transferable
    18     development rights; providing for appropriations, appeals to
    19     courts and penalties for violations; and repealing acts and
    20     parts of acts," adding provisions to authorize temporary
    21     development moratorium.

    22     The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
    23  hereby enacts as follows:
    24     Section 1.  The act of July 31, 1968 (P.L.805, No.247), known
    25  as the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, reenacted and

     1  amended December 21, 1988 (P.L.1329, No.170), is amended by
     2  adding an article to read:
     3                           ARTICLE VIII-B
     4                  Temporary Development Moratorium
     5  Section 801-B.  Definitions.
     6     The following words and phrases when used in this article
     7  shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
     8  context clearly indicates otherwise:
     9     "Essential public facilities."  Public infrastructure
    10  services, fire protection services, police protection services,
    11  emergency medical services or any other service required to
    12  protect the health and safety of the residents of a
    13  municipality.
    14  Section 802-B.  Development moratorium authorized.
    15     The governing body of a municipality may place a moratorium
    16  of limited duration on new development by enacting, pursuant to
    17  this article, an ordinance to temporarily suspend the acceptance
    18  of applications for development in order to permit enactment or
    19  revision of a comprehensive plan, a subdivision and land
    20  development ordinance or a zoning ordinance.
    21  Section 803-B.  Findings of need.
    22     (a)  General rule.--Prior to adopting an ordinance under
    23  section 802-B, the governing body, taking into consideration the
    24  existing and future needs of the municipality, shall make
    25  written findings of need, based upon reasonably available
    26  information, that the enactment or revision of a comprehensive
    27  plan, a subdivision and land development ordinance or a zoning
    28  ordinance:
    29         (1)  will improve the health, safety or environment of
    30     the people of the municipality and otherwise promote the
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     1     purposes of this act; and
     2         (2)  is necessary for any of the following reasons:
     3             (i)  to prevent the shortage or overburdening of
     4         essential public facilities that would otherwise occur
     5         during the effective period of the moratorium or that is
     6         reasonably foreseeable as a result of any proposed or
     7         anticipated development; or
     8             (ii)  to prevent serious public harm from
     9         residential, commercial or industrial development in the
    10         municipality because of the absence or inadequacy of an
    11         existing comprehensive plan or a subdivision and land
    12         development ordinance or a zoning ordinance.
    13     (b)  Limitation.--The governing body shall include with its
    14  written findings of need an additional finding that the term of
    15  the moratorium, as evidenced by a proposed schedule for
    16  achieving its objectives, will be sufficiently limited to ensure
    17  that the supply of affected housing types and of commercial and
    18  industrial facilities within the municipality are not
    19  unreasonably restricted.
    20     (c)  Public notice and hearing.--Before making the findings
    21  required by this section, the governing body, pursuant to public
    22  notice, shall hold a public hearing on the question of whether a
    23  temporary development moratorium is needed for the reasons set
    24  forth in subsection (a).
    25     (d)  Time.--Findings under this section shall be made by the
    26  governing body no later than 15 days after the public hearing
    27  held in accordance with subsection (c).
    28  Section 804-B.  Enactment.
    29     (a)  Hearing.--After making the written findings required by
    30  section 803-B and before voting on the enactment of an ordinance
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     1  authorized in section 802-B, the governing body shall hold a
     2  public hearing on the enactment of a temporary moratorium
     3  ordinance, pursuant to public notice.
     4     (b)  Additional notice requirements.--In addition to the
     5  required contents of a public notice as defined in section
     6  107(a), the notice required under this section shall contain the
     7  following:
     8         (1)  A statement that the written findings required under
     9     section 803-B have been made and that they are available at
    10     the municipal offices during regular business hours for
    11     inspection by any citizen.
    12         (2)  A statement, if applicable, that the governing body
    13     of the municipality has elected to impose a preordinance
    14     temporary moratorium on new development by suspending the
    15     acceptance of applications for development in accordance with
    16     subsection (e) and the date on which this temporary
    17     moratorium shall begin.
    18     (c)  Time.--The vote on the enactment by the governing body
    19  shall be within 60 days after the first publication required for
    20  public notice in accordance with this section.
    21     (d)  County planning agency.--Within 30 days after enactment,
    22  a copy of the ordinance shall be forwarded to the county
    23  planning agency or in a county where no planning agency exists,
    24  to the governing body of the county in which the municipality is
    25  located.
    26     (e)  Preordinance temporary moratorium.--At least ten days
    27  after the first publication required for public notice of the
    28  proposed ordinance, a municipality may impose a preordinance
    29  temporary moratorium by suspending the acceptance of
    30  applications for development. A suspension under this subsection
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     1  may not exceed 50 days. A suspension under this subsection shall
     2  be in addition to any suspension authorized by section 805-B(a)
     3  or (b).
     4  Section 805-B.  Term.
     5     (a)  Authorization.--An ordinance adopted under the authority
     6  of section 802-B may authorize the temporary suspension of the
     7  acceptance of applications for development for a period not to
     8  exceed one year, except as provided in subsection (b) and
     9  section 804-B(e).
    10     (b)  Extension.--A development moratorium adopted under the
    11  authority of section 802-B may be extended, by ordinance, for an
    12  additional 180-day period if the following conditions are met:
    13         (1)  The governing body finds that the findings made
    14     pursuant to section 803-B still apply and that reasonable
    15     progress is being made to enact or revise a comprehensive
    16     plan, a subdivision and land development ordinance, or a
    17     zoning ordinance.
    18         (2)  Before making the findings required by this
    19     subsection, the governing body holds a public hearing on the
    20     enactment of an ordinance to extend the moratorium.
    21  Section 806-B.  Waiver.
    22     (a)  Application.--A landowner or developer may apply for a
    23  waiver from a moratorium imposed under this article.
    24     (b)  Grant of application.--
    25         (1)  A waiver shall be granted if the landowner or
    26     developer presents evidence from which the governing body,
    27     after holding a hearing pursuant to subsection (d), concludes
    28     that:
    29             (i)  Special or unique circumstances exist so that
    30         application of the moratorium to the development in
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     1         question would create an unnecessary hardship on the
     2         landowner or developer.
     3             (ii)  Granting the waiver would not significantly
     4         compromise the goals sought to be achieved by the
     5         adoption or revision of the comprehensive plan,
     6         subdivision and land development ordinance or zoning
     7         ordinance.
     8         (2)  In granting a waiver in accordance with this
     9     section, the governing body may set conditions on any
    10     approval that may be granted, including limiting the waiver
    11     so that the relief granted is the minimum necessary to
    12     alleviate the hardship.
    13     (c)  Requirements.--A waiver application shall be in writing
    14  and submitted to the governing body.
    15     (d)  Hearing.--The governing body shall hold a hearing on the
    16  application for a waiver within 15 days from the date of the
    17  applicant's request and shall make a determination on the waiver
    18  application within 30 days after receiving the written request.
    19     (e)  Notice requirements.--In lieu of any other public notice
    20  requirements contained in this act or any other law, the
    21  governing body shall advertise a hearing required pursuant to
    22  subsection (d) at least seven days prior to the date of the
    23  hearing by placing notice in at least one newspaper of general
    24  circulation in the area in which the development would occur.
    25     Section 2.  This act shall take effect in 60 days.

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