For many years, the opinions of non-resident objectors – especially unsubstantiated opinions – were of little to no relevance in zoning hearings, including conditional use and special exception hearings. However, applicants and municipal officials could see more objectors from other municipalities present testimony and evidence at hearings because the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has endorsed the relevancy of that testimony and evidence in certain situations.
In EQT v. Borough of Jefferson Hills, the applicant sought conditional use approval for a natural gas well site in the Borough of Jefferson Hills. During the public hearing before borough council, objectors from other municipalities testified about the alleged negative effects on health and quality of life that they experienced from a similar well in a neighboring township that was operated by the conditional use applicant. Continue Reading Pennsylvania Supreme Court Alters the Conditional Use and Special Exception Landscape