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July 2016 Archives

Justice Department sues Bensalem Township over mosque denial

Bensalem Township is Bucks County's largest municipality, and it contains temples, synagogues and churches; however, there aren't any mosques. In 2014 the township's zoning board refused to grant a variance to allow construction of a mosque, and it has now been accused of illegal discrimination in a lawsuit filed by the United States Department of Justice.

Developer sues township to recover development costs

A developer who was forced to abandon plans for an ambitious project on land owned by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has now sued the township that repeatedly rejected his proposals. Like many real estate disputes, this lawsuit was generated by frustrated expectations.

Court resolves ambiguity in deficiency judgment procedures

Commercial lenders in Philadelphia and elsewhere routinely protect themselves by requiring borrowers to secure repayment of the loan by granting a mortgage that gives the lender the power to sell the land if the borrower defaults on repayment of the loan. In times of inflating real estate values, a mortgage usually provides adequate protection to the lender.

Developer and city settle affordable housing dispute

Two weeks ago, this blog discussed the controversy that resulted when the developer of One Water Place reneged on an agreement to provide a specified number of affordable units in the building. At the time of the post, the developer had not yet responded to the City of Philadelphia's accusation that it had violated the terms of the zoning permit granted by the City's zoning board. Now, the parties have settled the dispute with the developer agreeing to make a specified payment of $3.75 million to the City.

What are zoning regulations and what impact can they have?

Zoning regulations are important for many reasons and are important to understand but you may have questions and wonder what they are. In general, zoning laws govern the use of property; including land use; the height and size of buildings; property uses; the character and development of the property; parking requirements; population density; and the placement of signs.

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