Saturday, March 07, 2009

KMRD/Kings Mill 0 : Forks Township 1 - Judge Giordano rules!

On March 3, 2009, (Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County) Judge Emil Giordano ruled in favor of the Forks Township Zoning Hearing Board's (ZHB) February 2008 decision in the KMRD, L.P. procedural challenge.  Judge Giordano dismissed the appeal "with prejudice." 

KMRD's procedural challenge alleged that the 2006 Zoning Ordinance was was not properly advertised per the Municipalities Planning Code (MPC).  Had the court ruled in favor of KMRD, a county-wide (maybe further) can of worms would certainly have been opened as most municipalities use similar formats in ordinance advertisements.

Originally, before the ZHB, KMRD/Kings Mill alleged that every zoning ordinance back to 1983 was procedurally flawed and should be void.  KMRD cited 18 violations.  The Township refuted them with over 300 pages of documentation.   KMRD then reduced the list to one single alleged flaw, the public notice.  KMRD said that the entire ordinance should have printed in the newspaper.  The cost would have been $55,000. 

Forks Zoning Hearing Board ruled against KMRD's challenge.  And, KRMD appealed to the Court of Common Pleas, where, before Judge Giordano, KMRD lost its appeal.

The next step for KMRD/Kings Mill, should it decide to pursue this further, is an appeal to the Commonwealth Court.  According to Solicitor Kline (at the March 5th Board of Supervisors meeting), KMRD has 30 days to do that.

Please read Christopher Baxter's Morning Call article for more.  To read the judge's ruling, click here.

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