Judge Grine just rendered his decision on PENNYPACKER et al v. FERGUSON TOWNSHIP and SPRINGTON POINTE, LP. Grine ruled in favor of Pennypacker and the citizens.
It reads, in part:
The sole, pertinent issue before the Court at this juncture is whether the Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors committed an error of law or an abuse of discretion by approving the Final PRD Plan. Specifically, this issue concerns whether stormwater management facilities serving land zoned R-4 can be constructed on land zoned RA. Appellants contend this use is not permitted on land zoned RA. Appellees and Intervenor contend stormwater facilities serving as an accessory to a primary use on land zoned R-4 can be constructed on land zoned RA, if all of the land is located within the same lot. The Court finds land zoned for RA cannot be used as an accessory for stormwater facilities serving a primary use which is not permitted in the RA District, and therefore the Board of Supervisors committed an error of law by approving the Final PRD Plan.
The Court finds that stormwater management facilities located in the RA District must be serving in an accessory capacity to one of the RA District’s permitted Primary Uses, and thus the Board of Supervisors committed an error of law by approving the Final PRD Plan.Therefore, the Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors’ approval of the Final Planned Residential Development Plan (“The Cottages at State College”) is REVERSED and VACATED.
While I am pleased by this ruling, it is not the end of the issue. I anticipate appeals by Springton Pointe and other maneuvers. For my mind, I would like to see the land preserved in agriculture in perpetuity. To ensure that would require rezoning the land, something that can’t be done without the cooperation of multiple parties.
I am happy to be serving on this board today. I congratulate the citizens who brought forth the lawsuit and look forward to continuing the work on the board to preserve the agricultural and natural character of our township, our collective peace of mind, and good governance. We face a number of development pressures, pressures we can manage if we are wise.