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Commonwealth Court: variance under Hertzberg still requires hardship of the property, not the person.

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | December 6, 2011

No. 767

The standards for granting a variance are quite strict, but many continue to think that the relaxation of the rules for a dimensional variance under Hertzberg v. Zoning Board of Adjustment, 554 Pa. 249, 721 A.2d 43 (1998), gives them more than the Commonwealth Court will allow.

In Singer and Piper v. Philadelphia Board of Adjustment, the Court addresses the issue of what constitutes such an unnecessary hardship that will permit a dimensional variance under Hertzberg. The Court stated:

“Here, Appellant did not present evidence or testimony demonstrating that the allegedly unique physical characteristics of the property limit applicant’s ability to develop the property in conformity with the ordinance. Rather, Applicant asserts that the property cannot be developed as proposed, in a manner that will maximize the developmental potential of the property, without the dimensional variances it seeks.”




CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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