Landowner Required to Set Aside Land to Create One Acre Clear of Floodplains and Wetlands

In C & M Developers, Inc. v. Bedminster Township Zoning Hearing Board, 573 Pa. 2, 820 A.2d 143 (2002) owners of more than ten acres in an agricultural preservation zone were required to set aside 60 percent of prime farmlands and 50 percent of other farmlands and to create one acre clear of floodplains and wetlands, among other things, in order to develop each single-family dwelling. The farmlands set aside was deemed legitimate, but the further restrictions did not serve that purpose and were based only on a sense that one acre seemed like a good number and were seen to have the exclusionary purpose of precluding larger homes on smaller lots. In C & M the Supreme Court stated that the restrictions placed by the ordinance on a landowner of a tract containing greater than ten acres in an AP district must be looked at as a whole.