Legal Standing to Appeal a Proposed Sewage Treatment Plant

In Appeal of Hoover, 147 Pa. Commw. 475, 608 A.2d 607, 611 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1992), this Court addressed the issue of whether those living close to the site of a proposed sewage treatment plant had standing to appeal. There, a building permit was issued to Paradise Township for the construction of a sewage treatment plant in a flood plain district. Ora and Garland Hoover, Reynold Schenke, and Darryl and Judith Wilson (Objectors) appealed. After a hearing, the Zoning Hearing Board of Paradise Township (ZHB) dismissed the Objectors' challenge to the building permit. On appeal, the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County affirmed. This Court reversed and noted: In Miller . . . this Court held that the residents of a neighboring municipality, who lived in close proximity to a tract of land for which a special exception was granted to construct a retirement village, had standing to object since the intervention of a municipal line is not germane to an aggrieved person's status under the MPC. . . . In the matter sub judice, Objectors clearly established standing by presenting uncontradicted testimony that they reside in the flood plain in close proximity to the proposed use. This Court rejects the Board's ZHB's reasoning that in order to be aggrieved, the parties had to establish pecuniary or financial loss as a result of the proposed use and that "but for the flood plain the proposed plant would be a permitted use, and therefore, any 'harm' to the Objectors must necessarily relate to the issues of flooding." Board ZHB Decision, p.2. Hoover, 608 A.2d at 611.