Providing An Applicant a Reasonable Opportunity to Respond to Objections or to Modify Plans

In Abarbanel v. Solebury Twp., 132 Pa. Commw. 326, 572 A.2d 862 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1990), the Court held that where a municipality has reviewed plans for the development of property in good faith, has highlighted the plan's deficiencies, and has given the developer an opportunity to cure those deficiencies, the municipality will not be found to have abused its discretion in denying an application based on failures of the plan to comply with township ordinances. In Shelbourne Square Assocs., L.P. v. Bd. of Supervisors, Twp. of Exeter, 794 A.2d 946 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2002), the Court held that a municipality's denial of a land development application will be upheld where there is but a single valid reason to do so, even where other reasons cited are insufficient. Those cases however, did not involve bad faith. A municipality has a legal obligation to proceed in good faith in reviewing and processing development plans. The duty of good faith includes discussing matters involving technical requirements or ordinance interpretation with an applicant, and providing an applicant a reasonable opportunity to respond to objections or to modify plans where there has been a misunderstanding or difference of opinion. Raum v. Bd. of Supervisors of Tredyffrin Twp., 29 Pa. Commw. 9, 370 A.2d 777, 798 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1977).