Should a City Seek Empowerment from the General Assembly If It Wants to Pass An Ordinance to Control Businesses ?
In Smaller Mfrs. Council v. Council of the City of Pittsburgh, 85 Pa. Commw. 533, 485 A.2d 73 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1984), the Court applied an earlier version of Section 2962(f) of the Home Rule Law to invalidate a Pittsburgh ordinance that required businesses to take specific, affirmative steps, including providing written notice to the Bureau of Business Security, and meeting with a committee from the City, if they should ever decide to close down a plant, relocate, or reduce their operations such that there would be a loss of employment of fifteen percent or more of their employees. Id. at 74, 78.
The Court concluded that the City's ordinance violated the express language of the Act because it allowed the City to "determine the duties, responsibilities or requirements placed upon businesses." Id. at 77 (quoting Section 302(d), an earlier version of Section 2962(f) of the Home Rule Law).
Therefore, this Court held that if the City wanted to act in this area it must be empowered to do so by the General Assembly. Id. at 77.