In Friends of Lackawanna v. Dunmore Zoning Hearing Board, 2018 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 157 (Pa. Commw., May 7, 2018), the court reversed the decision of the zoning board and trial court, which held that neighbors objecting to a landfill’s zoning approval did not have standing to file an appeal.

The controversy began when, in connection with a proposed expansion of the landfill, the landfill owner filed a request for a preliminary opinion whether a zoning ordinance’s height restriction applied to the height of trash in a landfill. The zoning officer issued an opinion that a building height limitation did not apply to the height of a landfill, as the landfill did not have a roof supported by columns or walls. A nonprofit called the Friends of Lackawanna (FOL) and three homeowners objected to the proposed landfill expansion and appealed the decision to the Dunmore Zoning Hearing Board. The individual objectors were members of the nonprofit and lived within approximately a quarter-mile to a half-mile from the landfill.

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