Apr 25, 2017

Residents’ and Civic Association’s Landfill Appeal Dismissed by Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County

On April 24, 2017, the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County granted the motion to dismiss the land use appeal filed by disgruntled residents and their anti-landfill civic association seeking to stop the expansion of the Keystone Sanitary Landfill in Dunmore, Pennsylvania. This decision is a significant victory for Keystone Sanitary Landfill and its legal team, led by Marc D. Jonas, Esq. and including Jeffrey Belardi of Belardi Law Offices and Michael E. Peters, Esquire, from Eastburn and Gray.

The court order affirms the Dunmore Borough Zoning Hearing Board’s prior decision that the residents and association lacked standing to appeal, as they failed to establish that they are “aggrieved” parties with direct, immediate, and substantial harm.

The key zoning issue in the residents’ and civic association’s appeal was the determination by the borough zoning officer that the landfill’s proposed vertical expansion was not prohibited by the borough zoning ordinance. The zoning hearing board decision upheld the determination of the zoning officer. The zoning hearing board also concluded, as asserted by the legal team representing Keystone Sanitary Landfill, that the residents and the association lacked the legal standing to have filed the appeal to the zoning hearing board due to the location of their residences and their failure to present evidence of a substantial, direct, and immediate interest. Upholding the objections of the Keystone legal team, the zoning hearing board had refused to hear the testimony of the residents’ and association’s expert witness.

Keystone Sanitary Landfill, permitted by zoning, has received state permits since 1972 and has a permitted area of 714 acres, 398 of which are located in Dunmore Borough. Click here to read the opinion.

Among his notable accomplishments, Mr. Jonas was named 2017 Lawyer of the Year for Land Use and Zoning Law in the Philadelphia area, by Best Lawyers in America®. He also has been recognized as a Leader in Real Estate/Land Use law by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. His peers have recognized him as a Pennsylvania “Super Lawyer,” and he has been selected repeatedly by U.S. News as a “Best Lawyer” in both Land Use and Zoning Law and Land Use and Zoning litigation for the Philadelphia Metropolitan area.

Mr. Peters represents commercial and residential clients before zoning hearing boards and municipal governing bodies in land development and zoning matters. He has appeared in courts of common pleas throughout the Commonwealth and Commonwealth Court in land use and municipal law litigation and appeals. Mr. Peters is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University and The George Washington University Law School. Mr. Peters has been named an Associate to Watch in Real Estate/Land Use law by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.

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