The Bendigo Tower

The Bendigo TowerThe Bendigo Airport is a small facility intended for the use of private aircraft.  It is located in Rush Township in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.  Rush Township is a rural community set among gently sloping mountains and farmland northeast of Harrisburg.  In 2008, firm client Liberty Towers entered into an agreement with the airport to construct a 160-foot communications tower its grounds.  The location of the tower placed it under the jurisdiction of the Federal Aviation Administration, which required Liberty to paint the tower red and white.  Simply put, the tower was designed to attract attention. When Lemanowicz LLP was retained to obtain approval for the tower, it knew that it would have to overcome significant opposition. 

The firm quickly determined that Rush Township did not have a subdivision and land development ordinance. In lieu of a municipal ordinance, the Dauphin County land development ordinace applied, which was silent as to communications towers.  When the firm applied to Dauphin County for approval for the tower, the Township and a number of private landowners intervened.  Through counsel, the opponents of the tower cited its obvious aesthetic shortfalls and also claimed that it presented a health and safety risk. 

Several emotional and hotly contested hearings were held before the County's Planning Board.  In the course of the approval process, Lemanowicz LLP argued that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania delegated the authority to regulate land use to any muncipalitiy that chose to enact a zoning or land use ordinance.  The firm contended that Rush Township had failed to exercise its right to enact such an ordinance, and that the County's ordinance did not regulate the tower.  The firm's attorneys further argued that Pennsylvania common law precludes opponents of a land development project from relying on factors that find no basis in a local zoning or land development ordinance.  Thus, without regulations to govern the aesthetics, health and safety of the tower, the opponents of the tower could not rely on its perceived deficiencies in those areas to defeat the application.  Eventually, the Planning Board was compelled to approve the tower in response to the firm's legal argument. 

The Bendigo Tower application is an example of how the employment of Lemanowicz LLP can make a difference to the outcome of a matter.  To learn how the firm's services can have a postive influence on your project or legal issue, please do not hesitate to contact us for a consultation.