The Penn Record Apr. 28, 2016, 4:12pm


PHILADELPHIA — Three plaintiffs are suing a township and the township's zoning hearing board, alleging violation of civil rights.

Drew and Nicole Barnabei and Stonebridge Historical Society, doing business as Stonebridge Recovery, filed suit March 28 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Chadds Ford Township and Chadds Ford Township Zoning Hearing Board, alleging that the defendants violated the Fair Housing Act and the Rehabilitation Act provisions.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs allege that Drew and Nicole Barnabei and Stonebridge Recovery requested a permit to operate a substance-free residential environment for disabled persons suffering from addiction and needing recovery. The plaintiffs holds Chadds Ford Township and Chadds Ford Township Zoning Hearing Board responsible because the defendants allegedly denied the requested permit, stating that "this is a commercial/residential use not permitted in the R-1 District," imposed substantial legal impediments and burdens to operate a treatment facility and refused to issue Certificate of Use and Occupancy.

The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek a declaration that the defendants violated the law, compensation for damages, reasonable attorney's fees, costs and such other relief as the court may deem just and appropriate. They are represented by James J. Byrnes, Jr. of McNichol, Byrne & Matlawski PC in Media, Pennsylvania.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Case number 2:16-cv-01403

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U.S. District Court of Eastern District of Pennsylvania
601 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

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