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COMMONWEALTH *FN* v. CHRISTOPHER (06/11/57)

June 11, 1957

COMMONWEALTH*FN*
v.
CHRISTOPHER, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 81, April T., 1957, from judgment and order of Court of Quarter Sessions of Erie County, Nov. T., 1956, No. 134, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Raymond Christopher, doing business as Christopher Auto Parts. Judgment and order reversed.

COUNSEL

T. P. Dunn, with him Jackson D. Magenau and Joseph C. Barber, for appellant.

Barney Bernard, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Watkins, JJ.

Author: Gunther

[ 184 Pa. Super. Page 206]

OPINION BY GUNTHER, J.

Raymond Christopher has filed this appeal from the dismissal of his appeal by the court below from a summary conviction for violation of a township ordinance. The matter was disposed of by the court below under an agreed case stated.

[ 184 Pa. Super. Page 207]

Harborcreek Township, Erie County, is a township of the second class, consisting of 34 square miles, with a population of 7475 persons as of the 1950 census, and is mostly rural in character. There are no heavy or light industries within the township limits. For many years prior to March 16, 1956, defendant was engaged in the business of taking used motor vehicles, keeping them on his premises, selling such parts as he could and finally selling the remainder for scrap. Defendant has conducted his business on his own premises on Route 955, commonly known as Iroquois Avenue in said township. His lot is bounded by the highway on the north and on the south by the General Electric test tract for locomotives. The junked cars and parts are more than 35 feet distant from the residences on either side because the intervening land is swamp and marshland.

On March 16, 1956, the supervisors of the Township of Harborcreek passed an ordinance allegedly prohibiting nuisances, including but not limited to the dumping, storage or accumulation of junk on public or private property; the storage or accumulation of abandoned or junked automobiles, etc., which provided, inter alia, as follows: "Section 2. It shall be unlawful for any person to dump, store, accumulate or cause or allow to be dumped, stored or accumulated any junk on any land, public or private, to store or cause or allow to be stored junked automobiles on public or private property or to carry on any offensive manufacture or business or allow or cause to be allowed the existence of any dangerous structure or excavation within the limits of the Township of Harborcreek. Section 3. In the event any person shall violate any of the provisions of this Ordinance, the Supervisors of Harborcreek Township shall order the removal of any such nuisances or dangerous structures from public or private ground after fifteen (15) days written notice to the owners or

[ 184 Pa. Super. Page 208]

    occupants of the premises to do so and, upon default of the owners or occupants of the premises to abate such nuisances, the Supervisors of Harborcreek Township shall abate or remove the same and collect the costs of such removal together with the penalty of $10.00 from the owners or occupants. Section 4. Any person violating the terms of this Ordinance shall be subject to a fine of not less than $5.00 nor more than $100.00, and in default of payment thereof shall be committed to the Erie County Jail, for a period of not more than thirty (30) days for each separate offense, with the right of appeal as in other cases of summary conviction."

Authority for such ordinance is found in The Second Class Township Code, the Act of 1947, July 10, P.L. 1481, as amended, Article VII, section 702 XII, 53 P.S. section 19093 - ...


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