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PITTSBURGH OUTDOOR ADVERTISING COMPANY v. CLAIRTON (06/28/57)

June 28, 1957

PITTSBURGH OUTDOOR ADVERTISING COMPANY
v.
CLAIRTON, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 180, March T., 1957, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Oct. T., 1954, No. 1676, in case of Pittsburgh Outdoor Advertising Company v. City of Clairton. Order reversed.

COUNSEL

David W. Craig, with him Edward Zemprelli, and Moorhead & Knox, for appellant.

Eugene B. Strassburger, with him Eugene B. Strassburger, Jr., and Strassburger & McKenna, for appellee.

Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Chidsey, Musmanno, Arnold, Jones and Cohen, JJ.

Author: Chidsey

[ 390 Pa. Page 2]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE CHIDSEY

This appeal, brought under the Act of March 5, 1925, P.L. 23, 12 PS § 672, questions the jurisdiction

[ 390 Pa. Page 3]

    of a court of equity to entertain a bill praying that the enforcement of a Zoning Ordinance be restrained.

The plaintiff, Pittsburgh Outdoor Advertising Company, has 18 signboards which were erected on properties within the defendant third class city prior to the enactment of the Zoning Ordinance. Section 1507-2-7(a) of Zoning Ordinance 654 of the City of Clairton, enacted July 21, 1948, provides: "Name plates, signs and signboards bearing other than the name of the person, firm or corporation operating the enterprise (occupying the premises), a description of the general character of the enterprise, or both, shall be removed or made to conform within five (5) years of the date of the adoption of this ordinance."

Just before the five year period had run, the City Solicitor sent the following letter to the plaintiff:

"City of Clairton

John J. Mullen, Mayor

Dept. of Public Affs.

William R. Miller

City Clerk

July 7, 1953

Pittsburgh Outdoor Advertising Co.

2610 Fifth Avenue

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Gentlemen:

As City Solicitor for the City of Clairton and upon instructions from the Zoning Officer of the City of Clairton, I am taking this opportunity to call to your attention that under Ordinance No. 654 of the City of Clairton, commonly known as the Zoning Ordinance and as more specifically provided by Provisions 1502-1-5-3(b) and 1507-2-7(a) thereof, that it will be necessary for you to remove your billboard signs erected within the said city on or before July 21, 1953 inasmuch as said unattached signs will then become subject

[ 390 Pa. Page 4]

    to removal by virtue of nonconformance as defined in the ...


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