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COOK v. BENSALEM TOWNSHIP ZONING BOARD ADJUSTMENT. (01/08/64)

January 8, 1964

COOK, APPELLANT,
v.
BENSALEM TOWNSHIP ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT.



Appeal, No. 7, Jan. T., 1963, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, May T., 1957, No. 232, in case of Clarence Cook v. Bensalem Township Zoning Board of Adjustment. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

David Freeman, with him Pearce H. E. Aul, for appellant.

John H. Wood, Jr., for appellee.

Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'brien and Roberts, JJ.

Author: Musmanno

[ 413 Pa. Page 176]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE MUSMANNO

For over a quarter of a century the appellant in this case, Clarence Cook, was engaged in the general hauling business, transporting from one place to another dirt, cinders, top soil, quarry spoils, cement blocks, lumber, peat moss, steel tubing and various and sundry other materials in bulk, utilizing in this commercial

[ 413 Pa. Page 177]

    enterprise dump trucks, pick-up trucks, vans, tractors and trailers.

He originally operated from a location in Philadelphia and then removed to Bensalem Township, his base of operations being 675 Center Avenue. In October, 1952, he purchased in the same township, a two-acre tract of land, located at 2876 Street Road, and here his legal troubles began.

In the spring of 1954 he began to construct on this tract a dwelling house. In order to level off the terrain which was marshy, low and irregular, he used several of his trucks to haul cinders, dirt and other fill. While the ground was being levelled and the house was taking shape and form, the township enacted an ordinance (effective December 16, 1954), which zoned the area R-1 Residence. In June 1955, Cook's new house was completed, the grounds were regularized, and the Cook family moved in. With them moved also the paraphernalia, equipment and vehicles which had been Cook's business modus operandi for some twenty-five years.

On February 27, 1957, the zoning officer of Bensalem Township notified Cook that he was violating the zoning ordinance of 1954 in that he was "engaging in a business in a R-I Residence district," and he was "ordered to stop, cease and desist" storing and parking his industrial vehicles on the premises. Cook denied that he was violating the ordinance and appealed to the zoning board of adjustment which sustained the cease and desist order. Cook then appealed to the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, which sustained the action of the zoning board and finally he appealed to this Court.

A reading of the record would suggest the possibility that Cook is endeavoring to force physical circumstances into the mold of a desire close to his heart. He argued ...


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