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SANKO v. ZONING HEARING BOARD AND MANHEIM SPORTSMEN'S ASSOCIATION (07/11/72)

decided: July 11, 1972.

SANKO, ET AL.
v.
ZONING HEARING BOARD AND MANHEIM SPORTSMEN'S ASSOCIATION, INC., ADDITIONAL PARTY



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County in case of Appeal of Maurice L. Sanko and William G. Taylor from Decision of Rapho Township Zoning Hearing Board granting a special exception to Manheim Sportsmen's Association, Trust Book 42, page 81.

COUNSEL

William G. Taylor, for appellants.

Charles B. Grove, Jr., with him May, Grove, Stork & Blakinger, for appellee.

Thomas E. Harting, for additional party.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. President Judge Bowman did not participate. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Crumlish

[ 6 Pa. Commw. Page 74]

This appeal is from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County, affirming the grant

[ 6 Pa. Commw. Page 75]

    by the Zoning Hearing Board of Rapho Township of a special exception for the operation of trap shooting and rifle ranges by the Manheim Sportsmen's Association on a tract in a "Rural" district of the Township. The lower court, without receiving additional testimony, held that the Board had committed neither a manifest abuse of discretion, nor an error of law. We agree.*fn1

The appellant raises three questions in this appeal: (1) whether the Board committed an error of law in failing to hold that the gun club would be an occupation offensive to the inhabitants of the neighborhood; (2) whether the Board and court below erred in refusing to pass on the issue of whether the club would be a private nuisance; and, (3) whether the Board abused its discretion in granting the special exception upon the record presented. We will dispose of these issues in order.

First, the Rapho Township Zoning Ordinance, at Section 702(6), permits "public or private recreation clubs, campgrounds and game clubs" by special exception in "Rural" districts. Additionally, Article XIV of the ordinance prohibits in all districts "any occupation, trade or process which may be in any way dangerous, noxious or injurious to the health or be offensive to the inhabitants of the neighborhood." Appellant suggests that the gun club would be an "occupation" or possession of land, offensive to the inhabitants of the neighborhood. We must disagree for two reasons.

We agree with the court below that "the operation of a trap shooting range for ...


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