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PLAINS TOWNSHIP v. KRASNER (12/22/72)

decided: December 22, 1972.

PLAINS TOWNSHIP
v.
KRASNER



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. John Krasner, No. 1608 October Term, 1971.

COUNSEL

John C. Giebus, for appellant.

Michael J. Lewis, Jr., with him Jonathan D. Dunn, for appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Mencer.

Author: Mencer

[ 7 Pa. Commw. Page 56]

This is an appeal from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County reversing the conviction,

[ 7 Pa. Commw. Page 57]

    in a summary proceeding, of John Krasner (Krasner) for violation of the Township of Plains (Plains) zoning ordinance.

Plains, a first class township, duly adopted a zoning ordinance which provided, inter alia, that it was necessary to apply for and obtain a permit prior to conducting a business in the Township. Section 9.061 of the zoning ordinance stated: "Any person, firm or corporation violating any regulation in, or any provision of, this Ordinance or any amendment or supplement thereto, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than One Hundred ($100.00) Dollars, or imprisoned not more than ten (10) days. . . ." (Emphasis supplied.)

The Act of July 31, 1968, P.L. , No. 247, 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq., known as the "Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code," provides, in Section 616 (53 P.S. § 10616), under the heading, "Enforcement penalties," as follows: "Any person, partnership or corporation who or which shall violate the provisions of any zoning ordinance enacted under this act or prior enabling laws shall, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500). In default of payment of the fine, such person, the members of such partnership, or the officers of such corporation shall be liable to imprisonment for not more than sixty days. . . ." (Emphasis supplied.)

For several weeks prior to October 29, 1971, Krasner was operating a bookstore in a trailer in the Township of Plains without a zoning permit to operate such a business and without having made application, as required by the ordinance, to obtain such a permit. On October 29, 1971, Krasner was personally served a notice of violation which informed him that he was in violation of Sections 9.021 and 9.022 of the zoning ordinance

[ 7 Pa. Commw. Page 58]

    and subject to a summary conviction if he continued in violation. Krasner continued operating his bookstore without applying for or obtaining the required permit. The zoning officer for Plains filed a complaint charging Krasner with ...


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