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HILLTOWN TOWNSHIP v. VERNON HORN AND EDITH HORN (06/06/74)

decided: June 6, 1974.

HILLTOWN TOWNSHIP, APPELLANT,
v.
VERNON HORN AND EDITH HORN, HIS WIFE, APPELLEES. VERNON HORN AND EDITH HORN, HIS WIFE, APPELLANTS, V. HILLTOWN TOWNSHIP, APPELLEE



Appeals from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County in case of In Re: Appeal of Vernon Horn and Edith Horn, his wife, from the Hilltown Township Zoning Hearing Board, No. 72-1341-05-6 March Term, 1971.

COUNSEL

Francis X. Grabowski, for appellant-appellee, Hilltown Township.

Charles M. Marshall, with him John J. Lombard, Jr., Alan C. Kauffman, Eastburn & Gray and Obermayer, Rebmann, Maxwell & Hippel, for appellants-appellees, Vernon Horn and Edith Horn, his wife.

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

Author: Mencer

[ 13 Pa. Commw. Page 249]

Vernon and Edith Horn (Horns) are the owners of a stone quarry in Hilltown Township, Bucks County, which they purchased in 1968. This quarry operation

[ 13 Pa. Commw. Page 250]

    was begun in 1936. On October 30, 1959, Hilltown Township adopted a zoning ordinance by the terms of which the site of the quarry was zoned R-50, Residential Agricultural, a classification that did not permit quarries. No question is raised, nor could there be on the record, that prior to the enactment of the zoning ordinance an active quarry operation was being conducted and thus became a nonconforming use in the R-50 zone.

On April 5, 1971, the Zoning Officer of Hilltown Township issued a cease-and-desist notice to the Horns, ordering them to cease the operation of the quarry. On April 26, 1971, Hilltown Township filed a complaint in equity in the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, requesting an injunction prohibiting the further operation of the quarry. After a series of hearings held in the early fall of 1971, the parties agreed that the dispute should have been submitted to the Zoning Hearing Board of Hilltown Township (Board). Thereupon, the Horns filed an application with the Township Zoning Officer requesting permits for the operation and expansion of the quarry and "a blacktop plant, a crushing operation and office and storage buildings." The application was refused and permits for the operation of the quarry, blacktop plant, and office were denied and Horns filed an appeal with the Board.

The parties stipulated that the record made before the Court of Common Pleas in the equity proceeding should be incorporated as part of the record before the Board. Following two hearings, the Board affirmed the refusal of the Zoning Officer to issue the requested permits. Horns appealed this ruling of the Board to the Court of Common Pleas which reversed that part of the Board's order that prohibited the operation of the quarry and the use of a farmhouse on the property as an office and affirmed the Board's determination that the

[ 13 Pa. Commw. Page 251]

    operation of the "asphalt plant" on the Horns' premises is in violation of the ...


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