Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County in case of Philip W. Bur, III and Barbara M. Bur, his wife; Eric Kozbial and Martha Kozbial, his wife; Odus Lundry and Emily Lundry, his wife; Albert Way, Sr. and Katherine Way, his wife; Frank Cotagnus and Marie Cotagnus, his wife; Clarence Lepley and Marie Lepley, his wife v. Horsham Township Board of Supervisors, Ronald Mintz, Arthur Poley and Joan Poley, No. 74-14840.
Anthony J. Guerrelli, for appellants.
Morris Gerber, Marc D. Jonas, and Berber, Davenport & Wilenzik, for appellees.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Blatt.
[ 22 Pa. Commw. Page 142]
The sole issue raised in this appeal is the constitutionality of Section 1008(4) of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code,*fn1 53 P.S. § 11008(4) (MPC), which provides that a landowner, whose use or development of land is under attack in a zoning appeal, may petition the Court of Common Pleas to order the appellants to post bond as a condition to proceeding with the appeal.
On September 16, 1974 the Horsham Township Board of Supervisors (Township) enacted an ordinance which changed the zoning classifications of approximately 178
[ 22 Pa. Commw. Page 143]
acres of land owned by Arthur Poley, Joan Poley and Ronald Mintz (landowners) who were seeking to develop the land pursuant to the new classification. The appellants, all of whom own parcels of land abutting the land rezoned by the Township, have appealed to the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County alleging that the zoning enactment was procedurally defective. Prior to consideration of the merits of the appeal, the landowners intervened and filed a petition requesting the court to order the appellants to post a bond pursuant to Section 1008(4) of the MPC. A hearing was held at which the appellants offered no testimony and the landowner petitioners presented evidence of the financial loss that they would most likely suffer as a result of delays incurred because of the appeals. Then on January 15, 1975, Judge Vogel of the court below ordered the landowners to post "[t]he following amounts of security either in cash, appropriate security by real estate in Montgomery County or by bond with surety:
1) $12,000.00 by January 24, 1975;
2) An additional $23,500.00 by February 24, 1975;
3) An additional $23,500.00 the 24th day of each month thereafter, commencing March 24, 1975."
On January 28, 1975 upon failure of the appellants to post the required security Judge Vogel dismissed the appellants' appeal. The ...