Appeals from the Orders of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County in cases of In Re: Appeal of Donald E. Gilbert, Margaret Gilbert, Duane Swantkowski, Joann Swantkowski, Constance Perkoski, Bernadine Bochnick, Robert Vishneski and Concetta Vishneski before the Zoning Hearing Board of Hanover Township, No. Misc. Dkt. 6045 of 1976, and Donald E. Gilbert; Duane Swantkowski and Joann Swantkowski; Constance Perkoski; Bernadine Bochnick; Robert Vishneski and Concetta Vishneski v. The Zoning Hearing Board of Hanover Township v. Hanover Associates, Intervenor, No. 8679 of 1976.
Charles P. Gelso, with him John P. Moses, for Donald E. Gilbert, et al.
Lee H. Kozal, with him Charles A. Shea, Jr., Charles A. Shea, III, and Shea, Shea & Caputo, for Hanover Associates.
John L. McDonald, for Zoning Hearing Board of Hanover Township.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.
[ 34 Pa. Commw. Page 301]
This appeal comes to us as the result of a consolidation of appeals from four separate Common Pleas Court orders involving a proposed development by Hanover Associates.
On May 2, 1973, the Zoning Officer of Hanover Township approved the landowners' zoning permit application for 200 multi-family apartment units to be erected on the property in question. On April 15, 1975, the same individual approved Hanover Associates'
[ 34 Pa. Commw. Page 302]
On August 17, 1976, the Board sustained the action of the Zoning Officer granting the zoning permit. On September 1, Protestants appealed this action of the Board to the Court of Common Pleas. On September 16 Hanover Associates filed another petition requesting the posting of a bond, this one pursuant to Section 1008 of the MPC, 53 P.S. § 11008. This petition was subsequently granted by the court below and, as a result, Protestants were ordered to post bond in the amount of $25,000, plus an additional bond of $5,000 per month as a condition to the maintenance of their appeal before the court. The appeal of this order constitutes the third order before this Court at No. 1680 C.D. 1976.
On January 28, 1977, in an able and comprehensive opinion authored by Judge Bigelow, Protestants' appeal of the Board's decision sustaining the grant of the zoning permit was dismissed. The appeal of this dismissal constitutes the fourth appeal emanating from the proposed construction by Hanover Associates, at No. 414 C.D. 1977. Protestants allege in this appeal that the Zoning Officer's action was improper due to a lack of public notice, public hearing, or written decision of the Board, Planning Commission or Board of Township Commissioners.
For reasons hereinafter stated, we hold that the appeal to the Board from the Zoning Officer's approval of Hanover Associates' zoning permit was untimely and, therefore, dismiss Protestants' appeal at No. 414 C.D. 1977. We consider this appeal first.
The zoning application at issue, to repeat, was approved on May 2, 1973. The record shows that, by letter dated August 28, 1975, over two years later, Protestants requested a hearing before the Board to determine the legality of the issuance of the zoning permit. As the court below noted, the issue of timeliness of appeals to the Board from such approvals
[ 34 Pa. Commw. Page 304]
is governed by Section 915 of the MPC, 53 P.S. § 10915. It ...