Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Schuylkill County in case of Borough of Ringtown v. Ringtown Enterprises, Inc. and Circle City Rentals, Inc., No. S-500 March Term, 1976.
Joseph P. Semasek, for appellants.
Frank J. Toole, Jr., for appellee.
Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr. and Mencer, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.
[ 34 Pa. Commw. Page 349]
This is an appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Schuylkill County, sitting in equity, enjoining Ringtown Enterprises, Inc., and Circle City Rentals, Inc. (defendants) from using their real estate
[ 34 Pa. Commw. Page 350]
and building as a terminal and repair facility for tractor-trailer trucks. We affirm.
In 1962, the Borough of Ringtown passed an ordinance designating the area in which the property in question is located as "R-1 Residence District, designed to accommodate separate family structures." At the time the ordinance was passed, the real estate and building were owned and used by George Huss solely as a storage place for farm machinery and drill-bit-repair equipment. This nonconforming use continued until Mr. Huss conveyed the property to the defendants in 1969. Sometime thereafter, the defendants, by their own admission, began to use the real estate and building as a storage and repair facility for tractor-trailer trucks.
Section 800(2) of the zoning ordinance provided, inter alia :
A nonconforming use all or partially conducted in a building . . . may be changed to another nonconforming use only upon determination by the Board of Adjustment, after public hearing, that the proposed new use will be no more detrimental to its neighborhood and surroundings than the use it is to replace.
No such determination has ever been made by the Board of Adjustment regarding the defendants' property.
The chancellor concluded that the defendants had changed a permissible nonconforming use to a nonpermissible nonconforming use without complying with the zoning ordinance. He therefore entered a decree nisi enjoining the use of the property as a "terminal and repair facility for tractor-trailer trucks." A final decree dismissing the defendants' exceptions and affirming the ...