Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County in case of Pasquale Caserta et al. v. Milford Township, et al.; Richland Township, et al., and Haycock Township, et al., No. 75-11241-08-5.
Carl K. Zucker, with him Cohen, Shapiro, Polisher, Shiekman and Cohen, for appellants.
William Thatcher, with him Biehn & Thatcher, for appellees, Milford Township, et al.
Richard A. Rosenberger, with him Souder, Rosenberger & Bricker, for appellee, Richland Township, et al.
Francis X. Grabowski, with him Jaczun & Grabowski, for appellee, Haycock Township, et al.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers, Blatt and DiSalle. Opinion by Judge DiSalle.
[ 35 Pa. Commw. Page 599]
This is before us on appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County sustaining
[ 35 Pa. Commw. Page 600]
preliminary objections in the nature of demurrers to the appellants' (Plaintiffs') complaint in equity and entering judgment against the Plaintiffs in favor of all appellees (Defendants).
The complaint alleges that each of the Plaintiffs is either an owner or an authorized agent of an owner of land in one or more of the defendant townships, Milford, Richland, and Haycock, and that prior to February 12, 1974, the Defendants created the Quakertown Area Planning Committee which recommended the adoption of the Quakertown Area Zoning Ordinance to each of the participating municipalities. Milford Township adopted the ordinance in March, 1975, Haycock Township in May, 1975, and Richland Township in June, 1975.*fn1 The gravamen of Plaintiffs' complaint is that the ordinances are null, void, and unconstitutional. It is alleged that the method by which the ordinances were adopted was illegal, rendering them invalid; that the effect of the ordinances, taken together, is to restrict unconstitutionally the use of property in the affected areas; that the ordinances arbitrarily and unconstitutionally restrict the use of the particular property of each individual plaintiff; and that Plaintiffs are entitled to equitable relief in that the legal remedies provided are inadequate or incomplete.
Traditionally, it has been recognized that a complaint brought in equity is not the proper vehicle with which to challenge a zoning ordinance. This rule of exclusiveness, first enunciated in Taylor v. Moore, 303 Pa. ...