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OTIS S. OLIVER v. ZONING HEARING BOARD SOUTH LONDONDERRY TOWNSHIP (10/20/78)

decided: October 20, 1978.

OTIS S. OLIVER, APPELLANT
v.
ZONING HEARING BOARD OF SOUTH LONDONDERRY TOWNSHIP, LEBANON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lebanon County in case of Otis S. Oliver v. Zoning Hearing Board of South Londonderry Township, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, No. 1119 of 1976.

COUNSEL

Kenneth C. Sandoe, with him L. E. Meyer, and Christianson & Meyer, for appellant.

Thomas A. Ehrgood, with him Ehrgood & Ehrgood, for appellee.

Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Rogers and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.

Author: Craig

[ 38 Pa. Commw. Page 214]

This zoning appeal presents a narrow ordinance interpretation issue of whether a so-called "animal shelter" on a farm should be classified as a principal building subject to a fifty-foot setback requirement, which has admittedly been violated, or should be considered an accessory building for which no setback is required.

Appellant Otis S. Oliver, the landowner, owns approximately thirty acres of land in South Londonderry Township, Lebanon County, in a district zoned A-Agricultural. Appellant's brief refers to the land as a "farm." In addition to the farm residence, the land contains a barn, part of which has been converted into a recreation room and bar used in connection with the residence; the record does not reveal what use is made of the remainder of that original barn. Also on the land is a mobilhome park, in which a number of spaces are apparently rented on a commercial basis.

The landowner agreed that he uses some of his land "for farming and some of it for pasturing," but he also stated that he was "not really in the cattle business."

Nevertheless, he does have two cows, described as pregnant, and four steers. To house them he applied to the zoning office of the township for a permit to erect a "small animal shelter." Upon being advised of the fifty-foot setback requirement,*fn1 he obtained a permit

[ 38 Pa. Commw. Page 215]

    to place the building in a location 100 feet from the road.

However, before construction, he discovered that the proposed location was low and wet, and therefore he had his builder erect the shelter in a high and dry location just twenty-one feet from the road's edge and thirty-one feet from its centerline.

When the township then ordered the building removed as a violation, the landowner appealed to the township's zoning hearing board, ...


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