Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County in cases of John J. McGeehan and Gayle A. McGeehan, his wife v. The Zoning Hearing Board of Springfield Township, No. 77-7682-04-5; and Charles M. Grant and Coralie A. Grant, his wife v. The Zoning Hearing Board of Springfield Township, No. 77-8481-10-6.
Donald J. Rodenbach, for appellants.
Rodney D. Henry, for appellees.
Judges Crumlish, Jr., Rogers and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.
[ 45 Pa. Commw. Page 404]
Challenged on appeal is a decision by the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas directing the Springfield Township Zoning Officer to issue a permit allowing Charles and Coralie Grant to expand their nonconforming junkyard use by establishing a trailer office measuring 10' by 65' on the premises.
The Grants have owned approximately 30 acres of land in Coopersburg since 1961 and, since that time, approximately 13 acres of the land have been used for storing used and discarded vehicles, their parts, refrigerators, stoves and the like. The township enacted its first zoning ordinance in February, 1971, and the Grants' property lies in two zoning districts designated RR (Rural Residential) and RP (Resource Protection). Neither zoning classification permits the establishment of a junkyard which is defined in Section 228 of the Springfield Township Zoning Ordinance of 1975 (Zoning Ordinance):
[ 45 Pa. Commw. Page 405]
An area of land, with or without buildings, used for the storage outside of a completely enclosed building, of used or discarded materials, including but not limited to waste paper, rags, metal, building materials, house furnishings, machinery, vehicles or parts thereof, with or without the dismantling, processing, salvage, sale or other use or disposition of the same. The deposit or storage of two or more motor vehicles not having valid inspection stickers issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, or of two or more wrecked or broken vehicles, or the major parts of two or more such vehicles shall be deemed to make the lot a junk yard.
Section 701 of the Zoning Ordinance requires the Zoning Officer to list all nonconforming uses and Grants' property is listed as a nonconforming junkyard use.
Following the Zoning Officer's refusal of the Grants' request for a permit to replace their present office, a motor vehicle trailer measuring 8' by 35', with a 10' by 65' mobile trailer that would serve the same purpose, i.e., an office and receptable for the junkyard records and a storage place for more valuable auto parts, they filed their application with the Zoning Hearing Board (Board). Two public hearings were held on the application before the Board in June, 1977, which directed the issuance of a permit to allow the Grants to set up a trailer office on its premises not to exceed 420 square feet in area. On appeal*fn1 the court below, without hearing additional evidence, reversed
[ 45 Pa. Commw. Page 406]
the portion of the Board's decision that imposed the ...