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IRWIN C. EYET v. TOWNSHIP PLAINS (05/09/80)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: May 9, 1980.

IRWIN C. EYET, APPELLANT
v.
TOWNSHIP OF PLAINS, APPELLEE

Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County in case of Township of Plains v. Irwin C. Eyet, No. 113 of 1978.

COUNSEL

Joseph P. Sindaco, Moses & Gelso, for appellant.

Joseph C. Giebus, for appellee.

President Judge Crumlish and Judges Blatt and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.

Author: Craig

[ 51 Pa. Commw. Page 278]

Irwin Eyet (landowner) appeals from a court of common pleas determination that his premises constituted a public nuisance, and from its order requiring him to clear the property of overgrowth, debris and all inoperative vehicles. That order became final when landowner's exceptions to the court's decree nisi were dismissed by the court en banc.

The parties agree that landowner, on his twenty acres, had accumulated sixty automobiles, forty trucks and four railroad hopper cars, all inoperative. Although the storage of abandoned or junked motor vehicles alone does not constitute a nuisance per se, the chancellor also found, in support of his conclusion that the condition of landowner's property constituted a public nuisance in fact, that:

2. That the defendant has allowed to accumulate on said premises high weeds, brush . . . and garbage, rubbish and other litter.

3. That the premises . . . are in such a condition as to be dangerous and to constitute a safety hazard to public health and welfare.

5. That the premises . . . constitute a health problem because of the presence of rats and other uncleanliness on the premises.

The record substantially supports these findings,*fn1

[ 51 Pa. Commw. Page 279]

    which in combination are sufficient to support the chancellor's conclusion that the activities on the property constitute a nuisance in fact. Findings are not to be disturbed where, as here, they are supported by the evidence and are not capricious. Merlino v. Plains Township, 45 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 506, 508, 405 A.2d 1032, 1034 (1979).

Finally, landowner questions the lower court's order which requires the removal of all overgrowth and debris, and further orders the removal of all the inoperative vehicles from the premises.*fn2 Because the chancellor's order does not require the removal of the metal structures which landowner requires to operate his fuel dealership, the order does not interfere with the operation of that business, assuming that it is otherwise lawful.

Therefore, we affirm the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County.

Order

And Now, this 9th day of May, 1980, the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County dated June 18, 1979 (No. 113 of 1978), is affirmed.

Disposition

Affirmed.


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