Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County in case of Arley L. Collis v. Zoning Hearing Board of East Allen Township, No. 1979-C-517.
Robert Long, with him Richard C. Buss, of Buss & Eckensberger, P.C., for appellant.
James L. Broughal, Bartos, Broughal & Wasylik, for appellee.
Elwood M. Malos, for intervenors.
Judges Mencer, Rogers and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.
[ 51 Pa. Commw. Page 369]
Arley L. Collis has appealed from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County affirming the action of the Zoning Hearing Board of East Allen Township reversing the zoning officer's interpretation of the township zoning ordinance as allowing Collis to move a nonconforming use.
[ 51 Pa. Commw. Page 370]
The pertinent facts of this case are undisputed. Collis owns a lot of land located on the north side of Pa. Route 329. His home and a nonconforming wrecked auto storage facility which he operates*fn1 is located on this lot. Collis also owns four contiguous lots of land on the south side of Route 329 across from his home property. Collis owns outright three of the lots on the south side of the road; he is the equitable owner under an agreement of sale of the fourth, most western lot. Collis operates a nonconforming automobile salvage business on the two easternmost south side lots. The third and fourth lots are vacant. Collis acquired all of the lots before there was any zoning in East Allen Township. The intervenors below, James H. Schaffer and wife and James H. Schaffer's son, Gary J. Schaffer and his wife, own and reside in homes on lots on the south side of Route 329, opposite Collis' home and bounded on the east, west and south by Collis' four lots.
In August 1978, Collis, with the approval of the township zoning officer, began to move his auto storage operations from its location on his home lot north of Route 329 to the westernmost then vacant lot on the south side of Route 329 adjoining the Schaffers on their west. This was the lot in which Collis had an equitable interest.
The Schaffers appealed the zoning officer's approval of the relocation of Collis' automobile storage business to the Zoning Hearing Board. They asserted that the zoning officer's approval of the move was based upon a misinterpretation of a provision of the
[ 51 Pa. Commw. Page 371]
township's zoning ordinance applicable to the extension of nonconforming uses, Section 903(B)(1) of the township's zoning ...