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SAMUEL H. GALLIFORD AND NELLIE L. GALLIFORD v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (06/24/81)

decided: June 24, 1981.

SAMUEL H. GALLIFORD AND NELLIE L. GALLIFORD, HIS WIFE, APPELLANTS
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Samuel H. Galliford and Nellie L. Galliford, No. 124, 124a January Term, 1978.

COUNSEL

Dennis J. Gounley, for appellants.

Thomas P. Cole, II, for appellees.

Judges Mencer, Rogers and Williams, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr.

Author: Williams

[ 60 Pa. Commw. Page 176]

Appellants own a home in a section of North Huntingdon zoned residential. Their son, who resides with them, is a trucker who makes his trailer pick-ups at a terminal some fifty-five miles from his home. When he is not on the road, he parks his truck-tractor, the cab portion of the unit, either in his parents' driveway, or in their back yard. The vehicle, which he and his father own, is a Mack truck, weighing approximately 14,500 pounds.

[ 60 Pa. Commw. Page 177]

Appellants were cited by the township for violation of Section 6.1 of the township zoning ordinance, entitled "Permitted Uses in Residential Districts," which states, in pertinent part, that:

Except as provided in ARTICLE 7, NONCONFORMING USES . . . no building, structure or land, or part thereof shall be used for any purpose or in any manner other than for one or more of the uses hereinafter set forth as permitted in the district. . . .

Any non-industrial use, not included, which is not noxious or offensive, or detrimental to the neighborhood by reason of odor, fumes, dust, smoke, vibration, waste, noise or other objectionable characteristics shall be permitted as indicated in the table. . . .

Also relevant to this appeal is a portion of the definition of "private garage," as found in that ordinance. "One commercial vehicle which does not exceed 3/4 tons in capacity and is used solely by the occupants may be stored in a private garage."

The district magistrate found appellants guilty of violating the ordinance, so they appealed to the Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas, which dismissed their appeal, and directed the assessment of the fine imposed by the magistrate. In response to a motion for a new trial and in arrest of judgment, the court en banc issued an order and opinion which dismissed the said motion and continued the fine in force.

The issue the homeowners raise on appeal of that order to this Court is whether they may legally be convicted of the violation, since the zoning ordinance allegedly does not regulate the use of motor vehicles in residential areas, except for the weight of commercial vehicles which may be stored in ...


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