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RICHARD LANG v. TOWNSHIP NORTH FAYETTE (12/17/81)

decided: December 17, 1981.

RICHARD LANG, AN INDIVIDUAL TRADING AND DOING BUSINESS AS CARLYN LAND CO., AND CARLYN LAND CO., A CORPORATION, APPELLANTS
v.
TOWNSHIP OF NORTH FAYETTE, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in the case of Richard Lang, an individual trading and doing business as Carlyn Land Co., Inc. and Carlyn Land Co., Inc., a corporation v. North Fayette Township Board of Supervisors, No. S.A. 569 of 1978.

COUNSEL

Duane A. Dudik, with him James H. Joseph, Joseph & Restauri, for appellants.

Larry P. Gaitens, Larry P. Gaitens, P.C., for appellee.

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

Author: Mencer

[ 63 Pa. Commw. Page 269]

Richard Lang, an individual trading and doing business as Carlyn Land Co., and Carlyn Land Co., a corporation (appellants) have appealed from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County which quashed their appeal of a decision of the Board of Supervisors of North Fayette Township (Supervisors) denying approval of a sign permit application. We reverse the lower court order and vacate the decision of the Supervisors.

In October 1977, the appellants applied to the Fayette Township zoning officer for a permit to erect a sign. The application was denied because the proposed

[ 63 Pa. Commw. Page 270]

    sign would not conform with applicable zoning regulations. The appellants then brought an action in mandamus to compel the zoning officer to issue the permit. The Court of Common Pleas entered an order in the mandamus action which provided, in pertinent part, that

     it appearing to the Court that plaintiff, Richard E. Lang, is desirous of having a hearing before the North Fayette Township Board of Supervisors concerning his application for a sign permit . . . it is hereby agreed that a hearing will be held before the North Fayette Township Board of Supervisors on April 18, 1978 at 8:00 P.M. and that plaintiff, Richard E. Lang, will be able to file a timely appeal from any adverse adjudication of the Board of Supervisors that might be made at said hearing.

The Supervisors upheld the denial of the application, the Court of Common Pleas quashed an appeal from that decision, and this appeal followed.

Section 909 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC), Act of July 31, 1968, P.L. 805, as amended, 53 P.S. ยง 10909, provides that "[t]he [zoning hearing] board shall hear and decide appeals where it is alleged . . . that the zoning officer has failed to follow prescribed procedures or has misinterpreted or misapplied any provision of a valid ordinance. . . ." This power of the zoning hearing board is reiterated in Section 502 of the North Fayette Township zoning ordinance which provides that "[t]he [Zoning Hearing] Board shall have the power to hear and decide appeals from any order, requirement, decision, grant, or refusal made by ...


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