Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lebanon County in case of Township of South Londonderry, County of Lebanon, Pennsylvania v. Thomas G. Bradley and Mary L. Bradley, No. 21, 1978.
Thomas G. Bradley, with him Robert C. Rowe, for appellants.
Thomas S. Long, for appellee.
Judges Mencer, Williams, Jr. and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer. This decision was reached prior to the expiration of the term of office of Judge Palladino.
[ 64 Pa. Commw. Page 397]
On June 8, 1978, the Township of South Londonderry (appellee), a second class township in Lebanon County, instituted an equity action in the Court of Common Pleas of Lebanon County to enforce provisions of its junkyard ordinance*fn1 and zoning ordinance,*fn2
[ 64 Pa. Commw. Page 398]
to compel Thomas G. Bradley and his mother, Mary L. Bradley (appellants) to remove several unlicensed and allegedly discarded automobiles from her property,*fn3 and to enjoin both from parking or storing "junk" vehicles thereon.*fn4
After a hearing on December 6, 1979, a chancellor sitting in equity entered an adjudication and decree nisi on March 24, 1980. He found that the Bradley
[ 64 Pa. Commw. Page 399]
property constituted a nuisance in fact,*fn5 ordered the appellants to remove the several vehicles therefrom, and enjoined them from parking or storing automobiles without current license plates "and/or" state inspection stickers outside on the property. The decree
[ 64 Pa. Commw. Page 400]
also enjoined the appellants from maintaining two or more unlicensed and discarded motor vehicles on the property and ordered that a criminal penalty of $500 per day be assessed against them for each day of non-compliance. The appellants took exception to the adjudication and the decree. Arguments were held before the Court of Common Pleas en banc, which filed its opinion, sur exceptions, on August 4, 1980 and ordered that the decree be made absolute. This appeal followed.
The appellants raise a plethora of legal arguments in opposition to the order of August 4, 1980. First, they contend that the lower court lacked jurisdiction to enforce the zoning ordinance because the township Board of Supervisors (Board) did not possess the capacity to bring an equity action to enforce the ordinance and failed to exhaust its statutory remedies provided in the ordinance and the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (Code).*fn6 The ...