Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County in case of Ernest C. Dove v. Zoning Hearing Board of Derry Township, No. 1553 S. Term, 1980.
Philip D. Freedman, for appellant.
No appearance for appellee.
Judges Blatt, Williams, Jr. and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.
[ 69 Pa. Commw. Page 486]
The Zoning Hearing Board of Derry Township here seeks to overturn an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, reversing a decision of that board, which had denied landowner Ernest Dove's request for a variance.
[ 69 Pa. Commw. Page 487]
The long-settled rule is that a zoning hearing board has no standing to appeal a final order of a court of common pleas. Lansdowne Borough Board of Adjustment's Page 487} Appeal, 313 Pa. 523, 170 A. 867 (1934). Here the township itself could have intervened in the common pleas court under Section 1009 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code*fn1 in order to have assured standing as a party to appeal. Moreover, our holding in Gilbert v. Montgomery Township Zoning Hearing Board, 58 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 296, 427 A.2d 776 (1981), mandating the municipality's participation below as a prerequisite to an appeal by it, would have presented no barrier here because we gave that holding only prospective application.*fn2 However, at no point in these proceedings has the township sought to intervene or otherwise to become the appellant.
As the Supreme Court indicated in Lansdowne, the zoning hearing board can no more take an appeal to an appellate court than a master could. And, as Horn v. Township of Hilltown, 461 Pa. 745, 337 A.2d 858 (1975) established, the interests of the board and the township must be treated separately in zoning cases. Hence, without a lawful party appellant, this proceeding has no jurisdictional existence before us, and we must dismiss it sua sponte. See National Development Corporation v. Township of Harrison, 64 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 54, 438 A.2d 1053 (1982).
[ 69 Pa. Commw. Page 488]
Now, November 1, 1982, the appeal of the Zoning Hearing Board of Derry Township from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, ...