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ISAAC A. BEILER AND LAVINA E. BEILER v. SALISBURY TOWNSHIP (12/27/83)

decided: December 27, 1983.

ISAAC A. BEILER AND LAVINA E. BEILER, APPELLANTS
v.
SALISBURY TOWNSHIP, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County in the case of Salisbury Township v. Isaac A. Beiler and Lavina E. Beiler, Equity Docket No. 19, Page 212.

COUNSEL

James H. Thomas, Wenger, Byler & Thomas, for appellants.

David E. Wagenseller, Shirk, Reist and Posey, for appellee.

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

Author: Williams

[ 79 Pa. Commw. Page 213]

Isaac and Lavina Beiler (Beilers) have appealed from an adjudication and final decree directing the appellants to remove a calf barn they had constructed

[ 79 Pa. Commw. Page 214]

    on their land, in Salisbury Township, Lancaster County.

The Beilers' parcel of land consists of slightly over one acre, and is located in a district that is zoned by the Salisbury Township Zoning Ordinance (Zoning Ordinance) as Rural-Agricultural (RA). On the appellants' parcel are a large dwelling house, a small barn, and a small garage, all of which were erected prior to May 10, 1978. On May 10, 1978, Mr. Beiler applied for a building permit to construct an additional barn, for calves. The application was not approved by the zoning officer; because, according to his interpretation of the Zoning Ordinance, agricultural uses, including the raising of livestock, were only permitted where there is a minimum area of ten acres. Thereafter, on May 16, 1978, Mr. Beiler contacted the Township Board of Supervisors to inquire about the zoning officer's authority to deny him a building permit.

At the direction of the Township Supervisors, the zoning officer sent a certified letter to Mr. Beiler explaining the Zoning Ordinance and the Beilers' right to appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board. The Beilers took no appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board. Nevertheless, Mr. Beiler proceeded to construct the calf barn.*fn1 Mr. Beiler was subsequently convicted of a summary offense of violating the Zoning Ordinance by building the calf barn without a building permit. Thereafter, the Township brought an equity action against the Beilers to obtain a decree ordering the removal of the calf barn.

Under Section RA.02 of the Zoning Ordinance, the list of uses permitted in an RA district includes: "Agricultural uses related to the tilling of the land, the

[ 79 Pa. Commw. Page 215]

    raising of farm products, the raising and keeping of horses, cattle, and other livestock, and the raising of poultry and poultry products." Barns are also permitted. Section RA.04 of the Zoning Ordinance requires a minimum area of ten acres for farms. The Zoning Ordinance defines a "farm" thus: "Any parcel of land containing ten (10) or more acres, which is used in the raising of agricultural products, livestock, poultry, and ...


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