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TOWNSHIP SUPERVISORS ADAMS TOWNSHIP v. JAMES A. WEST (12/29/83)

decided: December 29, 1983.

TOWNSHIP SUPERVISORS OF ADAMS TOWNSHIP, APPELLANT
v.
JAMES A. WEST, APPELLEE. JAMES A. WEST V. TOWNSHIP SUPERVISORS OF ADAMS TOWNSHIP ET AL. STANLEY WILHELM ET AL., APPELLANTS. JAMES A. WEST, APPELLANT V. TOWNSHIP SUPERVISORS OF ADAMS TOWNSHIP ET AL., APPELLEES



Appeals from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Butler County in the case of James A. West v. Township Supervisors of Adams Township, Stanley Wilhelm and Clara Wilhelm, Wayne Hindman and Pat Hindman and Thomas Lower and Shirley Lower, A.D. No. 80-726, Book 119, Page 61.

COUNSEL

Frank P. Krizner, McCandless & Krizner, for appellant/appellee, Township Supervisors of Adams Township.

Frederick A. Boehm, Goehring, Rutter and Boehm, for appellant/appellee, James A. West.

Richard L. Rosenzweig, with him, Gilbert M. Coogler, Rosenzweig & Burton, for intervenors/appellants, Stanley Wilhelm et al.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr., and Judges Barry and Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Barry. Dissenting Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Barry

[ 79 Pa. Commw. Page 256]

These cross appeals result from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Butler County, dated August 27, 1982, and reaffirmed by an order dated April 7, 1983, which reversed a decision of the Township Supervisors of Adams Township (Township) denying a request for a curative amendment made by James A. West (West). The crux of West's challenge to the Township's zoning ordinance is that the ordinance is unconstitutional in failing to provide for areas where a mobile home park could be erected.

West is the owner of a 150 acre tract of unimproved farmland in the Township zoned "A-Agricultural". The Township's zoning ordinance, adopted December 13, 1976, requires a minimum lot size of 40,000 square feet and a minimum lot width of 125 feet in the "A-Agricultural" districts. The zoning ordinance makes no provision for mobile home parks in any of the various zoning districts in the Township, though three such parks exist as non-conforming uses.

In early 1980, West submitted a request for a curative amendment to the Township's zoning ordinance, seeking permission to implement a plan calling for the creation of a mobile home park containing 228 mobile

[ 79 Pa. Commw. Page 257]

    homes on the 150 acre tract. West made clear to the Township's Supervisors that if an appeal to the Court of Common Pleas became necessary, he would submit another plan calling for a higher density than the one and one-half units per acre as provided in the original plan. A hearing was held before the Township's Board of Supervisors on June 2, 1980, which subsequently denied West's request for a curative amendment. On August 1, 1980, West appealed to the Court of Common Pleas of Butler County.

On appeal, both parties agreed to proceed on the record without taking additional testimony. West submitted a proposed amendment to the Township's zoning ordinance which would allow the creation of mobile home parks within the "A-Agricultural" district with a maximum of six units per acre. West also submitted a plan calling for 502 units on the tract. On August 27, 1982, the Court of Common Pleas of Butler County declared the zoning ordinance unconstitutional to the extent that it failed to provide for mobile home parks anywhere within the Township. The court ordered the Township to both approve West's plan calling for one and one-half units per acre and adopt the curative amendment allowing up to six units per acre.

The Township, thereafter, filed both an application for reconsideration of the August 27, 1982, order and an appeal to this Court. The trial court granted both the application for reconsideration and a petition to intervene filed by six landowners in the Township. On April 7, 1983, the court entered an order reaffirming its earlier ruling that the zoning ordinance was unconstitutional. The court, however, omitted that portion of the August 27, 1982, order which required the Township to adopt the ...


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