Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County in case of Vincent Poli and Norma Poli, his wife, and Lucien Poli and Eleanor Poli, his wife, and Dante Poli and Dorothy Poli, his wife, and G. E. Poli & Sons, a Partnership, v. Board of Supervisors, Township of Northampton, No. 80-2704-13-5 and No. 79-10069-06-5.
Raymond J. Quaglia, for appellants.
Theodore K. Warner, Jr., with him, Robert C. Steiger, for appellee.
Judges Rogers, Craig and Barry, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Barry.
[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 621]
This appeal results from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, reversing in part and affirming in part, a decision of the Northampton Township Board of Supervisors, appellee herein, which denied a request for a curative amendment by the appellants, Vincent Poli and Norma Poli, his wife; Lucien Poli and Eleanor Poli, his wife; Dante Poli and Dorothy Poli, his wife and G. E. Poli and Sons, a partnership.
[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 622]
Appellants are the owners of a 24.2 acre tract of land in Northampton Township (Township). Prior to August of 1979, the Township's Zoning Code contained no provisions for mobile home parks; in August of 1979, however, the Township's Board of Supervisors amended the zoning code and provided for mobile home parks in an area encompassing almost sixteen acres of land. This area, which was rezoned as "R-5", was part of the tract owned by appellants. Under the amendments, approximately three and one-half units per acre were permitted in the "R-5" zone, as the minimum lot area for a mobile home was set at 7200 square feet.
On August 29, 1979, appellants filed a petition for a curative amendment, seeking the inclusion of thirteen additional acres of the tract within the "R-5" zone and allowing up to ten units per acre with a minimum lot area of 2075 square feet.*fn1 Following a number of hearings, the Township's Board of Supervisors, on February 13, 1980, denied the request for a curative amendment. On appeal to the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, the case was remanded to the Board of Supervisors to allow appellants to present expert testimony concerning the economic feasibility of the construction of mobile home parks under the Township's zoning ordinance. Following the presentation of this testimony, the Board of Supervisors again denied the requested curative amendment.
Appellants again appealed to common pleas court. Without taking any additional evidence, the court held that the challenged ordinance, in providing less than one percent of the Township's land for mobile home parks, constituted an unconstitutional de facto exclusion of mobile home parks; the court, therefore, ordered the thirteen additional acres of appellants'
[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 623]
land to be rezoned as "R-5". The Township does not contest this finding. The court further held, however, that the ordinance's density and minimum lot size requirements were constitutional. Following the entry of an order on September 15, 1982 in accordance with the aforementioned findings, this appeal followed.
Where the common pleas court takes no additional evidence, this Court's scope of review is limited to a determination of "whether the local governing authority either abused its discretion or committed an error of law." Township Supervisors of Adams Township v. West, 79 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 254, 258, 469 A.2d 701, 703 (1983). As we believe the Board of Supervisors did neither, ...