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WILMA B. CULP ET AL. v. EAST ROCKHILL TOWNSHIP. EAST ROCKHILL TOWNSHIP V. ROBERT D. CULP (11/14/86)

decided: November 14, 1986.

WILMA B. CULP ET AL.
v.
EAST ROCKHILL TOWNSHIP. EAST ROCKHILL TOWNSHIP V. ROBERT D. CULP, JOEL W. CULP, WILMA B. CULP. ROBERT D. CULP, JOEL W. CULP, WILMA B. CULP, APPELLANTS



Appeals from the Orders of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County in the cases of Wilma B. Culp v. East Rockhill Township, No. 81-00082 and East Rockhill Township v. Wilma Culp, Joel Culp and Robert Culp, No. 84-3058.

COUNSEL

Robert C. Whitley, III, with him, Dianne C. Magee and William E. Moore, for appellants.

Emory W. Buck, Grim and Grim, for appellee.

Judges Craig and Barry, and Senior Judge Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.

Author: Craig

[ 102 Pa. Commw. Page 202]

Wilma B. Culp, Robert D. Culp and Joel W. Culp appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County. That order pertains to sixteen separate actions -- fifteen filed by the Culps and one filed by East Rockhill Township -- which related to the Culps' filing of several applications with the township for a license to operate a trailer park, the Culps' appeals to the zoning hearing board from decisions of the township board of supervisors, the conduct of the zoning hearing board, and appeals from the decisions of the zoning hearing board to the trial court.*fn1

The trial court, in a thorough and well-reasoned opinion, fully describes the lengthy factual background, and provides a complete analysis of the issues. The court dismissed the Culps' fifteen actions and, in the township's equity action, enjoined the Culps from engaging in any future violation of the subdivision and land development ordinance. We affirm.

On appeal, the Culps raise twelve issues. Those issues are as follows:

1. Were two trailer park regulatory ordinances repealed by later enacted zoning and subdivision control ordinances?

2. Were the township's notices of the amendments to the zoning ordinance and subdivision ordinance advertised in a newspaper of general circulation, in accordance with section 610 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC)?*fn2

[ 102 Pa. Commw. Page 2033]

. Were the Culps' trailer park applications entitled to the five-year protection against ordinance changes provided by section 508(4) of the MPC?

4. Did the township's "return" of the Culps' trailer park applications constitute a decision under section 508 of the MPC?

5. Does section 908(4) of the MPC provide an applicant with an absolute statutory right to subpoenas for documents and witnesses?

6. Is a zoning hearing board a quasi-judicial body, and therefore does it have the authority to prohibit private tape recording of its hearings?

7. Did the zoning hearing board provide the Culps with a fair hearing?

8. Was a zoning board hearing on July 19, 1983, the last hearing for the purpose of invoking a deemed approval under section 908(9) of the MPC?

9. Were the Culps entitled to a deemed decision under section 908(9) of the MPC, when they requested a continuance of the zoning hearing, for the purpose of obtaining a court ruling on the zoning hearing board's prohibition of private tape recordings, and then opposed a continuance at the next hearing, even though they refused to ...


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