Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County in the case of Richard C. Skinner, Harry L. Rearick and David E. Ekelund v. NEA Cross Company, No. 72-E-1985.
Robert W. Maris, with him, John Paul Garhart, for appellant.
Joseph A. Yochim, Colussi, Yochim, Skiba & Moore, for appellee.
Judges MacPhail and Doyle, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.
[ 106 Pa. Commw. Page 62]
NEA Cross Company (Appellant) appeals here from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County which dismissed the Appellant's preliminary objections and enjoined Appellant from injecting salt brine in an injection well located on Appellant's property in Waterford Township (Township). We will vacate and remand.
This case began when Appellees, who are residents of the Township, filed an action in equity alleging that Appellant's activities were in violation of the Township's zoning ordinances. In their original complaint, Appellees sought injunctive relief and an order directing Appellant to apply for a zoning permit to bring it in compliance with the Township's zoning ordinances. On the same day the complaint was filed, Appellees also filed a motion for the issuance of a preliminary injunction.
A few days later, Appellees filed a petition for leave to amend their complaint. Appellant did not contest that petition and on October 17, 1985 the Chancellor granted the prayer of that petition and an amended complaint was duly filed.
On October 22, 1985, without a hearing, the Chancellor entered an order again granting Appellees leave to amend their complaint and denying their motion for a preliminary injunction.*fn1
On November 27, 1985, the Chancellor, upon consideration of Appellant's preliminary objections and after oral argument but, again, without an evidentiary
[ 106 Pa. Commw. Page 63]
hearing, and without reference to its prior order of October 22, 1985,*fn2 entered an order enjoining the Appellant from injecting salt brine in its injection well until such time as Appellant applied for an appropriate zoning permit.
Appellant thereupon filed a motion for an evidentiary hearing and for reconsideration of the November 27, 1985 order. In its order denying that motion, the Chancellor observed that the points raised in Appellant's motion were matters ...