Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Berks County, in case of In Re: Appeal of David L. Booz, II and Brenda Booz, from Report of Zoning Hearing Board of the Township of Greenwich, Berks County, Pennsylvania, on Application of Melvin C. Schumaker and Elaine K. Schumaker for a Special Exception and Variance, No. 86 February Term, 1986.
Alfred N. Crump, Jr., Ward and Crump, for appellants.
Eric L. B. Strahn, Ryan, Russell & McConaghy, for appellees.
Judges Craig and MacPhail, and Senior Judge Narick, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.
[ 111 Pa. Commw. Page 332]
Melvin C. and Elaine K. Schumaker (Appellants) appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Berks County which effectively vacated a decision of the Zoning Hearing Board of Greenwich Township (Board) on the ground that notice of the hearing before the Board was defective. For the reasons which follow, we reverse and remand.
In October, 1985, Appellants applied to the Board for a variance to permit the expansion of their tractor repair business to include sales and leasing of new tractors and trailers. Appellants also sought to erect two signs advertising their dealership. The application additionally states that "[w]e met with the Zoning Officer, the Township Supervisors, and the Planning Commission at a meeting of October 28, 1985, and they suggested that we apply for a variance." A hearing on the application was held before the Board on December 9, 1985. It is the adequacy of the advertised notice which preceded that hearing which is at issue in the instant appeal.
Section 908(1) of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC),*fn1 53 P.S. § 10908(1), provides pertinently as follows regarding notice of zoning board hearings:
The board shall conduct hearings and make decisions in accordance with the following requirements:
[ 111 Pa. Commw. Page 333]
(1) Notice shall be given to the public, the applicant, the zoning officer, such other persons as the governing body shall designate by ordinance and to any person who has made timely request for the same. Notices shall be given at such time and in such manner as shall be prescribed by ordinance or, in the absence of ordinance provision, by rules of the board. . . .
(Emphasis added.) Section 705.3 of the Greenwich Township Zoning Ordinance prescribes the manner in which notice to the public is to be provided as follows:
The first notice of any public hearing shall be given not more than thirty (30) days and not less than fourteen (14) days in advance of any public hearing required by this Ordinance. Such notice shall be published once each week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the Municipality. Such notice shall state the time and ...