Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County, in the case of James C. Spencer and Ronald A. Nielson v. McKean Township Zoning Hearing Board, No. 926-A-1984.
Andrew J. Connor, with him, Thomas E. Kuhn, and George Joseph, for appellants.
Joseph J. May, for appellees.
Judges Craig, Colins, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.
[ 113 Pa. Commw. Page 522]
McKean Township appeals an order of Judge Roger M. Fischer, of the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County, reversing the McKean Township Zoning Hearing Board's denial of the application of James C. Spencer and Ronald Nielson for a special use permit to construct and operate a landfill.
On January 5, 1983, Spencer applied for a special use permit to locate the landfill on a 65-acre tract, bordered by Interstate 90 and Pennsylvania Route 832, in a district zoned Industrial Park.
The township zoning ordinance provides that "all uses of land and buildings not permitted in other zoning districts" shall be permitted as special uses in the industrial park district. Landfills are not permitted in any other district.
The opponents of the special use permit application consisted of various parties whose properties are close to the proposed site, including a truckstop restaurant, a motel, a farmer, and occupants of a trailer park.
After an extensive hearing, the zoning hearing board denied the application and supported that denial with findings of facts and conclusions of law. Specifically, the
[ 113 Pa. Commw. Page 523]
zoning hearing board found that the use would (1) potentially contaminate the underground water supplies upon which the neighboring residents and businesses rely; (2) create offensive dust, litter, odor, noise and visual degradation of the landscape; (3) have a negative economic impact upon neighboring businesses; (4) have a negative impact on neighboring property values; (5) not be economically feasible; and (6) not be in harmony with the neighborhood.
Spencer appealed the decision of the zoning hearing board to the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County. Relying on the record established before the board, Judge Fischer ...