Appeal from Common Pleas Court, Venango County, Honorable William E. Breene, Sr., Judge. SPECIALLY PRESIDING
F. Walter Bloom, III, Rosen, Rosen & Bloom, Oil City, for appellant.
Joseph E. Altomare, Altomare & Barnhart, Titusville, for appellees.
Barry and Palladino, JJ., and Barbieri, Senior Judge.
[ 130 Pa. Commw. Page 85]
Cranberry Township Concerned Citizens (Appellant) appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Venango County (trial court) reversing a decision of the Zoning Hearing Board of Cranberry Township (Board) and ordering that a conditional use permit be issued. Also before us is a motion to quash filed by Lee Stanbro and Stanley Green t/a Superior Refuse Disposal Service, Clair F. Davis, Elsie Davis, and National Waste Disposal, Inc. (Landowners).
Landowners own all legal and equitable interest in a parcel of land containing a sanitary landfill in an A-1 zoning district. Landowners filed an application to expand the landfill, challenging the validity of Cranberry Township's Ordinance No. 173 of 1987 (Ordinance)*fn1 or, in the alternative, a permit to expand a non-conforming use.*fn2 The
[ 130 Pa. Commw. Page 86]
Board found that two of the five subsections in the Ordinance, subsections B and C, were invalid but upheld the validity of subsections A, D, and E. The Board also denied Landowners' application to expand a non-conforming use. Landowners appealed to the trial court. The trial court, without taking additional evidence, found that subsections A, D, and E were invalid and ordered a conditional use permit be issued subject to subsequent application and licensure by the Department of Environmental Resources.
Appellant alone appealed the trial court's decision to this court.*fn3 Subsequently, Landowners filed a motion to quash because (1) Appellant was not a party before the trial court and therefore did not have standing to appeal and (2) Appellant is not a sui juris entity entitled to become a party. We granted Landowners' motion but subsequently vacated the order and scheduled argument simultaneously with argument on the merits. We will address the motion to quash first.
Pa. R.A.P. 501 (Rule 501) provides:
Except where the right of appeal is enlarged by statute, any party who is aggrieved by an appealable order, or a fiduciary whose estate or trust is so aggrieved, may appeal therefrom.
Although the term "party" is not defined within Rule 501, we have recognized that objecting citizens, who are entitled to become parties at the trial court level, must intervene to become parties in order to have a right to appeal to this court. Gilchrist v. Zoning Hearing Board ...