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Four Score Prop., LLC v. Code Enforcement Appeals Bd. of Gettysburg

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

July 16, 2015

Four Score Property, LLC, Appellant
v.
Code Enforcement Appeals Board of the Borough of Gettysburg

Argued, June 15, 2015

Page 1129

Appealed from No. 13-S-284. Common Pleas Court of the County of Adams. Kuhn, J.

Michael D. Rentschler, Harrisburg, for appellant.

Richard E. Thrasher and John S. Phillips, Gettysburg, for appellee.

BEFORE: HONORABLE BONNIE BRIGANCE LEADBETTER, Judge, HONORABLE RENÉ E COHN JUBELIRER, Judge, HONORABLE ROCHELLE S. FRIEDMAN, Senior Judge.

Page 1130

OPINION

FRIEDMAN, SENIOR JUDGE

Four Score Property, LLC (Four Score) appeals from the December 12, 2013, order of the Court of Common Pleas of Adams County (trial court) that denied Four Score's appeal from the decision of the Code Enforcement Appeals Board (Board) of the Borough of Gettysburg (Borough), which upheld Four Score's violation of section 705.1 of the Borough's Property Maintenance Code Ordinance (PMC). We affirm.

Four Score is the owner of real property located at 48 Chambersburg Street (Property) in the Borough. The Property is located on the south side of Chambersburg Street and abuts Zerfing Alley to the south. The Property is improved with a building that is approximately 30 feet wide and 150 feet deep. The lot on which the building is located is approximately 30 feet wide and 180 feet deep. The oldest part of the building was built before 1864. There have been additions to the building, the newest of which was added in the 1950s. Four Score purchased the Property in November 2005.

The building contains one retail space fronting on Chambersburg Street; five single rooms, four of which are rented out and one of which is used for storage; and 15 apartments.[1] All 15 apartments were licensed for occupancy by the Borough when Four Score purchased the Property and have been continuously licensed.

Two of the apartments, numbers 21 and 22, are located in the basement of the building and are the subject of this appeal. The two apartments are similar in layout, each having only one door that leads from the living area into an interior hallway that abuts the west side of the building. Normal ingress and egress from the apartments is south through the interior hallway, through a laundry area, and up stairs to the rear entrance of the building. The rear entrance opens into a parking area that abuts Zerfing Alley. Alternate egress can be obtained by proceeding north along the interior hallway, through an unlocked door marked with an emergency exit sign, and proceeding through a hallway to a flight of stairs marked with another emergency exit sign to the first floor front entrance, which exits onto Chambersburg Street. The door at the top of the stairway is locked from the inside. Therefore, this route does not provide a secondary

Page 1131

means of ingress to the basement ...


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