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PA Northwestern Distributors, Inc. v. Zoning Hearing Board

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
584 A.2d 1372 (1991)


Facts

PA Northwestern Distributors (plaintiff) (PA Northwestern) obtained the appropriate permits and certificates and opened an adult bookstore in Moon Township. Four days after opening, the zoning board (defendant) announced its intention to amend the zoning ordinances to regulate adult commercial enterprises, and less than a month later passed a new ordinance which prohibited the operation of an adult business enterprise within certain areas. The ordinance also provided that any existing enterprise which conflicted with the new ordinance would be permitted 90 days to bring itself into compliance. PA Northwestern was unable to bring itself into compliance and was cited by the Zoning Officer. PA Northwestern appealed to the Zoning Hearing Board, challenging the validity of the ordinance’s provision requiring retroactive compliance. The Zoning Hearing Board affirmed the validity of the ordinance as applied. On appeal, the Commonwealth Court affirmed. PA Northwestern appealed to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Larsen, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Concurrence (Nix, C.J.)

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