Loduca v. ZHB of the Borough of Danville, 45 D& C 4th, 414 (Montour C.C.P., February 23, 2000)
NON-CONFORMING USE: SIGNS
A non-conforming sign is entitled to the same rights as any non-conforming use. The right to continue the non-conforming use “runs with the land” and is not confined to any one user. In this case a sign was located on a tract being used as a service station which was a permitted use. The sign was non-conforming in size. The owner closed the service station and considered a number of alternate permitted uses. The Borough, six months after the closing of the service station, held that the non-conforming sign had been abandoned. The court reversed the Borough’s decision reiterating the general proposition that even where an ordinance creates a presumption of abandonment after a certain period (here 6 months) the specifics of the particular case must be considered to determine the owner’s intent to abandon. Even if the particular “use” of the property had been abandoned, the court held that the evidence did not support abandonment of the non-conforming sign. The court further recognized that a mere change in the sign “face” does not support a claim of abandonment.
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