Can An Equity Action Be Pursued to Seek Relief from Nuisance Caused by Activity Permitted on Property Coming Under Zonal Legislation ?
In Klein v. Shadyside Health, Education and Research Corp., 164 Pa. Commw. 546, 643 A.2d 1120 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1994), residents who had lived near Shadyside Hospital in Pittsburgh brought an action in equity and challenged the construction, installation and enlargement of a helicopter facility.
This Court recognized that an equity action may be pursued to seek injunctive relief against existing or threatened nuisances even if the land, structures or activities that caused the nuisance had been authorized under the zoning procedure, i.e., a land use can have proper zoning approval under an ordinance, but because of the manner of its operation the use may still constitute a nuisance, subject to an equitable remedy. Id.
See also Walker v. Delaware Trust Co., 314 Pa. 257, 261, 171 A. 458, 459 (1934) (Acts of municipal officers who, under zoning legislation, permitted the use of property for what may or may not be a nuisance did not strip the common pleas court of equitable jurisdiction to determine whether a nuisance in fact existed and should have been restrained).