Scott v. Turner, 091709 FED3, 08-4451

Docket Nº:08-4451
Opinion Judge:SLOVITER, FUENTES, and SMITH, Circuit Judges
Party Name:PETER SCOTT; ANNE SCOTT, husband and wife, Appellants v. STEPHEN C. TURNER; NANCY HOKE TURNER
Judge Panel:Before: SLOVITER, FUENTES, and SMITH, Circuit Judges
Case Date:September 17, 2009
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

PETER SCOTT; ANNE SCOTT, husband and wife, Appellants



No. 08-4451

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

September 17, 2009


Submitted Pursuant to Third Circuit L.A.R. 34.1(a) September 16, 2009

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania District Court No. 1-07-cv-02274 District Judge: The Honorable William W. Caldwell

Before: SLOVITER, FUENTES, and SMITH, Circuit Judges


SMITH, Circuit Judge.

This case arises from a 2006 land sale agreement between Peter and Anne Scott ("the Scotts") and Stephen and Nancy Hoke Turner ("the Turners"). The Scotts sued the Turners, claiming that they breached a contract to purchase land located in Freedom Township in Adams County, Pennsylvania. The District Court granted summary judgment for the Turners. This timely appeal followed. We will affirm the judgment of the District Court.1

Section 403 of Freedom Township's Municipal Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance ("the Ordinance") requires roadways in the Township to meet certain specifications, including minimum right-of-way widths of 50 feet and minimum cartway widths of 32 feet. On February 11, 1993, landowners Bradley and Mary Yohe obtained a variance to these requirements from the Freedom Township Board of Supervisors ("the Board"). That variance permitted a 16 foot wide gravel "right-of-way" connecting one segment of the Yohes' lot to Pumping Station Road. The variance excused the right-of-way's non-conformance with the Ordinance so long as certain conditions were met. First, the variance was limited to the "period of time during which the [Yohes] own[ed] all of the land." The variance did "not extend to subsequent owners." Second, if the land in question were ever "subdivided to provide for more than three residential building lots," then the variance would be "void," and the right-of-way would have to be upgraded to conform with the Ordinance.

In December of 1993, the Yohes sold a portion of their land ("Lot 2") to the Scotts, while retaining part of it ("Lot 1") for themselves. The Scotts built a residence on Lot 2, which was serviced by the right-of-way through Lot 1. The Yohes later subdivided Lot 1, such that there are currently four residential lots on the tract of land described in the variance.

In October of...

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