Zoning Panel Silences Order Against Arcade

Posted: August 09, 1990

Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.

The Morrisville zoning commission learned that lesson the hard way as it voted unanimously Monday night to terminate a cease-and-desist order that the borough imposed on Borden's Home Amusements two months ago.

The video arcade had been accused of violating numerous borough ordinances, including noise and security provisions.

"The board decided to sustain the appeal of Borden's (against the order) and that the borough was not wrong in attempting to enforce its zoning ordinances," said borough solicitor Ralf Gilbert. "Except because it had been six years since the enlargement of the premises, and the borough had not enforced it during that time, they were legally stopped from starting to enforce it now."

Borden's has been open since 1978.

"During a brief period in 1980-82, there was a zoning ordinance that permitted indoor entertainment," Gilbert said. "Even if he was illegal before, they say that during that period of time possibly he became legal."

"Under the grandfather clause, we're allowed to stay open to midnight, 1 o'clock and so forth," said Robert B. Borden, the owner of Borden's. Current ordinances call for game rooms and arcades to close at 9 p.m.

"In effect, Borden has what they were calling a nonconforming use," Gilbert added. Because nothing was done for six years, nothing will be done now.

"I feel that John Donaghy (Borden's attorney) did a good job in proving my case," Borden said. "I'm not trying to sit back and smile and say I won in this. What was right was right."

"This isn't license to do anything he wants to do," Gilbert explained. ''This doesn't mean that the borough doesn't have the right to regulate him. Anything that the borough can properly do for the health, safety and welfare of the borough, they can do."

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