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KOVACS v. BOARD ADJUSTMENT ROSS TP. APPEAL STANKOVIC (03/17/53)

March 17, 1953

KOVACS
v.
BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT OF ROSS TP. APPEAL OF STANKOVIC



COUNSEL

Gilbert E. Morcroft, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

David W. Craig and Moorhead & Knox, Pittsburgh, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Dithrich, Ross and Gunther, JJ.

Author: Ross

[ 173 Pa. Super. Page 68]

ROSS, Judge.

The Board of Adjustment of Ross Township, Allegheny County, granted an application for a zoning variance and issued a certificate of variance to John P. Stankovic. Charles Kovacs filed a petition for appeal from the decision of the Board in the County Court of Allegheny County. The court allowed the appeal and ordered that a writ of certiorari be issued, directed to the Board of Adjustment ordering it to certify to the court its record of the proceeding. The court below, after hearing, reversed the order of the Board of Adjustment and vacated the certificate of variance. This appeal was taken by the intervenor, John P. Stankovic.

The facts which gave rise to the present controversy may be summarized as follows: On November 28, 1949, Ross Township had enacted Zoning Ordinance No. 446. With respect to lots situate in a 'B' residential district, Article VI, section 17 of the ordinance provides in part: 'There shall be a front yard having a depth of not less than twenty-five (25) feet * * *.' Section 3 of the ordinance defines a 'front yard' as 'A yard across the full width of the lot extending from the front line of the building to the front line of the lot'.

[ 173 Pa. Super. Page 69]

On June 5, 1951, John P. Stankovic, appellant herein, applied for a building permit to erect a two-family nine-room house in a 'B' residential district of Ross Township. The plan submitted by appellant showed the proposed home located entirely behind the 25-foot set-back line. On June 6, 1951, the building inspector issued a permit and appellant commenced construction on or about July 15, 1951.

In the latter part of July 1951, a Mrs. Ann Morrison, who resided in a house directly across the street from the lot upon which the appellant was building, noticed that the 'footers' put in by appellant 'were extended past the 25 ft. line'. She testified: 'I called Mr. Brunner [the building inspector] and told him about it. Mr. Brunner came out and told Mr. Stankovic that he would have to stay in line with the other buildings according to the ordinance. Mr. Stankovic told him that he was staying back and the portion projecting was going to be a porch.' The plans submitted by appellant did not call for the erection of a porch.

Charles Kovacs, petitioner below and appellee here, whose home was adjacent to appellant's construction, testified that he too noticed that the appellant had placed his footer over the set-back line. Kovacs testified that he called the building inspector twice between July and September 1951 and that he spoke to Mr. Stankovic about the matter 'three or four times'. He stated further that he warned Stankovic that he was building too close to the street and 'begged him to change it'.

Appellant testified that after he poured the footer in July 1951 the building inspector looked at the location of the footers and 'never told me nothing'. Immediately after appellant had given this answer, his ...


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