Appeal, No. 240, Jan. T., 1953, from order of Court of Common Pleas No. 5 of Philadelphia County, Sept. T., 1952, No. 6508, in case of Jacob M. Pincus and Nathan Pincus v. John E. Powers, Jr., et al., constituting the Zoning Board of Adjustment and Chelten Hills Civic League. Order affirmed; reargument refused January 27, 1954.
Michael H. Egnal, for appellants.
James L. Stern, Assistant City Solicitor, with him Matthew W. Bullock, Jr., Assistant City Solicitor and Abraham L. Freedman, City Solicitor, for appellees.
John C. Noonan, for Chelten Hills Civic League, intervenor, appellee.
Before Stern, C.j., Stearne, Jones, Bell, Chidsey, Musmanno and Arnold, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BELL
Appellant-plaintiffs are the owners of six parcels of ground situate on the east side of Stenton Avenue at its intersection with the north side of Johnson Street in the City of Philadelphia. The lots have a total frontage of 135 feet and a depth of 100 feet. Plaintiffs sought and were refused a variance -- hence this appeal.
Plaintiffs purchased this property on March 30, 1935, at which time it was and still is zoned "C" Residential. Under "C" Residential Zoning, the land can be used for detached or semi-detached dwellings or multiple dwellings. Plaintiffs sought a variance in order to erect six 2-story structures on this property, the ground floor of each to be used for (a variety of) commercial retail stores, with a second floor to be used as an apartment for a single family dwelling.
The east side of Stenton Avenue between Johnson Street and Barringer Street (the southern half of which is owned by plaintiffs) is a big vacant lot overgrown with weeds. On the rear of plaintiffs' property is a driveway about 10 feet wide, and beyond the driveway new attractive houses have been built on the remaining portion of this large block. All of this entire city block is zoned "C" Residential.
The west side of Stenton Avenue, between Johnson Street and Barringer Street, was rezoned Commercial "A" on December 1, 1944, and a number of commercial stores have been erected in this block. To the north, on the east side of Stenton Avenue, across Barringer Street are residences and the zoning is "C" Residential.
According to plaintiffs, the hardships claimed are twofold: (a) the failure to grant a variance results in great hardship to them because their property is now worth ...