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SILVER v. ZONING BOARD ADJUSTMENT. (03/14/55)

March 14, 1955

SILVER, APPELLANT,
v.
ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT.



Appeal, No. 317, Jan. T., 1954, from order of Court of Common Pleas No. 3 of Philadelphia County, Dec. T., 1953, No. 7197, in case of Martin Silver v. Zoning Board of Adjustment and John E. Power, Murray E. Issard, Reuben Cohen, Frank M. Steinberg and Walter S. Pytko. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

Otto Kraus, Jr., with him Harry M. Berkowitz, for appellant.

Matthew W. Bullock, Jr., Assistant City Solicitor, with him James L. Stern, Deputy City Solicitor and Abraham L. Freedman, City Solicitor, for appellees.

I. I. Jamison, with him Folz, Bard, Kamsler, Goodis & Greenfield, for intervening appellee.

Before Stern, C.j., Stearne, Jones, Bell, Chidsey and Musmanno, JJ.

Author: Stearne

[ 381 Pa. Page 42]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE ALLEN M. STEARNE

The appeal is from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County affirming a decision of the Zoning Board of Adjustment. The Board refused to grant a use registration permit for the maintenance of a billboard or sign previously erected without such permit. The question presented to the Board was its power to grant an exception. The proceeding before the court was whether or not the billboard was a non-accessory use. The court dismissed the appeal without prejudice to appellant to apply to the Board for a variance. A rule to show cause why a church

[ 381 Pa. Page 43]

    across the street from the sign should not be allowed to intervene was made absolute.

The plaintiff-appellant is an operator of a paint store located at 3001 Kensington Avenue, in the City of Philadelphia, where it is zoned "a" Commercial District. On October 26, 1953, the appellant leased premises 2902 Kensington Avenue, one block from his place of business, for advertising purposes. The leased premises consisted of a vacant lot and a small metal shack which had not been used for several years. The shack is adjacent to the pavement facing Kensington Avenue. Shortly after making the lease the appellant erected a twelve foot high sign on the premises in front of the entire shack within the lawful limits of the building line. Advertised on the sign is "Martin Silver, Wallpaper and Paints" and there is an arrow directing propective customers "Just one block up". Subsequently the appellant was informed by counsel that he should have procured a use permit for the erection of the sign. He immediately made application to the Zoning Board of Adjustment to "legalize" the sign.

There is no question that a zoning regulation is valid if it is necessary for the preservation of public health, safety, morals or general welfare: Medinger Appeal, 377 Pa. 217, 221, 104 A.2d 118. The regulation of billboards is generally accepted as a legitimate exercise of the police power by a zoning board: Liggett's Petition, 291 Pa. 109, 139 A. 619; McQuillin, Municipal Corporations, (3rd Ed.) Vol. 7, sec. 24.380. It is argued that the case of Bryan v. City of Chester, 212 Pa. 259, 61 A. 894, controls the regulation of billboards and signs. But that case is distinguishable from the present one. There, the City of Chester passed an ...


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