Appeal, No. 156, Jan. T., 1955, from order of Court of Common Pleas No. 5 of Philadelphia County, June T., 1954, No. 6347, in case of United Cerebral Palsy Association of Philadelphia v. Zoning Board of Adjustment et al., City of Philadelphia. Order affirmed; reargument refused June 14, 1955.
Thomas M. Schubert, with him William E. Schubert, Jr. and Schubert & Schubert, for appellants.
Theodore Voorhees, with him Timothy B. Atkeson, Robert M. Landis, and Barnes, Dechert, Price, Myers & Rhoads, for appellee.
Before Stern, C.j., Stearne, Jones, Bell, Chidsey, Musmanno and Arnold, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. CHIEF JUSTICE HORACE STERN
The Overbrook Farms Club, an association of neighborhood residents, objects, on this appeal, to the grant by the court below of a use registration permit for a residence at 6020 Overbrook Avenue, Philadelphia, to be occupied by a group of young men physically handicapped by cerebral palsy.
The United Cerebral Palsy Association of Philadelphia and Vicinity applied to the Zoning Division of the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspection for the use registration permit in question. The project of the Association is to establish a residence, presently for ten, possibly later for twenty, members of a group ranging in age from 18 to 35, who have formed themselves into an organization called the "Pioneers." They do not require nursing or custodial care and no medical treatment of any kind will be administered to them on the premises. They are of normal mentality but they suffer in common from the disability visited upon them by their affliction. They will assist in the running of the household. Their reason for associating in a habitation where they will live, dine and sleep is because they presently lack suitable
home environments. Many of them are regularly employed and self-supporting.
The property at 6020 Overbrook Avenue is a large stone residence of ten bedrooms. It is situated in spacious and well-planted grounds. It has an elevator, commodious kitchen facilities, a greenhouse and a four-car garage. Portions of the accessory buildings will probably be used for vocational training, handcraft, horticulture and recreational activities for members of the group.
The property for which the use registration permit was requested is in a "A" residential district. The Zoning Division denied the application, and, on appeal to the Zoning Board, that tribunal likewise held that the permit should not be granted nor a variance allowed. The Court of Common Pleas, however, reversed the order of the Board and granted the use registration permit. The present appeal from that order is by the Overbrook Farms Club which intervened in the original proceedings.
The Philadelphia Zoning Ordinance of August 10, 1933, listed, among the specific uses permitted in a "A" residential district, club houses, schools and dormitories. Also permitted were hospitals, sanitaria, eleemosynary and public institutions (other than correctional), but there was a provision that buildings for such uses should be located at least 75 feet from any adjoining lot or lots. It was because of this requirement that the Zoning Board rejected plaintiff's application because it held that the proposed use of the building for which the permit was requested was that ...