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PEIRCE APPEAL. (01/13/56)

January 13, 1956

PEIRCE APPEAL.


Appeal, No. 127, March T., 1955, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County, June T., 1953, No. 305, in re Appeal of Glenn C. Peirce from Refusal of Building Permit by Beaver Board of Adjustment. Order reversed.

COUNSEL

Norman S. Faulk, for appellant.

John G. Marshall, will him Moorhead, Marshall & Sawyer, for appellee.

Before Stern, C.j. Stearne, Jones and Arnold, JJ.

Author: Jones

[ 384 Pa. Page 101]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE JONES

This appeal is from an order of the court below affirming the action of a zoning board of adjustment in sustaining the zoning officer's refusal of a permit for the extension of a building to accommodate the normal business expansion of a nonconforming use. The applicant brought this appeal.

In 1945 the appellant became the owner of a lot of ground in the Borough of Beaver located at the corner of Fifth and Navigation Streets. The lot fronted 41.74 feet on Fifth Street and ran back along Navigation Street, preserving a substantially even width throughout, for a distance of one hundred and fifty feet to a twenty-foot alley. It was improved with a dwelling located on the Fifth Street end of the lot, and, at the rear, there was erected thereon a double, one-story, frame garage. By 1949 the owner had established in the garage an iron working, welding and automobile repair business. By March 1, 1951, he had enlarged the garage building for his business purposes to its present size of twenty feet by forty feet; and a portion of the lot to the extent of approximately six hundred square feet, between the garage building and the residence, was used by the owner as an open storage and work area in the furtherance of his business. In addition to that, an open frame lean-to, attached to the garage and

[ 384 Pa. Page 102]

    covering approximately one hundred and twenty-five square feet, was also used for storage of tools, equipment and spare parts necessary in the business.

TheBorough of Beaver enacted its zoning ordinance on March 13, 1951. The ordinance zoned as commercial practically the entire length of Third (or Main) Street of the borough and two lots directly back of the court house yard and a public square, both of the latter abutting on Third Street. All other property in the borough was zoned residential. Consequently, the appellant's established business located at Fifth and Navigation Streets became, with the adoption of the ordinance, a nonconforming use.

Because of the growth of the appellant's business, he applied on March 30, 1953, to the zoning officer for a permit for the construction of a concrete block addition to his garage building, thirty feet by forty feet in size. A permit was refused by the administrative officer and, on appeal, the board of adjustment affirmed the refusal. The owner's appeal to the court below resulted in the record and order which we not have for review.

Two somewhat similar prior applications for a permit had likewise been refused and, although extensive testimony had been taken at hearings before the board of adjustment upon the appeals to that body, the matter never reached the court below until the appeal from the board's affirmance of the administrative officer's denial of the third application. Upon certifying the record to the Court of Common Pleas, the board of adjustment so condensed the testimony that the court was unable to determine the facts upon which the board had based its findings or the reasons for its conclusions. In that situation, the court remanded the record ...


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