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SOUTH PHILADELPHIA DRESSED BEEF COMPANY v. ZONING BOARD ADJUSTMENT. (01/08/58)

January 8, 1958

SOUTH PHILADELPHIA DRESSED BEEF COMPANY, APPELLANT,
v.
ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT.



Appeal, No. 374, Jan. T., 1957, from order of Court of Common Pleas No. 2 of Philadelphia County, Sept. T., 1956, No. 6197, in case of South Philadelphia Dressed Beef Company, Inc v. Zoning Board of Adjustment. Order and decree affirmed.

COUNSEL

Samuel Phillips Lavine, with him Blanc, Steinberg, Balder & Steinbrook, for appellant.

Levy Anderson, First Deputy City Solicitor, with him Lenard Wolffe, Assistant City Solictor, James L. Stern and Leonard L. Ettinger, Deputy City Solicitors, and David Berger, City Solicitor, for appellee.

Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Chidsey, Musmanno, Jones and Cohen, JJ.

Author: Bell

[ 391 Pa. Page 112]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BELL

The Board of Adjustment and the lower Court refused a variance, and from the order or decree of the lower Court an appeal was taken to this Court. Judge SPORKIN, speaking for the lower Court, said:

"This case is before us on appeal from the refusal of the Zoning Board of Adjustment to issue a permit for the erection of a one-story building on ground situated on the northeast corner of Moyamensing Avenue and McClellan Street, in the City of Philadelphia, better known and numbered as 1809-1813 Moyamensing Avenue, which ground adjoins appellant's present slaughter-house and meat-packing plant. Appellant's slaughter-house is located in a 'general industrial' district, and its operation constitutes a non-conforming use.

"Appellant proposes to use the additional structure as a freezer-warehouse in which it intends to freeze and store meats produced in the slaughter-house. The plot of ground upon which the appellant seeks to erect the additional structure lies in a district zoned 'A Commercial'. Appellant sought a use variance before the Zoning Board of Adjustment because slaughter-houses are permitted only in 'least restricted districts'. In addition to a variance as to use, appellant's application involves a variance with respect to the 'open area' requirements for 'A Commercial' property. Chapter 14-303 (3)(a) of the General Code of Ordinances provides that no more than 80% of the lot shall be occupied. In the instant case appellant proposes to leave only 10% of the area unoccupied.

[ 391 Pa. Page 113]

"Appellant maintains: that the proposed freezer warehouse is essential to its continued existence; that the freezer-warehouse constitutes an extension of its business which is part of its natural growth and development; that the addition would not produce results contrary to the public interest; and that the 'open area' requirements cannot be applied to the appellant because other properties in the neighborhood do not meet these requirements.

"Testimony was taken before this Court, which supplemented the testimony previously given before the Zoning Board. Appellant presented evidence concerning the manner in which the proposed freezer-warehouse would be operated, if its construction were permitted; the appellant's great need for this facility; its production of meat for the United States Army, for export to foreign governments, and for wholesalers and retailers, including food chains; its estimated volume of production of 17 million pounds annually, of which approximately 6 million pounds are sold as frozen meat; and its present method of trucking its meat to a public freezer where it is frozen, stored, and thereafter returned to appellant's slaughter-house by truck, unloaded, inspected, and finally shipped by truck to appellant's customers.

"Further, appellant, to demonstrate its need, offered evidence to the effect that trucking operations between its plant and the public freezer would be eliminated by the construction of the proposed freezer-warehouse adjacent to its slaughter-house, which would thus permit appellant to compete with other meat producers having adequate freezing and storing facilities in their plants. It is conceded that there has been a substantial growth in the production ...


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