Appeal, No. 129, Jan. T., 1958, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, June T., 1955, No. 51, in re appeal of A. O. Edwards from decision of Board of Adjustment of Lower Merion Township. Order reversed: reargument refused April 17, 1958.
Edmund B. Spaeth, Jr., with him John E. Forsythe, Township Solicitor, and Wright, Mauck, Hawes & Spencer, for appellant.
Howard Richard, with him Raymond Seidel, Berman & Richard, and High, Swartz, Childs & Roberts, for appellees.
Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Chidsey, Musmanno, Jones and Arnold, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE COHEN
Since 1927 the Lower Merion Township Zoning Ordinance has designated the area southwest of the intersection of City Line and Lancaster Avenues as R 3, residential. The land uses permitted in this section
include single-family detached dwellings on lots of not less than 10,000 square feet.*fn1
In 1953, Edwards and a partner purchased for $28,000 one and a half acres of land situated and fronting on the south side of heavily traveled Lancaster Avenue, some 1300 feet west of the City Line intersection. The normal value of this property, including a dwelling which was in a state of disrepair, was estimated at $12,000.
To the south of the Edwards's tract are the grounds of the Lankenau Hospital and a transformer station of the Philadelphia Electric Company. To the east are apartments for hospital personnel and a Theological Seminary. Across Lancaster Avenue, to the north, lies the College of St. Charles Borromeo. Immediately to the west is a private residence, and the area beyond includes a series of single-family homes.
Edwards purchased the property with the intention of constructing an office building for the staff physicians of the hospital. To this end Lankenau's board of trustees joined with Edwards in petitioning the township board of commissioners to rezone the area so as to permit such use. However, ...