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YOCUM ZONING CASE. (05/26/58)

May 26, 1958

YOCUM ZONING CASE.


Appeal, No. 234, Jan. T., 1958, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County, May T., 1957, No. 607, in re Albert. O. Yocum et ux. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

William J. Fahey, Solicitor, for Kingston Borough, appellants.

John H. Hibbard, for appellees.

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

Author: Jones

[ 393 Pa. Page 149]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BENJAMIN R. JONES

On September 15, 1925 Albert O. Yocum and wife, appellees, purchased a vacant lot - thirty-five feet in width and one hundred twenty-seven feet in depth - on West Walnut Street, Kingston Borough, Luzerne County. Their deed - similar to deeds of other property owners in the neighborhood - contained a restrictive covenant that "no building shall be erected ... which shall approach the front line of said lot nearer than twenty-five feet except porches and steps which may extend within fifteen feet."

Immediately subsequent to the purchase of this lot appellees constructed a two-story frame single family dwelling. The edge of the westerly front half of the building - an extension of the first floor living room - was approximately seventeen feet from the street line. The edge of the easterly front half of the building was approximately twenty-five feet from the street line

[ 393 Pa. Page 150]

    although a porch extended from that point approximately eight feet so that the front edge of the porch was approximately seventeen feet from the street line. The entire front line of the building - the front edge of the extended living room on the westerly side and of the porch on the easterly side - was approximately seventeen feet from the street line.

Approximately three years after construction of appellees' building the Borough of Kingston adopted a zoning ordinance which classified the area in which appellees' property was located as a U-5 District, a residential district somewhat less restricted than other residential districts in the borough. This ordinance required a front yard building line or "set back" of not less than twenty feet and a side yard building line or "set back" of not less than four feet. Appellees' building, although in conformity with the use type of buildings prescribed by the ordinance, failed to conform either with the front yard or side yard "set back" requirements.

Approximately fifteen to eighteen years ago appellees converted their single family dwelling into a two-family dwelling with an apartment located on each of the two floors, a conversion which required an addition to the rear of the building.*fn1 The propriety of the use of the building as a two-family dwelling in the zoned district is admitted. ...


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