Appeal, No. 135, Jan. T., 1958, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Apr. T., 1956, No. 2, in re appeal of Luigi Riccardi v. Board of Adjustment of Plymouth Township, Montgomery County and Paul Bono. Order reversed.
Alphonso Santangelo, for appellant.
A. Benjamin Scirica, with him Cassin W. Craig, William W. Vogel, and Wisler, Pearlstine & Talone, for appellees.
Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Musmanno, Arnold, Jones and Cohen, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE ARNOLD
This is an appeal from the order of the court below affirming the decision of the zoning board which granted a variance to appellee.
The appellee is owner of a lot in Plymouth Township, Montgomery County, adjoining premises of appellant,
in an area zoned as "A" residential by an ordinance enacted in 1954. The ordinance prescribed that there be on each lot two side yards having "an aggregate width of not less than forty (40) feet, neither side yard having a width less than seventeen (17) feet." Appellee applied for a variance to permit construction of a dwelling in such manner that his side yard adjoining appellant's premises would have only an eightfoot width, while the other side yard was of a seventeen-foot width.
At the public hearing on the application held April 16, 1956, no objections were raised and the variance was granted. Appellee obtained a building permit on April 17th and proceeded to excavate on April 21st. On April 25th the appellant filed his appeal in the court below and also notified appellee in writing to "refrain from going ahead with the work pending the final determination of this appeal." At this time not much more than the excavation had been completed.
On June 11th, the court below "referred [the new matter] back to the Board of Adjustment for the purpose of taking ... additional testimony." Further hearing having been had on July 16th, the court below affirmed the decision of the board; hence this appeal.
At best, the testimony established that when application for the variance was made, appellee had done nothing more than purchase the lot and a set of readymade plans. The board granted the variance on the basis that appellee qualified for it under Section 1601 of the ordinance;*fn1 that no objections were raised at ...