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KLEIN APPEAL. (03/16/59)

March 16, 1959

KLEIN APPEAL.


Appeal, No. 44, Jan. T., 1959, from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, June T., 1957, No. 1155, in re appeal of Harry Klein from Board of Adjustment of Township of Springfield. Decree affirmed.

COUNSEL

Frank F. Truscott, with him Malcolm Petrikin, for Board of Commissioners of Springfield Township, appellant.

Edward H. Bryant, Jr., with him Edward H. P. Fronefield, and Lutz, Fronefield, Warner & Bryant, for appellee.

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

Author: Bell

[ 395 Pa. Page 158]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BELL

A building inspector revoked Harry Klein's building permit; the revocation was sustained by the Board of Adjustment of Springfield Township, Delaware County. The lower Court found that the Board of Adjustment had manifestly abused its discretion and sustained Klein's appeal. The Board of Township Commissioners took this appeal from the decree of the lower Court.

The essential facts are not in dispute and can be summarized as follows: On November 5, 1956, Harry Klein entered into an agreement of sale to purchase one acre of ground for $23,000 on the south side of State Road in Springfield Township. The property was zoned "A" Residential. Article III, ยง 301, of the Springfield Township Zoning Ordinance which was in effect at that time, permitted (inter alia) a use of the premises for "farm" purposes, in an "A" Residential District. On December 31, 1956, Harry Klein applied to the Township Building Inspector for permits to erect a greenhouse and a workshop on the premises.

[ 395 Pa. Page 159]

On January 14, 1957, the Building Inspector issued the permits.

On January 15, 1957, Harry Klein completed settlement for the property. On January 16, 1957, Klein started to remove all of the trees and clean up the grounds. On January 22, 1957, he contracted for a new roof on the garage at a cost of $292. On January 24, 1957, he contracted for masonry work for $4,400 for a new workshop and a greenhouse. On January 29, 1957, he contracted to buy a greenhouse for $6,250 and paid $4,750 on account.*fn1 There was no allegation of fraud and the Court found there was no evidence or proof of bad faith on the part of Klein.

On January 31, 1957, the building inspector notified Klein that his building permits were suspended until further notice.

On March 19, 1957, the Springfield Township Board of Commissioners adopted Ordinance No. 583 amending the Zoning Ordinance by deleting "farm" use from the list of permitted uses in an "A" Residential Zoning District. The amended ordinance, having been passed after the valid issuance of Klein's permits, is inapplicable to his property and could not justify (as the Board concedes) a revocation of his permits: Shapiro v. Zoning Board of Adjustment, 377 Pa. 621, 105 A.2d 299. On March 21, 1957, the building inspector notified Klein that his building permits were revoked. Klein appealed the revocation and was given a hearing by the Board of Adjustment on April 25, 1957. On June 27, 1957, ...


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