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EVERSON v. ZONING BOARD ADJUSTMENT. (03/16/59)

March 16, 1959

EVERSON, APPELLANT,
v.
ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT.



Appeal, No. 30, Jan. T., 1959, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County, Jan. T., 1957, No. 289, in case of Walter A. Everson, on behalf of Everson Electric Company, v. Zoning Board of Adjustment of the City of Allentown. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

Wallace H. Webster, Jr., with him Snyder, Webster and Worth, for appellant.

Roy A. Reabuck, Assistant City Solicitor, with him George T. Sacks, City Solicitor, for Zoning Board of Adjustment of the City of Allentown, appellee.

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

Author: Bell

[ 395 Pa. Page 169]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BELL

Everson purchased Lots 1118-1126 Union Boulevard in Allentown and erected a large building in 1937 to carry on its business of repairing electric motors, generators, coil manufacturing, etc. In 1941 it constructed a 40' addition; in 1943 it added a basement and an addition of 50' x 60' to its building; and another addition was made in 1945. In 1944 it purchased Lots 860 to 890 on North Kiowa Street which adjoined its property and it erected on these lots a two-car garage and a conduit storage building adjoining the garage.

The City of Allentown adopted a zoning ordinance on March 14, 1948. Everson applied for a 15 foot setback and a variance to erect an addition - 100 feet long, 62 feet wide and 22 feet high - to its present building, contending it was merely an expansion of its non-conforming use. The Zoning Board granted a 5 foot set-back, a variance and the expansion requested but imposed numerous restrictions. The Court of Common Pleas remanded the case to the Board for additional testimony and thereafter reversed in part and sustained in part the restrictions and conditions imposed by the Board.

[ 395 Pa. Page 170]

Everson raises two questions on this appeal. (1) May the Board in granting the expansion of a non-conforming use and set-back variance impose conditions and restrictions: (2) Were the restrictions with respect to off-street parking, paving the entire parking area, and no external storage of materials, if permissible at all, reasonable, proper and lawful?

Everson in its application to enlarge its building stated that it needed a larger building because the work load on heavy equipment had increased.The proposed enlargement of its plant will require hiring additional employees, most of whom drive their own cars. Parking space in the streets adjacent to Everson's plant is limited, and Everson always insisted that if possible its employees should park their cars upon its open lot area. Everson's non-conforming use jutted into a finely developed residential area. The open area of the lot devoted to parking is unpaved, presents an unsightly appearance and in periods of heavy rain, loose dirt and gravel are washed from the lot to the area in front of neighboring residences, and in dry seasons the movement of cars into and from the lot causes clouds of dust.

The pertinent section of the Allentown Zoning Ordinance which provides for the granting of extensions of non-conforming uses is as follows: "Unless otherwise contrary to law, a non-conforming use in existence at the time of the adoption of this ordinance, 1. may be continued subsequently; 2. may be changed to another non-conforming use of the same or of a more restrictive classification; 3. may be reasonably enlarged or extended to provide for natural expansion thereof, to accommodate increased trade, business or industry, provided that such enlargement or extension shall not ...


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