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GRUBB APPEAL. (05/28/59)

May 28, 1959

GRUBB APPEAL.


Appeal, No. 28, Jan. T., 1959, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, June T., 1957, No. 14, in matter of appeal of Roland S. Grubb and Mary S. Grubb, his wife, from decision of Zoning Board of Adjustment of Borough of Kennett Square. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

Roland S. Grubb, for appellants.

John M. Kurtz, Jr., with him Larmore & Scarlett, Griffith, Kurtz & Harvey, for borough, appellee.

Before Bell, Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Bok and Mcbride, JJ.

Author: Jones

[ 395 Pa. Page 621]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BENJAMIN R. JONES

This is an appeal from the action of the court below in affirming the issuance of a variance by the zoning board of adjustment of the Borough of Kennett Square, Chester County, which authorized the structural extension of a multiple dwelling which is nonconforming in both use and dimensional requirements.

The property in question, located in an R-2 Residence district, has been used since its purchase in 1926 as a multiple dwelling containing three apartments and rooms for twenty-seven lodgers.*fn1 The building is constructed in the form of an "L" and the proposed variance will permit the appellee to extend the front of the house 15.5 feet north, thus reducing the front yard at its deepest point from 18.6 feet to 10.7 feet, and to extend the north wall 7.9 feet east, thus reducing the side yard at its deepest point from 19.88 feet to 4.38 feet. The net result of the proposed construction would be to eliminate the "L" by extending the eastern front wall north and the northern side wall east until the walls joined so that the resulting structure would be square or rectangular in shape.*fn2 The area thus encompassed by the proposed construction, - currently being used as an open flagstone patio, - would be converted into an additional apartment.

Appellants' primary objection to this contemplated construction is that the alteration, if permitted, would

[ 395 Pa. Page 622]

    further violate the side-yard and set-back requirements since the zoning ordinance requires a 25 foot front yard and side yards of 12 feet in the case of multiple dwellings. There apparently is, and, under the terms of the ordinance, can be, no objection to the extension of the nonconforming use of the premises as a multiple dwelling.*fn3

On an appeal from the action of a zoning board in issuing or refusing a variance, the record is examined only to determine whether or not there has been a manifest abuse of discretion or an error of law. Richman v. Zoning Board of Adjustment, 391 Pa. 254, 137 A.2d 280. In Blanarik Appeal, 375 Pa. 209, 100 A.2d 58, where an "exception" (more correctly, a variance) was sought for the extension of a nonconforming use, Mr. Chief Justice STERN stated (p. 212): "Apparently Blanarik required some additional room for the normal increase of his business and it would be imposing a wholly unnecessary hardship upon him to prevent his taking advantage of that increase, while, on the other hand, the proposed extension to his building could not, in the remotest degree, be contrary to the public interest or militate against the general purpose of the ordinance ..." Although in Blanarik there was no express consideration of ...


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