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SYLVESTER v. PITTSBURGH ZONING BOARD ADJUSTMENT. (11/24/59)

November 24, 1959

SYLVESTER, APPELLANT,
v.
PITTSBURGH ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT.



Appeal, No. 122, March T., 1959, from order of County Court of Allegheny County, No. A-987 of 1958, in case of Lawrence F. Sylvester et ux. v. Zoning Board of Adjustment of the City of Pittsburgh et al. Order affirmed; reargument refused January 30, 1960. Proceedings on appeal from decision of zoning board of adjustment refusing to grant variance. Before LENCHER, P.J. Adjudication filed dismissing appeal, exceptions to adjudication dismissed and order entered. Property owners appealed.

COUNSEL

Bresci R. P. Leonard, with him Royston, Robb & Leonard, for appellants.

David Stahl, City Solicitor, with him Frederick A. Boehm, Assistant City Solicitor, for City of Pittsburgh, intervening appellee.

J. Lee Miller, with him Miller & Miller, for intervening appellees.

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

Author: Jones

[ 398 Pa. Page 217]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BENJAMIN R. JONES

This appeal challenges the validity of the affirmance by the County Court of Allegheny County of the decision of the Pittsburgh Zoning Board of Adjustment (herein called Board) which denied variances to Sylvesters, the appellants, in connection with the use of property owned by them in the "Crafton Heights" area of Pittsburgh.

In 1949 Sylvesters paid $12,000 to the Pittsburgh School District for a two and one-half story, 45' X 90', abandoned school building located on a 2 acre tract of land. Under the then effective zoning ordinance,*fn1 this

[ 398 Pa. Page 218]

    school property was located in a "B" Residential District wherein one and two-family dwellings were permitted and light industrial or commercial uses prohibited, the school being a permitted use. Sylvesters - then owners and operators of an art school - planned to remodel this building; to convert the first floor into two apartments*fn2 and the second floor either for use by the art school or into several apartments. When it became impracticable to locate the art school in the building Sylvesters applied for a building permit to convert the second floor into several apartments; such permit was refused because of the two-family zoning regulation. Sylvesters then applied for a zone change but City Council did not grant their request. The result is that Sylvesters and their son each have an apartment on the first floor but the second floor of the building remains unused and unoccupied. One variance now requested is to use the second floor of this building as the office of a coin-vending machine corporation in which Sylvesters and their son own the majority stock.

In 1951 Sylvesters purchased a 1 acre tract of vacant land, adjoining the school property, for $3250, this tract being under the same zoning restrictions as the school property. After obtaining the required consents of adjoining property owners,*fn3 the Sylvesters in 1957 obtained permission to construct on this tract of land a garage "to house 10 trucks" and this garage was completed prior to October 1957.*fn4 On October 1, 1957 Sylvesters obtained further permission to erect in the garage a concrete block ...


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