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COLLIGAN ZONING CASE. (05/23/60)

May 23, 1960

COLLIGAN ZONING CASE.


Appeal, No. 139, March T., 1959, from order of County Court of Allegheny County, No. A 2180 of 1957, in re appeal of William Colligan from decision of Zoning Board of Adjustment of the Borough of Whitehall. Order affirmed; reargument refused August 8, 1960. Proceedings on appeal from decision of zoning board of adjustment denying permit. Before BROSKY, J. Order entered sustaining appeal, exceptions to adjudication dismissed and order entered. Borough appealed.

COUNSEL

Loyal H. Gregg, with him Gregg & Price, for appellant.

Henry E. Rea, Jr., with him Brandt, Riester, Brandt & Malone, for appellee.

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

Author: Bell

[ 401 Pa. Page 126]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BELL

The Court, after taking testimony, reversed the Board of Adjustment and entered an Order directing the issuance of a requested building permit. The Borough of Whitehall appealed.

On January 1, 1938, Baldwin Highlands Plan, which contained 100 building lots, among which were those presently in controversy, was recorded in the office of the Recorder of Deeds of Allegheny County. The recorded plan contained a dedication of all streets

[ 401 Pa. Page 127]

    plotted thereon to public use forever. One of these streets was a 40 foot wide street called Earlford Drive. This was a dead end street which served only lots Nos. 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 99 and 100; it ran into a public street known as Abbott Drive at the open end. Mr. and Mrs. Aiken on September 8, 1950, acquired title to lots Nos. 90, 91, and part of lot No. 89; on June 4, 1951, they acquired title to lots Nos. 87, 88 and the remaining portion of lot 89. Colligan, who is a successor in title to Mr. and Mrs. Aiken, purchased from the survivor of them in June, 1957 lots Nos. 87, 88 and a part of lot No. 89.

William T. Hinds, the owner and a successor in title to Mr. and Mrs. Aiken of lots Nos. 99 and 100, which are on the other side of Earlford Drive, opposite to lots Nos. 87 and 88, paved in 1951 and thereafter used approximately 100 feet of Earlford Drive as a means of access to and egress from his property. All of Colligan's property, except that fronting on Earlford Drive, is surrounded by residential homes and there is no means of ingress or egress for Colligan other than Earlford Drive.

On August 28, 1957 Colligan applied for a permit, or alternatively a variance, to build a residence on lots Nos. 87 and 88; his part of lot No. 89 is so small that no house could possibly be erected thereon. The permit official refused a permit and the Board of Adjustment sustained this refusal because, inter alia, a subdivision ordinance was pending in Council - it was passed and approved on November 4, 1957. The County Court, we repeat, reversed the Board of Adjustment and ordered the issuance of the building permit which Colligan had applied for.

When the Borough of Whitehall was formed in 1948, Earlford Drive had never been actually opened. In 1956 the Borough ...


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