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HAAS v. ZONING BOARD ADJUSTMENT. (03/28/61)

March 28, 1961

HAAS, APPELLANT,
v.
ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT.



Appeal, No. 162, Jan. T., 1961, from order of Court of Common Pleas No. 4 of Philadelphia County, Dec. T., 1959, No. 1121, in case of Charles J. Haas et al. v. The Zoning Board of Adjustment of Philadelphia et al. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

Robert S. Cohen, for protestants, appellants.

Lenard L. Wolffe, Assistant City Solicitor, with him James L. Stern, Deputy City Solicitor, and David Berger, City Solicitor, for zoning board of adjustment, appellee.

Walter W. Rabin, with him H. Mark Solomon, for property owner, intervening appellee.

Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Bok and Eagen, JJ.

Author: Musmanno

[ 403 Pa. Page 156]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE MUSMANNO.

In May of 1959 Abraham Ginsburg (in accordance with the code of General Ordinances of the City of Philadelphia) applied to the Zoning Board of Philadelphia for a certificate to construct a convalescent home with accessory parking on a tract of land owned by him in the northeast section of the city. After a hearing at which residents of the area involved protested the granting of the permit, the zoning board of adjustment granted him two certificates: one for use of the property as a nursing or convalescent home and the other for the use of a certain portion of the ground as a private parking lot. Because of the peculiar configuration of the property, the Board also granted variances from requirements of the code with regard to yard space requirements.

Several of the protesting neighbors appealed to the Court of Common Pleas No. 4 of Philadelphia County, which reviewed the testimony, heard argument, and then affirmed the decision of the board. The protesting neighbors appealed to this Court. They argue that the proposed convalescent home will have an adverse effect upon the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the area. The record fails to support this argument.

[ 403 Pa. Page 157]

It is obvious that the complainants objected to the convalescent home simply because it is a convalescent home and not because there would be or could be anything about such an institution which would deprive them of their rights. The picture the complainants painted of a convalescent home would more easily answer the description of a combined lunatic asylum, home for the incurrables and refuge for victims of a plague than the establishment intended by the applicant for the zoning board certificate.

After a full hearing, the zoning board found that the fears of the complainants were wholly visionary and in no way coincide with reality.

It specifically declared: "That the protestants have presented no positive evidence to influence the decision of the Board that the use of the property as a convalescent home would be against the public interest, their sole objection being, ...


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