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GOOD FELLOWSHIP AMBULANCE CLUB'S APPEAL. (03/13/62)

March 13, 1962

GOOD FELLOWSHIP AMBULANCE CLUB'S APPEAL.


Appeal, No. 14, Jan. T., 1962, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, Nov. T., 1960, No. 25, in re application of Good Fellowship Ambulance Club of Chester County. Order reversed.

COUNSEL

Robert W. Lentz, with him Reilly, Fogwell & Lentz, for appellant.

William H. Mitman, with him Stively and Mitman, for intervenors.

Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen and O'brien, JJ.

Author: Musmanno

[ 406 Pa. Page 466]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE MUSMANNO

The Good Fellowship Ambulance Club of Chester County is a Pennsylvania nonprofit corporation dedicated to philanthropy and charity. It is made up of

[ 406 Pa. Page 467]

    men inspired with the spirit of the Biblican Samaritan who succored the wounded traveler. These men keep themselves ready at all times to drive ambulances to help those who have been injured by conflagration, accident or other disaster or who may be in need of ambulance service because of other emergencies. They perform these services without compensation.

When the beneficiaries of the Club's activities are able to pay for services rendered, the money is used to help maintain the organization. If they are unable to pay, the work is performed with equal zeal in the name of pure charity. Even when beneficiaries indicate a capacity to pay, one-third of the bills submitted are not collected and at the end of each year, all bills are burned in the fires of forgetting and starting anew.

The Club maintains headquarters at 225 South Walnut Street in West Chester where two ambulances are under roof, one is constantly on the alert on the street, and a fourth is kept in a used-car lot in the immediate vicinity. The needs of the community having augmented in volume, the Club recently felt obliged to acquire more extensive quarters and additional equipment. Arrangements were accordingly made with an Anthony W. Morelli to purchase from him a certain property in West Goshen Township which would permit the erection of a new ambulance garage large enough to accommodate additional ambulances together with emergency equipment such as oxygen tanks, fracture table, extra stretchers and motor accessories. The vehicles to be stored at this new site would be auxiliary or reserve ambulances to be called into use only when the West Chester ambulances would be unavailable.

Since the property in question is located in an area zoned "A Residence," it became necessary to obtain a special exception under the provisions of the applicable West Goshen Township zoning ordinance. An application

[ 406 Pa. Page 468]

    to obtain such an exception was made but it was refused by the township board of adjustment on the basis that the intended use would be adverse to public interest and that it "would have a ...


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