Appeal, No. 5, Jan. T., 1963, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, No. 61-9396, in case of Frank A. Peirce v. Zoning Board of Adjustment of Upper Dublin Township. Order affirmed.
John P. Yatsko, with him Elmer L. Menges, for appellant.
Knox Henderson, with him Henderson, Wetherill & O'Hey, for appellee.
Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'brien and Roberts, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BENJAMIN R. JONES
This is an appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County which reversed the refusal of the Zoning Board of Adjustment of Upper Dublin Township (Board) to grant a variance to Frank A. Peirce to use a portion of his residentially zoned land for gasoline service station purposes.
Pennsylvania Avenue (Avenue) - a 60 foot wide and very heavily traveled highway - leads from the Bethlehem Pike to Fort Washington Industrial Park,*fn1 to the Fort Washington entrance to the Pennsylvania Turnpike and to a clover-leaf interchange between the Avenue, the Turnpike and Route 309 By-pass Thruway. On the north side of the Avenue, Peirce owns a large (2.73
acre) tract of land and the plot of ground which is the subject matter of this appeal is a portion of that larger tract, having a frontage on the Avenue of 182.24 feet and a depth extending northeastwardly from the Avenue of 155 feet. All this land is located in Upper Dublin Township.
On the south side of the Avenue - located in Whitemarsh Township - and directly opposite Peirce's plot is the plant of Chemical Concentrates Corporation (Chemical Company); on the same side of the Avenue to the east of the Chemical Company land are a substation of Philadelphia Electric Corporation, a bank, a post office and other office buildings, while to the west of the Chemical Company land are a printing shop, two residences and a gasoline service station. All this area on the south side of the Avenue is zoned "Commercial" by Whitemarsh Township.
Peirce's land is zoned "B-Residential" by Upper Dublin Township (Township). However, to the east of Peirce's plot and thirty feet away is "Commercial Drive" - a 70 feet wide driveway - which constitutes the main entrance to the Industrial Park and between Peirce's land and Commerce Drive is a 30 feet strip of land which is occupied by a sewage pumping station, part of the Township's sanitary sewer system. To the west of Peirce's plot is the remainder of Peirce's land - having a frontage of approximately 300 feet on the Avenue - now under lease for the storage of equipment and materials for a sewer contractor engaged in laying sewers for the Township. Adjoining this other land of Peirce to the west are three residences and next to them are a residence with a shop (used as a contractor's shop and garage), an office and an apartment in the rear.
When Peirce acquired this entire property - 1934 - the zoning ordinance had not been passed, the Avenue had not been ...