Appeal, No. 224, March T., 1963, from order of County Court of Allegheny County, No. A544 of 1962, in re appeal of Carmelo Glorioso and Teresa Glorioso from decision of Board of Adjustment of Borough of Verona et al. Order reversed.
Leonard M. Mendelson, with him Donald E. Ziegler, for appellants.
Charles D. Coll, with him A. Sanford Levy and Herbert G. Sheinberg, for appellees.
Before Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'brien and Roberts JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE JONES
In the spring of 1957, the United States Government offered for public sale an unimproved tract of land located at the northwest corner of Allegheny River Boulevard (Boulevard) and Center Avenue in the Borough of Verona (Borough). This tract, rectangularly shaped, fronted 159 feet on the Boulevard and 103.5 feet on Center Avenue and contained 16,640 square feet.
To the north of the property lies real estate owned and used by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company for railroad purposes; to the west is property owned by Sam Weinstein et al. (Intervenors) on which is erected a supermarket operated by the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (A. & P.); to the south across Center Avenue and to the east across the Boulevard, the United States' land faces an uninterrupted line of commercial establishments the upper floors of many of which are used for residential purposes. Both the Boulevard and Center Avenue carry so much traffic that, prior to the offer for sale of the United States' land, the Borough Council had discussed the feasibility of acquiring some of the A. & P. property or some of the Railroad property for use as a municipal parking lot. Later, on learning that the United States might sell its property, Council determined to bid therefor if and when it should be placed on the market.
Accordingly, when the United States offered the land for sale the Borough submitted a bid. That bid and all other bids submitted at that time were rejected as being too low and the land was re-offered for sale. Bids were again submitted by the Borough, by Carmelo and Teresa Glorioso (Glorioso) and by the Intervenors. On May 31, 1957, Glorioso's bid was accepted.
Thereafter, on June 11, 1957, a zoning ordinance was adopted by the Borough which divided Verona into six zoning districts, namely, Heavy Manufacturing and Industrial, Light Manufacturing and Industrial, Commercial, Public and Private Recreational, Residential and Special.
Only three properties were included within the "Special" district: the Glorioso property, the Railroad property and the A. & P. property. The "Special" district encompasses approximately 4 1/2 acres or 1.3% of the total Borough area of 338 acres and within such district only nine land uses are permitted: (1) cultivation, (2) government use, (3) hospital, (4) medical center, (5) municipal building, (6) parking, (7) public utility structure, (8) railroad use and (9) nonprofit recreation areas. Use as a gasoline service station was specifically prohibited in the "Special" district and the ordinance further provided that, on an appeal to the Board of Adjustment, "no use different from that permitted in the Zoning District shall be permitted." Glorioso appeared at the Borough Council meeting at which the ordinance was adopted and notified Council that his bid had been accepted by the United States.
Four years after the purchase of the land, Glorioso applied to the Borough for a variance to permit the construction of a gasoline station. The Board of Adjustment decided that it was without authority under the ordinance to grant any variance. Appeal was taken to the County Court of Allegheny County ...