Appeal from order of County Court of Allegheny County, No. A943 of 1965, in case of William McM. Jones, Ronald F. McNeish, Dessie Davis et al. v. Zoning Board of Adjustment of City of Pittsburgh.
Bernard Eisen, with him Julian Ruslander, Robert Engel, and Berkman, Ruslander, Lieber & Engel, for appellant.
Kennedy Smith, with him Kline and Smith, for appellees.
Gerald S. Lesher, with him J. Stanton Carson, for appellee.
Bell, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Cohen. Mr. Justice Musmanno and Mr. Justice Roberts concur in the result.
On July 31, 1962, the president of Ivy Nursing Home, Inc. entered into an agreement for the purchase of certain property for use as a nursing home. On November 10, 1962, an application was filed with the zoning administrator of the Pittsburgh Department of City Planning, requesting an occupancy permit for a nursing home. The administrator denied the application because of insufficient side yard footage. On December 2, 1962, an appeal from the decision of the administrator
was filed before the board of adjustment, which after hearing, granted a variance to the applicant on July 2, 1963.
Section 220 of the Building Code of the City of Pittsburgh (Ordinance No. 300, approved August 6, 1947) provides: "If after issuance of a building permit the construction work has not been started within six months or subsequent to the starting thereof has been discontinued for a period of six months, said permit shall become void, unless extended by the Board of Standards and Appeals."
Furthermore, § 3003-3 of the Ordinance of May 10, 1958 provided in pertinent part: ". . . When the Board has authorized the issuance of Occupancy Permit for a Special Exception or granted a variance, (A) . . . if the . . . Special exception or variance involves physical improvement and such physical improvement has not been substantially started within six (6) months after the date of said approval or authorization . . . the said approval or authorization shall be void unless . . . the Board . . . renews its approval or authorization." On February 27, 1964, § 3003-3A was amended by Ordinance No. 73 of 1964 by adding the words "or until" after the word "unless" so that the line reads ". . . the said approval or authorization shall be void unless or until . . . the Board . . . renews its approval of the authorization." In addition, the amendment added the following language: "Council may renew its approval of a Conditional Use or the Board may renew its authorization for a Special Exception or a variance, by formal action, but without other procedures prerequisite to the original approval or authorization (including public hearings), with[in] one (1) year of said original approval or authorization. Such renewed approval or authorization shall have the same effect as the original and shall be void under the preceding conditions, unless renewed."
No construction work was begun on the proposed nursing home within either six months or one year of the grant of the variance, and on August 20, 1964, applicant was advised by the Superintendent of the Bureau of Building Inspection that the variance of July 12, 1963 had expired and that a construction permit would not be granted unless the board of adjustment issued an extension. The applicant then requested a renewal which was granted on August 28, 1964. Because of an error in the ...