Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, No. 817 of 1968, in re appeal of Radnor Township School Authority from decision of Board of Adjustment.
Robert C. Lea, Jr., with him Hart, Childs, Hepburn, Ross & Putnam, for appellants.
Fronefield Crawford, Solicitor, for commissioners, appellants.
Douglas D. Royal, with him Harold D. Greenwell, and Greenwell, Porter, Smaltz & Royal, for township, appellee.
Bell, C. J., Jones, Cohen, Eagen and O'Brien, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice O'Brien. Mr. Chief Justice Bell and Mr. Justice Cohen concur in the result. Mr. Justice Roberts took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.
The instant matter concerns an appeal by the Radnor Township School Authority (hereinafter referred to as the Authority) from an adverse decision of the Board of Adjustment of Radnor Township. This case involves the conflicting assertions of authority by two municipal bodies in Radnor Township, i.e., the Authority and the Township. In essence, the basic issue to be resolved is whether the Township, under The First Class Township Code and the Zoning Ordinance enacted thereunder, has the power to regulate, by means of its Zoning Ordinance, the location of public school buildings by the Authority within Radnor Township.
On July 27, 1967, the Authority acquired title, by agreement and deed in lieu of condemnation, to premises known as 801 Maplewood Avenue, Wayne, Radnor Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, consisting of 19.8 acres. This tract will hereinafter be referred to as the Geist Tract. The Authority acquired the Geist tract at the request and authorization of the School District of Radnor Township. The School
District had passed a unanimous resolution approving the purchase of the Geist tract for purposes of constructing thereon an elementary school. Thereafter the School District entered into a lease with the Authority concerning the said Geist tract.
On September 25, 1967, the Authority, as record legal owner of the Geist tract, and upon authorization and approval of the School District, made application to the Building Inspector of Radnor Township for a certificate of occupancy to utilize the said tract as an elementary school together with attendant facilities, including a playground area and a parking lot. The application was refused on October 4, 1967 on the ground that such use was not permitted under Article V, § 501 of the Radnor Township Zoning Ordinance. The Geist tract is situate in an A-2 Zoning District in which the requested use is not permitted by special exception or otherwise.
Thereafter, the Authority, upon approval and authorization by the School District, appealed to the Radnor Township Board of Adjustment the refusal of the Building Inspector to issue a Certificate of Occupancy. Three extensive public hearings were held before the Board of Adjustment in the months of October, November and December, 1967.
During the course of the appeal proceedings before the Board of Adjustment, both the Authority and the School District petitioned the Commissioners of Radnor Township for a rezoning of the Geist tract from A-2 to I-Institutional and a hearing was held before the Commissioners on November 20, 1967 at which time it was stipulated that the testimony and exhibits introduced and to be introduced before the Board, as well as other evidence, ...