Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, No. A2146 of 1967, in case of Stanley Pyzdrowski et ux. v. Board of Adjustment of the City of Pittsburgh.
Gilbert E. Morcroft, for appellants.
Cyril A. Fox, Jr., Assistant City Solicitor, with him Marion K. Finkelhor, City Solicitor, for appellee.
Leonard M. Mendelson, for intervenors.
Bell, C. J., Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts and Pomeroy, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Pomeroy.
This appeal was brought from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County which affirmed the decision of the Board of Adjustment of the City of Pittsburgh granting Mario DePasquale a variance from the side yard requirements of the zoning ordinance applicable to his property, and finding that the present use of the building on the property constitutes a nonconforming structure. Appellants, neighboring property owners who intervened below, contend that the court committed error of law and abuse of discretion in affirming that decision.
The background facts are these: Some time previous to 1919 a single-family dwelling was erected on a lot fronting 100 feet on Wallingford Street in the City of Pittsburgh. In 1919 the house was remodeled, pursuant to a building permit, to accommodate two families. As remodeled it had, and still has, 3 stories and 22 rooms, and is 2.38 feet from the westerly lot line. There was evidence tending to show that since 1922 the house has been occupied by two or more families.
In 1923 there was adopted Pittsburgh's first zoning ordinance, and the property was zoned "B" Residential, allowing two-family occupancy. Under a 1926 amendment the property was rezoned "C" Residential, to permit only single-family occupancy. This use restriction has continued to the present time. In 1958 the present City zoning ordinance was adopted. This requires two side yards of 10 feet each for side yards not abutting streets. It also provides that one parking stall shall accompany each dwelling unit.
Mr. DePasquale purchased the property in 1962, and the following year subdivided it into two 50-foot lots, apparently pursuant to a properly filed subdivision plan. The dimensions of the dwelling house are such that on its easterly side the side yard area after this subdivision is only 9.3 feet wide, as contrasted with 59.3 feet before the subdivision.*fn1
In May, 1962, Mr. DePasquale applied for an "Occupancy Permit" of the existing structure. The application states that it is desired to change an existing 3 family dwelling to a 2 family dwelling. It indicates that this would be a continuation of a nonconforming use. The application further stated that to be approved, a variance was required as to the side yard widths to the extent they were under the 10 foot requirement.*fn2
From a refusal of this application by the Zoning Administrator, DePasquale appealed to the Board of Adjustment. Hearings were held in 1967 and 1968.*fn3 The Board ...