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GULF OIL CORPORATION v. FAIRVIEW TOWNSHIP BOARD SUPERVISORS ET AL. (05/27/70)

decided: May 27, 1970.

GULF OIL CORPORATION
v.
FAIRVIEW TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS ET AL., APPELLANTS



Appeal from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of York County, May T., 1969, No. 86, in case of Gulf Oil Corporation v. Township Board of Supervisors of Fairview et al.

COUNSEL

John T. Miller, with him Budding, Miller & Boddington, for appellants.

Jay V. Yost, with him Eveler, Puckett & Trout, for appellee.

Bell, C. J., Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts and Pomeroy, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice O'Brien.

Author: O'brien

[ 438 Pa. Page 457]

On May 4, 1967, the appellee entered into a written option to purchase 6.24 acres located at Exit No. 16 of Interstate Route 83 for the purpose of erecting a gasoline service station. The sellers agreed that if appellee

[ 438 Pa. Page 458]

    were prevented from acquiring a suitable use permit, the seller would pay back the consideration paid for the option and both parties would be relieved from all obligations.

On December 21, 1967, appellee received from the proper officer of Fairview Township a building permit authorizing the erection of a gas station on the property. One week later, on December 28, 1967, appellee took title to the property and paid the $50,000 purchase price.

The appellee's original plan showed the station location to be on the east side of the tract, but because of the refusal of the township engineer to approve appellee's drainage system, and because of the fact that less fill would be required, the location was moved to the west side of the tract.

On April 4, 1968, the township solicitor notified appellee that the building permit was revoked for the reasons that (1) the application ". . . misstates the area of the land for which the permit was sought . . ." and (2) that an ordinance, adopted March 30, 1968, zoning appellee's land as residential, prohibited the erection of the proposed gas station.

Appellee appeared before the Township Planning Commission and on September 10, 1968, before the Township Board of Adjustment, seeking to obtain a variance. No formal application was filed as no forms were available and the Board had no established rules for processing applications. Subsequent to the expiration of forty-five days after appellee's appearance before the Board, appellee filed a complaint in mandamus.

On November 21, 1969, the court entered an adjudication which included an order directing the reinstatement of the building permit to the appellee because it had ...


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