Appeals from the Opinion and Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, No. 70-5734, in case of William J. Ford v. Zoning Hearing Board of Lower Providence Township.
Robert C. Fernandez, with him Joseph J. McGrory and McGrory, Scirica, Wentz & Fernandez, for appellant Zoning Hearing Board.
Walter Phipps, Jr., for intervenor and appellant, Wood.
J. Pierce Anderson, with him Bean, DeAngelis, Kaufman & Giangiulio, for appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Manderino, Mencer and Rogers. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr. Judge Manderino concurs in result only. Concurring Opinion by Judge Rogers.
These are appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County which directed Lower Providence Township to issue permits for the construction of appellee's trucking terminal. The Township's Zoning Hearing Board had refused to grant the requested use. With some modification, we affirm the order of the court below.
Appellee, president of De-Pen Lines, Inc., a trucking company in Montgomery County, is seeking to construct a trucking terminal in an "I-Industrial" zone of Lower Providence Township. The township zoning ordinance permits only "commonly known industrial manufacturing pursuits when approved by the Zoning Board of Adjustment," in "I-Industrial" districts. Appellee, therefore, requested approval of his proposed terminal but the Board of Adjustment (now the Zoning Hearing Board), after hearing testimony, denied the application on the grounds that a "trucking terminal" is not a manufacturing company and is not commonly known as an "Industrial Manufacturing Pursuit." In somewhat an alternative stance, the Board further held that the requested use, in "performing all [the] necessary
operations" of trucking, would be "detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the adjoining property owners" and would not comply with the provisions of the Township zoning ordinance for industrial uses.
On appeal to the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, a three judge panel, without additional evidence, unanimously reversed the Board and directed issuance of the necessary permits. Both the Township and an intervening protestant have brought appeals before us.
"Where, as in this case, the Court below took no additional testimony, our review is limited to the narrow issue of whether the Board committed a manifest abuse of discretion or an error of law. Village 2 at New Hope, Inc. Appeals, 429 Pa. 626, 241 A.2d 81 (1968); Di Santo v. Zoning Bd. of Adj., 410 Pa. 331, 189 A.2d 135 (1963)." Burgoon v. Zoning Bd. of Adj., 2 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 238, 277 A.2d 837 (1971).
In Burgoon, as in this case, the Township zoning ordinance used overbroad terms to define uses permitted by special exception. As here, the Board in Burgoon, then attempted to ascribe a narrow meaning to the broad language in the ordinance. This Court stated then and herein reaffirms that "these terms must be given their broadest meanings. Any restriction on their use must be explicit and strictly ...