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BRAUNS v. SWARTHMORE BOROUGH (03/27/72)

decided: March 27, 1972.

BRAUNS
v.
SWARTHMORE BOROUGH



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County in case of Mrs. Beulah Brauns v. Borough of Swarthmore, No. 1315 of 1971.

COUNSEL

Holbrook M. Bunting, Jr., with him Trevaskis, Doyle, Currie, Nolan & Bunting, for appellant.

Clarence G. Myers, for appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Kramer.

Author: Kramer

[ 4 Pa. Commw. Page 628]

This is an appeal from a Final Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County affirming a Resolution of the Swarthmore Borough Council (Borough) which denied an application by Beulah Brauns (Brauns) for approval of a two-lot subdivision plan.

In 1940, Brauns, a widow, purchased a 58,015 square foot rectangular-shaped tract of land on Vassar Avenue in the Borough of Swarthmore. In that same year Brauns (and her late husband) constructed a residence located on the rear two-thirds of the lot. The

[ 4 Pa. Commw. Page 629]

    lot and residence face onto Vassar Avenue, while to the rear of the lot there exists a yet unopened but proposed street, known as Harvard Avenue.

After her husband's death in 1970, Brauns, intending to sell the entire tract, on September 18, 1970, submitted for informal consideration a plan to subdivide her lot into two lots. After informal conferences whereby the plan was revised three times, Brauns formally submitted a subdivision plan on November 25, 1970.

The proposed plan called for the division of the tract into two separate lots. The smaller, front lot, facing Vassar Avenue, has an area of 14,006 square feet and is comparable in size to most of the other lots in the immediate neighborhood. The larger, rear lot extends to the proposed Harvard Avenue and contains 43,010 square feet. It was proposed that the larger lot would have access to Vassar Avenue by means of an easement twenty feet in width extending along the northerly side of the smaller lot.

The plan was submitted to the Swarthmore Planning Commission, which by letter of December 1, 1970 indicated its preliminary approval. Two additional revisions followed informal conference, and on December 18, 1970, the subdivision plan was formally approved by the Delaware County Planning Commission. Following the County approval, the Swarthmore Planning Commission formally approved the subdivision plan on December 21, 1970. In reliance upon the December 1, 1970 preliminary approval of the local Planning Commission, Brauns conveyed the larger, rear lot to a third party on December 1, 1970. Pursuant to the Borough's subdivision ordinance, Borough Council considered the subdivision plan at its ...


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