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BELL SAVINGS AND LOAN ASSOCIATION v. ZONING HEARING BOARD (03/14/73)

decided: March 14, 1973.

BELL SAVINGS AND LOAN ASSOCIATION
v.
ZONING HEARING BOARD



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County in case of Bell Savings and Loan Association v. Zoning Hearing Board of Springfield Township, No. 9264 of 1971.

COUNSEL

Norman C. Henss, with him Patricia Burke Henss, for appellant.

Anthony R. Semeraro, with him Mullray, Ryan & Semeraro, for appellee.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson.

Author: Wilkinson

[ 8 Pa. Commw. Page 336]

This is an appeal from the order of the Court of Common Pleas dismissing appellant's appeal from a decision of the Zoning Hearing Board of Springfield Township denying its request for a variance to permit the construction of a drive-in branch office of a savings and loan association. The variance is required because of the lot size, the area being zoned "E" Business, wherein a savings and loan office is permitted.

The record shows that this property contains 9,252 square feet when at least 50,000 square feet are required. It is appellant's position that this lot cannot accommodate a minimum size drive-in savings and loan building and, at the same time, meet the setback requirements and supply minimum parking.

The present use of the property is a nonconforming use of a restaurant which does not have the required lot size, setback, etc.

The matter was heard by the Zoning Hearing Board. It received evidence from both sides and denied the application for a variance. On appeal to the Common

[ 8 Pa. Commw. Page 337]

Pleas Court, without taking additional testimony, the court was of the opinion that the record contained sufficient evidence to justify the finding of the Zoning Hearing Board and that the applicant there, appellant here, had not met its burden. Accordingly, the lower court dismissed the appeal. We must affirm that action.

The parties are in substantial accord on the law applicable to these facts. It has been set forth recently by this Court in Cohen v. Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment, 3 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 50, 276 A.2d 352 (1971); Philadelphia v. Angelone, 3 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 119, 280 A.2d 672 (1971); and Altemose Construction Company v. Zoning Hearing Board, 3 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 328, 281 A.2d 781 (1971).

Appellant acknowledges that it has the burden, but asserts it has met that burden. With the exception of a few questions asked by two persons at the hearing in response to an invitation for questions from the Board, the testimony in this case was offered by three witnesses, two for appellant and one individual who came forward to testify against the application. Appellant offered its vice-president and its architect. As would be expected, their testimony went to the business and architectural plans of the appellant and that if the property were to be used as a drive-in savings and loan office, these were the only practical plans to use. They ...


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