Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, in case of In Re: Application of Mid Island Properties and/or Manoa Shopping Center, No. 6395 of 1972.
Joseph P. Mylotte, with him Alvin S. Ackerman, for appellant.
E. J. O'Halloran, with him, of counsel, O'Halloran, Stack & Smith, P.C., for appellee.
Ernest Kardas, for intervening appellees.
Judges Kramer, Rogers and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.
[ 11 Pa. Commw. Page 570]
Manoa Shopping Center, Inc. (Manoa) is the owner of a shopping center located in Haverford Township, Delaware County, and containing forty-five stores and offices. Manoa sought to enlarge this facility by constructing a nursery retail store located separately at the northern edge of its property. It applied for a
[ 11 Pa. Commw. Page 571]
building permit, which was denied by the Township building inspector, and this denial was upheld by the Township's Zoning Hearing Board (Board). The Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, which took no additional evidence on appeal, affirmed the Board.
The essential issue before us is the number of parking spaces which Manoa must provide for the new store, there being no question that the proposed use is a permissible one. The appropriate Township legislation on this matter is an amendment to the Township zoning ordinance adopted on December 11, 1967, Ordinance 1326, which reads, in pertinent part: "Section 1500. Any of the following buildings hereafter erected, any buildings herein converted into one of the following buildings and any open area hereafter used for commercial purposes, shall be provided with at least the minimum off-street garage space or off-street parking space, or both, as set forth below, which space shall be readily accessible to and within a reasonable distance from the buildings served thereby. Such spaces shall be on the same lot as the main building or lot adjacent thereto, except when authorized by special exception.
[ 11 Pa. Commw. Page 572]
. . . . "Subdivision 10, Employee's spaces: 'In addition to the foregoing required off-street parking spaces, one garage or parking space shall be provided for each two employees or a fraction thereof employed at the respective facility.'" (Emphasis added.)
The parking area requirements in existence prior to the passage of Ordinance 1326 were less stringent than the above, and the Board found, as a fact, that: "The said shopping center had more than sufficient parking spaces to satisfy the previous zoning ordinance provisions applicable prior to December 11, 1967." It is Manoa's argument that it not only had sufficient spaces to satisfy the requirements of the previous ordinances, but that in fact it had an excess of 242 spaces beyond those requirements. Manoa contends, therefore, that, because it already had more spaces available than it was mandated to provide for the new retail store by Ordinance 1326 (the Board determined ...