Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, in case of Sun Oil Company v. West Whiteland Township Zoning Hearing Board, No. 48 February Term, 1972.
William H. Lamb, with him Lamb, Windle & McErlane, for appellant.
Ronald M. Agulnick, with him Agulnick & Talierco Assoc., for appellee.
Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr. and Mencer, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.
[ 12 Pa. Commw. Page 160]
This is an appeal from an Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County which reversed a denial by the West Whiteland Township Hearing Board of an application for a special exception by Sun Oil
[ 12 Pa. Commw. Page 161]
Company (Appellee) to construct and operate a gasoline service station in an I-1 Industrial District.
Section 41.01 of the applicable Zoning Ordinance provides in pertinent part:
"Uses. In any I-1 district, land buildings or premises shall be used for only one or more of the following uses or any other use of the same general character which does not constitute a nuisance or is not offensive by reason of the emission of objectionable odor, noise, heat, smoke, dust, fumes, gas, vibration or water borne waste, when permitted by the Board of Adjustment as a special exception: (listing 30 enumerated uses).
"29. Gasoline service station."
Appellee, as equitable owner of a one acre plot of vacant land located at the southwest corner of Ship Road and Route 30 in West Whiteland Township, applied for a permit in 1971 to construct a gasoline service station. Route 30 at this location is a two-lane highway, with a middle turn lane, and the intersection with Slip Road is controlled by a traffic-tripped stop light. Located at the northeast corner of the intersection are a small rectory, church and elementary school attended by 460 students of Sts. Phillip and James Parish. A chapel affiliated with the church is situated at the southeast corner, and the remaining corner is occupied by the Ship Inn, a local restaurant.
Although the proposed use complied with all applicable building, lot size, setback and yard requirements of the Township, the zoning officer denied the application, construing Section 41.01 to permit gasoline service stations only by special exception. An appeal was then taken to the West Whiteland Zoning Hearing Board (Zoning Board) which, after three hearings marked by a level of acrimony unusual even for petitions of this nature, denied Appellee a special exception on February 1, 1972. ...