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CAMP HILL DEVELOPMENT CO. v. ZONING BOARD ADJUSTMENT (05/09/74)

decided: May 9, 1974.

CAMP HILL DEVELOPMENT CO., INC., APPELLANT,
v.
ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT, BOROUGH OF DAUPHIN, DAUPHIN COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE, AND DAUPHIN BOROUGH COUNCIL, INTERVENING APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, in case of Camp Hill Development Co., Inc. v. Zoning Board of Adjustment, Borough of Dauphin, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, No. 681 March Term, 1972.

COUNSEL

Richard H. Wix, with him Wix & Wenger, for appellant.

David B. Disney, with him McNees, Wallace & Nurick, for intervening appellee.

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

Author: Rogers

[ 13 Pa. Commw. Page 520]

This is an appeal by Camp Hill Development Company, Inc. (Camp Hill) from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County upholding a decision of the Zoning Hearing Board of the Borough of Dauphin refusing Camp Hill's challenge to the validity of the Dauphin Borough Zoning Ordinance and its application for a variance.

Camp Hill seeks to erect a development of 320 single family houses, built in blocks of six or eight, on a 20.5 acre tract located in the R-1 residential zoning district on the Borough's zoning map. These blocks of dwellings would be what used to be called row houses, but embellished and given some individuality are now referred to as townhouses. The proposed dwellings would be two stories in height, contain six rooms and each would be designed to accommodate but one family. The appellant intends to rent them.

The court below took additional evidence and it is therefore our duty to determine whether the lower court committed an error of law or abused its discretion. McKay v. Board of Adjustment, 8 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 29, 300 A.2d 810 (1973).

We will first refer to the provisions of the Dauphin Borough Zoning Ordinance, adopted in 1948, pertinent to our considerations.

[ 13 Pa. Commw. Page 521]

Section 110 defines a dwelling as a building which is designed for or occupied as a home. Sections 111, 112, 113, 114 and 115 respectively, define single family detached dwelling, single family semi-detached dwelling, two-family detached dwelling, two-family semi-detached dwelling, and three-family detached dwelling, all in expected fashion. There is no definition of a single family dwelling.

Section 301 limits permissible uses in the R-1 residential zone to the following: "Single Family Dwellings. Churches, Convents and Parish Houses. Schools, Libraries and Museums. Farming, Gardening, Nurseries and Greenhouses that are not used for commercial purposes. Equipment and facilities of a Public Utility when their erection or use is reasonably necessary for the service, accommodation and convenience of the public and not unreasonably detrimental to the character of the district."

Section 303 regulates open spaces with respect to single family detached dwellings as follows: "In the case of a single family detached dwelling, the building line shall not be less than twenty-five (25) feet from the front property line, nor nearer to a side street than twenty-five (25) feet; There shall be two side yards, one on each side of the main building, and neither side yard shall be less than ten (10) feet wide, provided that in case of a single family detached dwelling constructed with its greater dimension parallel with the front ...


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