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PITTSBURGH OUTDOOR ADVERTISING COMPANY v. ZONING BOARD ADJUSTMENT CITY PITTSBURGH (06/26/74)

decided: June 26, 1974.

PITTSBURGH OUTDOOR ADVERTISING COMPANY, APPELLANT,
v.
ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT OF THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH, APPELLEE



Appeals from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of Pittsburgh Outdoor Advertising Company v. Zoning Board of Adjustment of the City of Pittsburgh, Nos. S.A. 696, 697, 695 and 699 of 1972.

COUNSEL

David W. Craig, with him Baskin, Boreman, Wilner, Sachs, Gondelman & Craig, for appellant.

John R. Valaw, Assistant City Solicitor, with him Ralph Lynch, Jr., City Solicitor, for appellee.

Judges Kramer, Mencer and Rogers, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.

Author: Mencer

[ 14 Pa. Commw. Page 55]

In June of 1971, Pittsburgh Outdoor Advertising Company (appellant) applied to the Zoning Administrator of the City of Pittsburgh for permits to erect advertising signs at seven different locations in the City of Pittsburgh. Appellant's applications were rejected and appellant appealed to the Pittsburgh Zoning Board of Adjustment (Board). After hearings were held, the Board affirmed the refusal of permits in all but one of the seven applications.

Appellant appealed the Board's decisions to the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County. The

[ 14 Pa. Commw. Page 56]

Court resolved two cases in appellant's favor but affirmed the refusal of permits in four cases (Nos. S.A. 696, S.A. 697, S.A. 695, and S.A. 699 of 1972). Appellant then appealed these four cases to us. We have consolidated them for argument and decision since they all involve the same legal issue.

Although the locations involved in the four appeals are in different zoning districts, it is not disputed that appellant's proposed advertising signs are permitted by the Pittsburgh Zoning Ordinance in all of the districts involved. The narrow issue in this case is whether or not the Board has correctly interpreted Section 2401, subsection 8, of the Pittsburgh Zoning Ordinance. This subsection provides: "Uses Must be on a Zoning Lot or Accredited-zoning Lot. Except as hereinafter provided, after the effective date of this ordinance, all uses of property must be on a zoning lot or accredited-zoning lot as herein defined. Not more than one (1) main structure or main use shall occupy any zoning lot or accredited-zoning lot, except where a unit group building development has been approved. In the absence of a unit group building development, the division of any parcel of land into more than one (1) zoning lot for the purpose of more than one (1) main structure or main use, shall not be permitted except in accordance with the Act of May 13, 1927, P.L. 1011, as amended, which requires that a plan of subdivision be approved in cases of subdivision for improvement for residential, commercial, or industrial purposes." (Emphasis added.)

The Board's refusal to grant appellant's applications for permits was based on its determination that a sign is a main use or main structure under the above provision. If the Board's interpretation is correct, then its refusal to grant permits to appellant must be affirmed, since it is undisputed that another main use or structure

[ 14 Pa. Commw. Page 57]

    already exists on each of the four locations*fn1 and no proper subdivision plan has been presented and approved in ...


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