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SOBLE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY v. ZONING HEARING BOARD BOROUGH EAST STROUDSBURG (12/31/74)

decided: December 31, 1974.

SOBLE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, APPELLANT,
v.
THE ZONING HEARING BOARD OF THE BOROUGH OF EAST STROUDSBURG, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Monroe County, in case of Soble Construction Company v. The Zoning Hearing Board of the Borough of East Stroudsburg, No. 44 April Term, 1972.

COUNSEL

Peter J. O'Brien, for appellant.

Bernard M. Billick, with him, of counsel, Robinson & Hoffner, for appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Judge Kramer did not participate. Opinion by Judge Blatt. Judge Rogers concurs in the result only. Dissenting Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Blatt

[ 16 Pa. Commw. Page 601]

On December 17, 1971 the Soble Construction Company (developer), which was the equitable owner of a 26.47 acre tract in the Borough of East Stroudsburg (Borough), filed an application for approval of plans to erect a planned unit development of 238 units in a number of multi-family dwellings. The developer's tract was located in an R-1 district where the principal permitted use at that time was for single-family detached dwellings but the local zoning ordinance then permitted planned unit development for multi-family dwellings in that district as a special use. The ordinance was subsequently amended in July of 1973 to prohibit such a use entirely in an R-1 district.

On February 17, 1972 a public hearing was held by the Board and both the developer and those who were protesting the proposed use presented evidence. On March 16, 1972 the Board denied the developer's application and in so doing filed findings of fact and conclusions and reasons to support its decision.

The developer appealed to the Court of Common Pleas of Monroe County, and that court, in an opinion filed on September 21, 1972, cited the Borough zoning ordinance at length and noted that the ordinance attached specific conditions to the approval of a planned unit development. It found that the Board had not made findings of fact as to whether or not the proposed development would satisfy those specific conditions and that the reasons actually given by the Board for its denial of approval did not allude to the conditions set forth in the ordinance. The court ordered, therefore, that the record be remanded to the Board for further action and consideration in light of its opinion.

On June 28, 1973 the Board issued another decision in which it made numerous and specific findings of fact

[ 16 Pa. Commw. Page 602]

    and again concluded that the application should be denied. In findings (a) through (f) the Board described the tract in question as well as the neighboring property and the developer's planned use. Then in findings (g) through (u) it listed the following findings to support its denial of the application:

"(g) The Zoning Ordinance requires four parkspaces for each three dwelling units. Applicant must provide 316 parking spaces but has made provisions for only 309 parking spaces.

"(h) Applicant has not provided adequate off-street parking and loading, and the off-street parking arrangement is not deemed safe because there is no control of automobile access to the proposed circulatory (loop) roadway in the development.

"(i) Applicant failed to demonstrate that sufficient market exists for the type, size and character of the development proposed.

" (j) Applicant produced no evidence that lighting devices shall be properly arranged to avoid conflicts with residential use.

"(k) Building No. 1 is less than 50-foot distance from Building No. 2 in violation of Section 5.911(f)(3) of the Zoning Ordinance, as are the following buildings: No. 7 to No. 6, No. 6 to No. 8, No. 10 to No. 11, No. 11 to No. ...


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