Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County in case of F.M. O'Neal, Incorporated, Hallstrom Development Co. and Nechannock Corporation, a Co-Partnership t/d/b/a Ridgeview Associates, v. Board of Supervisors of Lower Paxton Township and Pleasant Hills Community Club, No. 1399 September Term, 1973.
Walter W. Wilt, with him Hepford, Zimmerman & Swartz, for appellant.
Patrick T. Sullivan, with him Naugle & Sullivan, and Wix & Wenger for appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Mencer.
[ 17 Pa. Commw. Page 460]
This is an appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County affirming the decisions of the Board of Supervisors of Lower Paxton Township
[ 17 Pa. Commw. Page 461]
which revoked its prior approval of a preliminary development plan submitted by Ridgeview Associates (appellant) and which rejected first and second final development plans submitted by appellant.*fn1
It is well settled that where, as here, the lower court does not take additional testimony, the scope of our review is limited to a determination of whether or not the board of supervisors committed an abuse of discretion or an error of law. Doran Investments v. Muhlenberg Township Board of Commissioners, 10 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 143, 309 A.2d 450 (1973).
Because the facts before this Court are complex, we feel impelled to set them forth at some length, in order to provide the necessary background understanding. In 1958, the Township passed its first zoning ordinance. At that time, the land which is the subject of this appeal was located in a district zoned R-2. In an R-2 district multifamily and apartment dwelling units were a permitted use. Since 1958, the Township has been actively rezoning its land to keep pace with changing conditions. This rezoning culminated in a new comprehensive plan in 1972. At all times the subject tract remained in an R-2 district.
After the new comprehensive plan was passed in 1972, appellant purchased its tract with the intent of constructing moderate-income multifamily dwelling units. On May 17, 1973, appellant submitted a preliminary development plan to the Township. On May 30, 1973, this preliminary plan was unanimously approved, subject to certain correctable conditions, by the Planning and Zoning Commission (Commission). On June 18, 1973, the Township Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the preliminary plan without mentioning the conditions suggested by the Commission.*fn2 On July 16, 1973, the meeting of the
[ 17 Pa. Commw. Page 462]
Supervisors was attended by 300 citizens protesting the preliminary approval of appellant's middle-income project. These citizens were heard on July 23, 1973; however, ...