Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County in case of In Re: Application of Peirce Junior College, No. 157 February Term, 1974.
Donald W. Kramer, with him Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, for appellants.
Robert W. Lentz, with him Thomas A. Riley, Jr., John C. Snyder, and Lentz, Riley, Cantor, Kilgore & Massey, Ltd., for appellees.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr. and Mencer, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by President Judge Bowman.
[ 17 Pa. Commw. Page 605]
This is an appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County denying appellants the right to intervene in a zoning appeal. Appellants (hereinafter referred to as "neighbors") are residents and owners or land adjacent to or near land owned by appellee Peirce Junior College (Peirce).
In 1969, Peirce, a Pennsylvania nonprofit educational institution with its principal office located in Philadelphia, purchased approximately 75 acres of land in Easttown Township for the purpose of establishing a junior college campus. The land in question is located partially in an A.A. Zone and partially in an A.A.A. Zone. Under the
[ 17 Pa. Commw. Page 606]
Township Zoning Ordinance, educational uses are permitted in both these residential zones as a conditional use.
Peirce filed an application for a conditional use to permit use of the land for educational purposes as a college campus. Hearings were held before the Township Planning Commission and before the Township's Board of Supervisors in which the neighbors participated. The Supervisors declined to take any action on Peirce's application. Peirce then brought a mandamus action seeking to compel the Supervisors to act. The lower court so ordered and on December 19, 1973, that order was affirmed by this Court in Larson v. Peirce Junior College, 11 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 271, 314 A.2d 572 (1973). In accordance with this Court's order in Larson, requiring the Township to approve or disapprove the application within 45 days, the Board of Supervisors acted on Peirce's application and granted the conditional use, imposing several conditions.
Two appeals were filed from this action of the Supervisors. Peirce appealed to the Court of Common Pleas challenging the validity of several of the conditions imposed by the Supervisors in granting the use; the neighbors, seeking to reverse the grant of the use, appealed to the Zoning Hearing Board. Prior to the scheduled hearing in the neighbors' appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board, the neighbors withdrew their appeal to the Board and filed a petition to intervene in Peirce's appeal to the court below.
In their petition to intervene, the neighbors averred, inter alia :
"7. The determination of this zoning appeal may adversely affect legally recognized ...