Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Centre County in case of Centre Hills Country Club and Centre Hills Realty, Inc. v. The Board of Supervisors of College Township, No. 81 October Term, 1973.
Reed McCormick, with him Dunaway, Weyandt & McCormick, for appellants.
Robert K. Kistler, with him Miller, Kistler, Campbell, Mitinger & Beik, for appellees.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Judge Wilkinson, Jr. did not participate. Opinion by Judge Rogers. Judge Crumlish, Jr. concurs in result only.
College Township, Centre County, here appeals from the order of a judge of the 46th Judicial District specially presiding in the Court of Common Pleas of Centre County (the 49th Judicial District) effectively setting aside a decision of the township supervisors approving a planned residential development of 450 dwelling units to be located on a tract of about 88 acres and directing approval of a development thereon of 743 dwelling units.
The appellee is Centre Hills Country Club (Country Club), a private golf and country club organized as a nonprofit corporation with a present membership of about 340 families, who enjoy, in addition presumably to other privileges of membership, the use of an existing 18 hole golf course. The Country Club desires to have a 27 hole golf course. To this end, it obtained options to purchase 157.56 acres of land adjoining its existing facilities. Forty eight of its members formed a business
corporation, Centre Hills Realty, Inc. (Realty Company). The Country Club employed a firm of landscape architects to prepare a tentative plan for the development of the 157.56 acres by the construction of the desired nine hole addition to the Country Club's golf course on 69 acres, and the construction on the remaining 88 acres of a total of 743 dwelling units to be contained in apartment houses, townhouses and single family dwellings. The entire development would be accomplished by the Realty Company which would eventually own or control the 88 acre residential development. The addition of nine holes of golf course would be owned and controlled by the Country Club for the use of its members. The occupants or eventual owners of the proposed apartments, townhouses and single family dwellings to be constructed on the 88 acre parcel would have no right as such in or to the use of the golf course addition unless, of course, they should apply for and be admitted to membership in the Country Club.
The tentative plan was filed for approval of the township supervisors pursuant to the township's Planned Residential District Ordinance adopted under the authority of Article VII of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC), Act of July 31, 1968, P.L. 805, as amended, 53 P.S. §§ 10701 through 10711. The Board of Supervisors, after hearing, granted tentative approval of the plan with conditions, one of which provides the issue in this case -- that the total density or number of dwelling units to be constructed should not exceed 450. The Country Club declined to accept the condition that the number of units be reduced from the proposed 743 to 450 and appealed the supervisors' decision to the Court of Common Pleas which, as noted, directed approval of the planned residential development with the number of units proposed by the Country Club.
The tract proposed for development is located in an R-1 Residential District of the township zoning ordinance
and zoning map.*fn1 The Planned Residential District Ordinance provides for a density of five residential units per acre for planned residential developments proposed to be created in the R-1 Residential zoning district. The Country Club contends that because it proposes the development of 157.56 acres, it is entitled to construct 743 units; the township contends that since the golf course addition will belong to the Country Club and the residents of the apartments, townhouses and homes to be constructed will have no right as such to use this portion of the development, only the 88 acres on which the dwelling units would be located should be used in the computation of ...