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ERNEST P. RAUM v. BOARD SUPERVISORS TREDYFFRIN TOWNSHIP AND INTERVENORS RICHARD L. FOX (07/25/75)

decided: July 25, 1975.

ERNEST P. RAUM, ROBERT F. ESSLINGER AND CITIZENS ORGANIZED TO RECLAIM CHESTERBROOK, AN UNINCORPORATED ASSOCIATION, BY EMANUEL LAURIA AND PHYLLIS AYOOB, TRUSTEES AD LITEM,
v.
THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF TREDYFFRIN TOWNSHIP AND INTERVENORS RICHARD L. FOX, GREENVIEW ASSOCIATES, AND PICKET POST VILLAGE, INC., APPELLANTS. APPEAL OF ERNEST P. RAUM, ROBERT F. ESSLINGER, AND CITIZENS ORGANIZED TO RECLAIM CHESTERBROOK, AN UNINCORPORATED ASSOCIATION, BY EMANUEL LAURIA AND PHYLLIS AYOOB, TRUSTEES AD LITEM (FROM THE DECISION OF THE ZONING HEARING BOARD OF TREDYFFRIN TOWNSHIP) V. ZONING HEARING BOARD OF TREDYFFRIN TOWNSHIP AND INTERVENORS RICHARD L. FOX, GREENVIEW ASSOCIATES AND PICKET POST VILLAGE, INC., APPELLANTS. MAIN LINE HOUSING IMPROVEMENT CORPORATION, A NON-PROFIT CORPORATION, MAIN LINE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION, AN UNINCORPORATED ASSOCIATION, BY JOSEPH SPAMPINATO, PRESIDENT AS TRUSTEE AD LITEM AND JOSEPH SPAMPINATO, INDIVIDUALLY, AND PATRICIA SPAMPINATO, HIS WIFE, ET AL., AND ON BEHALF OF OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, APPELLANTS, V. THE ZONING HEARING BOARD OF TREDYFFRIN TOWNSHIP AND TREDYFFRIN TOWNSHIP, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Orders of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, in cases of Ernest P. Raum, Robert F. Esslinger and Citizens Organized to Reclaim Chesterbrook, an unincorporated association, by Emanuel Lauria and Phyllis Ayoob, Trustees Ad Litem, v. The Board of Supervisors of Tredyffrin Township, Misc. No. 74, 1972; and Appeal of Ernest P. Raum, Robert F. Esslinger, and Citizens Organized to Reclaim Chesterbrook, an unincorporated association, by Emanuel Lauria and Phyllis Ayoob, Trustees Ad Litem (from the decision of the Zoning Hearing Board of Tredyffrin Township, v. Zoning Hearing Board of Tredyffrin Township, No. 19 June Term, 1973.

COUNSEL

Richard L. Bazelon, with him William T. Coleman, Jr., and Dilworth, Paxson, Kalish, Levy & Coleman, for appellants in 1322 and 1323 C.D. 1974, and appellees in 1386 C.D. 1974.

Lawrence E. Wood, with him Wood, Parke & Barnes, for appellees.

David H. Moskowitz, with him Mark Schwartz and William Cullerton, for appellant, Main Line Housing Improvement Corporation.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Judge Wilkinson, Jr., did not participate. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr. Concurring Opinion by Judge Mencer.

Author: Crumlish

[ 20 Pa. Commw. Page 429]

Consolidated for disposition are the appeals of landowner-developers and intervening protestants from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County invalidating Ordinance No. 267 of Tredyffrin Township under which landowners were granted preliminary approval of a development known as Chesterbrook in Tredyffrin Township and building permits to begin construction of an initial phase of Chesterbrook (Nos. 1322 and 1323 C.D. 1974), and which further denied intervening protestants' standing to challenge the allegedly exclusionary impact of Ordinance No. 267 in failing to affirmatively provide for low income housing (No. 1386 C.D. 1974).

These appeals, although generating a record of massive proportion and involving the development of more than 850 acres of Tredyffrin Township in Chester County, do not require a detailed history to frame the legal issues raised. In December of 1970, Tredyffrin Township (Township) amended its comprehensive plan to designate a 1,000 acre portion of the Township as a Unified Development Area (U.D.A.). The objective of the U.D.A. designation was to have "this area planned as an entity and developed over a period of years in accordance with a unified plan, rather than on a lot-by-lot, piece-meal subdivision

[ 20 Pa. Commw. Page 430]

    basis. Basic components of the U.D.A. would be the retention of broad bands of open space along the many stream valleys in the area; a large percentage of the area devoted to other open space uses such as playgrounds, play fields, swimming pools, tennis courts, and golf courses; a mix of lot sizes and dwelling types; community uses such as schools, and a library; convenience neighborhood shopping areas; and such other uses as are determined to be desirable components of a high quality and economically viable community." Five months after the public announcement of the amendments to the comprehensive plan, Richard J. Fox, Greenview Associates and Picket Post Village, Inc. (hereinafter "Fox"), as legal or equitable owners of a substantial portion of the land designated within the U.D.A., applied for a rezoning of its land from R-1/2 Residential*fn1 to five zoning districts extant in other areas of the Township, ranging from RC-Rural Conservation (recreational open space) to C-2 Commercial (retail and light commercial), to enable it to develop a project of mixed residential and commercial uses as envisioned by the comprehensive plan. This planned development became known as Chesterbrook. Fox proposed the development of Chesterbrook over a ten year period to contain 177 single family, detached dwellings clustered on 135.6 acres; 1238 townhouses on 137.5 acres; 1590 garden apartment and mid-rise apartment units on 247.3 acres; office, motel and community retail and recreational facilities on 135.5 acres; with the remainder of the tract to be preserved as open space and proposed school sites.

[ 20 Pa. Commw. Page 431]

The Board of Supervisors referred the Chesterbrook rezoning application to the Planning Commission for its recommendations, and numerous hearings and executive sessions were held thereafter by both bodies in an attempt to hammer out the details of the plan and to obtain commitments from the developer. The first legislative implementation of the U.D.A. concept occurred in November of 1971 when Ordinance No. 264 was enacted. This ordinance added section 2003 to the Township zoning ordinance, setting forth in some detail the content requirements of a developmental plan submitted for U.D.A. consideration, and the respective duties of the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors in reviewing these plans. Subsection 4 of 2003 binds a developer to the plan submitted for approval together with the requirements of the standard use district if the zoning ordinance is amended to accommodate the plan. On March 12, 1972, the Board of Supervisors enacted Ordinance No. 267 adopting the Chesterbrook proposal en toto, together with certain commitments made by Fox which were a matter of record.

Timely appeal from the adoption of Ordinance No. 267 was taken to the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County by two residents of the Township and a civic group calling itself Citizens Organized to Reclaim Chesterbrook (hereinafter collectively referred to as CORC). The dispostion of this appeal was postponed by stipulation of the parties, however, to enable Fox to apply to the zoning officer for a preliminary opinion of Chesterbrook's consistency with Ordinance No. 267,*fn2 and to apply for subdivision approval and building permits for the R-1 portion of Chesterbrook. Upon Fox's receipt of these approvals, CORC appealed to the Township Zoning Hearing

[ 20 Pa. Commw. Page 432]

Board (zoning board).*fn3 Main Line Housing Improvement Corporation, Main Line Community Association, and numerous individuals alleging to be residents of the Township who either lived in substandard housing and desired to reside within Chesterbrook if subsidized housing were provided or who desire low-income housing to be provided within Chesterbrook, and non-residents of the Township who lived in substandard housing and desired to live in Chesterbrook were low-income housing provided (hereinafter collectively referred to as "Main Line," unless otherwise indicated), were thereafter permitted to intervene as appellants before the zoning board. Main Line simultaneously filed a cross complaint against the Township and Board of Supervisors alleging an exclusionary effect of Chesterbrook and Ordinance No. 267 because it failed to provide for low income housing. On May 16, 1973, the zoning board upheld Ordinance No. 267 and the permits issued to Fox thereunder. CORC and Main Line appealed to the Court of Common Pleas which consolidated the appeals with CORC's prior procedural appeal. On September 30, 1974, the lower court reversed the zoning board, invalidating Ordinance No. 267 under Eves v. Zoning Board of Adjustment, 401 Pa. 211, 164 A.2d 7 (1960), because it failed to provide sufficient standards to guide the Board of Supervisors' determination of the uses and the location of uses permitted within the U.D.A. The court also denied standing to ...


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