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MID-COUNTY MANOR v. HAVERFORD TOWNSHIP BOARD COMMISSIONERS AND CHARLES T. HELD (12/03/75)

decided: December 3, 1975.

MID-COUNTY MANOR, INC.
v.
THE HAVERFORD TOWNSHIP BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS AND CHARLES T. HELD, TOWNSHIP BUILDING INSPECTOR AND ZONING OFFICER. HAVERFORD TOWNSHIP, APPELLANT. MID-COUNTY MANOR, INC., APPELLANT V. THE HAVERFORD TOWNSHIP BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS AND CHARLES T. HELD, TOWNSHIP BUILDING INSPECTOR AND ZONING OFFICER, APPELLEES



Appeals from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County in cases of Mid-County Manor, Inc. v. Board of Commissioners, Township of Haverford, No. 12915 of 1972 and Mid-County Manor, Inc. v. The Haverford Township Board of Commissioner and Charles T. Held, Township Building Inspector and Zoning Officer, No. 1827 of 1974.

COUNSEL

William E. Mowatt, with him Mowatt, McErlean, Pinto, Theodore & Rubin, for Board of Commissioners, Township of Haverford.

Marc D. Jonas, with him Morris Gerber, and Gerber, Davenport & Wilenzik, for Mid-County Manor, Inc.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Blatt. Concurring Opinion by Judge Kramer.

Author: Blatt

[ 22 Pa. Commw. Page 151]

This action involves appeals by Mid-County Manor, Inc. (Mid-County) and the Haverford Township Board of Commissioners (Township) from decisions of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County in consolidated actions concerning Mid-County's proposed construction of three high-rise apartment buildings.

Mid-County owns a 17.5 acre tract of land in the Township on which it desired to construct its apartment

[ 22 Pa. Commw. Page 152]

    buildings. To further its plans it had requested the Township to create a new zoning classification which would permit high-rise construction and to rezone Mid-County's land to the requested classification. On December 14, 1970 the Township adopted Ordinance No. 1403 creating the classification of HRA, High-Rise Apartment and Ordinance No. 1404 rezoning Mid-County's tract from AA Residential to HRA, High-Rise Apartment. Thereafter, on April 27, 1972, Mid-County filed sketch and site plans with the Township Secretary and Township Building Inspector for approval, and these provided for three tenstory apartment buildings. The Township took no action with regard to the submitted plans other than to hold a public hearing on October 10, 1972 to consider rezoning Mid-County's tract of land from the HRA classification either back to AA, Residential or to AO, Apartment Office, and on November 13, 1972 Ordinance No. 1489 was adopted by the Township changing Mid-County's property back to an AA classification. Mid-County then filed a timely appeal to the court below challenging the validity of Ordinance No. 1489.

Prior to the lower court's disposition of the zoning appeal, Mid-County had filed an application with the Township Building Inspector for a building permit to construct the three high-rise apartments. The building inspector denied the application on February 13, 1975, ruling that the Haverford Township Zoning Ordinance no longer permitted such high-rise construction on Mid-County's tract. Then Mid-County filed an action in mandamus in the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas to compel the issuance of the building permits and requested that its sketch and site plans be approved as an application for preliminary subdivision approval under Section 508 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, 53 P.S. ยง 10508*fn1 (MPC).

[ 22 Pa. Commw. Page 153]

Both the zoning appeal and the action in mandamus were consolidated below, and the lower court on November 14, 1974 upheld the rezoning of the tract in question back to AA Residential. It ruled, however, that the sketch and site plans must be deemed approved under Section 508 of the MPC, provided that Mid-County must still fulfill the Township requirements for approval of preliminary and final plans before the building permits would be issued. These appeals followed. In No. 1614 C.D. 1974 Mid-County appeals from the upholding of Ordinance No. 1489 which rezoned its tract back to AA Residential. In No. 1581 C.D. 1974 the Township appeals from the order directing the ...


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