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DANIEL SULLIVAN AND ROBERT FLOWERS v. BOARD SUPERVISORS LOWER MAKEFIELD TOWNSHIP (12/11/75)

decided: December 11, 1975.

DANIEL SULLIVAN AND ROBERT FLOWERS, APPELLANTS
v.
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF LOWER MAKEFIELD TOWNSHIP, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County in case of Daniel Sullivan and Robert Flowers v. Board of Supervisors of Lower Makefield Township, No. 74-1896-04-6.

COUNSEL

Donald B. McCoy, with him Dean & McCoy, for appellants.

William J. Carlin, with him Begley, Carlin, Mandio, Kelton & Popkin, for appellee.

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

Author: Kramer

[ 22 Pa. Commw. Page 319]

This is an appeal by Daniel Sullivan and Robert Flowers from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, dated January 9, 1975. The order dismissed their appeal from the denial by the Supervisors of Lower Makefield Township of a substantive challenge to the Township's zoning ordinance. The only real issue raised by appellants is whether the ordinance in question provides only a "token" amount of land for commercial development and thus has an impermissible exclusionary effect. We conclude that the ordinance is a proper exercise of the police power and affirm the lower court.

Appellants own 45.21 acres on which they propose to build and operate an extensive nursery and garden supply

[ 22 Pa. Commw. Page 320]

    business. The land is zoned R-1, "Residential-Low Density," and, apparently,*fn1 no commercial activity is permitted in R-1 districts.

The Township consists of 17.62 square miles (over 11,200 acres), of which 47 acres are zoned C-1, "Commercial-Neighborhood Shopping." These 47 acres are contained in one centrally located commercial district, and a minimum lot size of ten acres is required for commercial development.

In addition to the single C-1 district, the Township has two C-2 "Commercial-Highway Services" districts, covering an additional 68 acres, with a minimum lot size of two acres required for commercial development.*fn2 The total area of the Township's commercial zones is thus 115 acres, or about one percent of the total area of the municipality.

The single C-1 district is located at the intersection of several of the Township's principal roadways, near the geographic center of the municipality. The testimony of the Township's only witness, a planning expert, confirms the obvious conclusion that the Township wants commercial development to occur in an integrated fashion in one centrally-located area. The C-2 districts are designed to accommodate commercial interests which cater to transients, who are traveling through the Township along arterial highways.

Our scope of review when the lower court has not taken additional evidence is to determine whether the Board of Supervisors committed an error of law or an abuse of discretion. Township of Upper Moreland v. ...


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