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GETTY OIL COMPANY (EASTERN OPERATIONS) v. ZONING HEARING BOARD BRISTOL TOWNSHIP AND TOWNSHIP BRISTOL. TOWNSHIP BRISTOL (12/12/75)

decided: December 12, 1975.

GETTY OIL COMPANY (EASTERN OPERATIONS), INC.
v.
ZONING HEARING BOARD OF BRISTOL TOWNSHIP AND TOWNSHIP OF BRISTOL. TOWNSHIP OF BRISTOL, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County in case of Getty Oil Company (Eastern Operations), Inc. v. The Zoning Hearing Board of Bristol Township, No. 74-9394 of 1975.

COUNSEL

Leonard B. Sokolove, for appellant.

Samuel Glantz, with him Eugene F. Brazil, for appellee.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer and Wilkinson, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Kramer.

Author: Kramer

[ 22 Pa. Commw. Page 349]

This is an appeal by the Township of Bristol from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County dated January 2, 1975, in which the court reversed a decision of the Zoning Hearing Board of the Township and directed that a building permit be issued to Getty Oil Company. The only issue is the applicability of Section

[ 22 Pa. Commw. Page 3501000]

(2)(b) of the Township's zoning ordinance. We affirm the lower court.

Getty has, since 1955, operated an automobile service station of approximately 1,600 square feet on the subject property. In 1974, Getty applied for a building permit to allow for the demolition of the station and its replacement by a new, smaller station covering only 300 square feet. The new station would be built on a portion of the same foundation that supports the existing station, and unlike the existing station would not accommodate any automotive repair facilities.

The land in question is zoned "C-Commercial,"*fn1 and a service station is a permitted use in this district. There is some indication in the record and in Getty's brief that Getty secured a special exception to permit construction of the original station, although the reason for the need to secure a special exception is unclear.

The lower court took no additional evidence and, in such cases, our scope of review is to determine whether the Board committed an error of law or an abuse of discretion. Grace Building Co., Inc. v. Hatfield Township, 16 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 530, 329 A.2d 925 (1974).

The Township argues that Getty was required, under Section 1000(2)(b) of the ordinance, to seek a special exception, and that the Board "did not abuse its discretion in denying the requested exception". We note, however, that Getty never applied for a special exception. Its appeal to the Board was denominated "[an appeal] from revocation of building permit." The Board made a conclusion of law that a ...


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