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V.S.H. REALTY v. ZONING HEARING BOARD SHARON HILL (11/05/76)

decided: November 5, 1976.

V.S.H. REALTY, INC.
v.
ZONING HEARING BOARD OF SHARON HILL, DELAWARE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA. V.S.H. REALTY, INC., APPELLANT



Appeal from Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County in case of V.S.H. Realty, Inc. v. Zoning Hearing Board of Sharon Hill, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, No. 75-12808.

COUNSEL

Barry C. Dozer, with him F. L. Guiliano, and Feeney & Guiliano, for appellant.

Richard C. Tinucci, with him Semeraro & Groover, for appellee.

Judges Mencer, Rogers and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.

Author: Rogers

[ 27 Pa. Commw. Page 33]

The appellant, V.S.H. Realty, Inc., applied to the Zoning Hearing Board of the Borough of Sharon Hill (Board) for a special exception to construct a convenience food store and gasoline pumps on a lot at the corner of Chester Pike and Brainerd Boulevard. The Board, after a hearing, denied the exception. V.S.H. Realty, Inc. appealed to the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County which, without taking additional evidence, affirmed. We also affirm.

The lot in fact fronts on three streets, Chester Pike, Brainerd Boulevard and Burton Lane. It contains 15,000 square feet. It has a frontage on Chester Pike of 150 feet and a depth of 100 feet. It is located in a commercial zoning district. Lands fronting on Brainerd Boulevard and Burton Lane on the street side opposite V.S.H.'s tract are zoned residential.

Appellant proposes to construct a 2400 square foot masonry building, with adjacent parking for eleven automobiles, which it would use as a convenience food store. In addition, it proposes to erect an island in front of the building where two dual gasoline pumps and an overhead canopy would be erected. The gasoline sales operation would be self-service in

[ 27 Pa. Commw. Page 34]

    that customers would drive up to the pumps, tell the manager in the store by a loud speaker the quantity of gasoline desired, and the manager, by use of a console located inside the building, would dispense the amount of fuel requested. The customer would pump the gasoline into his own vehicle and then go into the store and pay for the gasoline. There would be no attendant at the pumps, and no services other than the sale of gasoline and motor oil would be provided. Appellant testified at the hearing before the Board that, at least initially, one employee would handle both the gasoline and food operations.

In the C Commercial District in which the lot is located the following uses are permitted: retail stores, hotels, restaurants, automobile repair shops and motor vehicle service stations. Also permitted, when authorized by special exception, are uses of the same general character as any of the aforementioned permitted uses. The Ordinance further states that "[n]o motor vehicle service station shall be erected on a lot of less than twenty-two thousand five hundred (22,500) square feet in area, nor less than one hundred fifty (150) feet in width at the building line. The lot shall also have a minimum depth of one hundred fifty (150) feet." It is clear that appellant's lot fails to satisfy all of the above requirements if it is proposed to be used as a motor vehicle service station as well as a food store.

At the hearing, the appellant was advised by the Board's solicitor to submit testimony for both a special exception and a variance, but the appellant's attorney told the Board that in his opinion a variance was not necessary. The Board concluded that the proposed gasoline operation was a motor vehicle service station and that since the lot was ...


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