Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Mercer County in case of In Re: Appeal of Richard Donofrio and James Lee, No. 1118 C.D. 1975.
Michael Halliday, with him Halliday and Orr, for appellants.
Anna Belle Jones, with her Stranahan and Stranahan, for appellee.
Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr. and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Judge Kramer did not participate in the decision. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr. Judge Kramer did not participate in the decision in this case.
[ 31 Pa. Commw. Page 581]
This is an appeal by Richard Donofrio and James Lee (Appellants) from an order of the court of common pleas affirming the denial by the Pymatuning Township Board of Adjustment (Board) of their request for a zoning variance. We affirm.
Appellants are the owners of approximately 30 acres of land located at Pennsylvania Route 18 and Tenth Street, Pymatuning Township, Mercer County, upon part of which they operate the Reynolds Mobile Home Park. Since the enactment of the Township zoning ordinance in 1966, part of the tract has been zoned R-1, Agricultural-Rural, and part has been zoned I, Industrial, the boundary between the two zones lying parallel to Tenth Street, 245 feet north of its center line. Mobilehome parks are permitted in the R-1 district, but not in the I district. The present park contains 74 mobile homes, including two rows north of and parallel to Tenth Street, all within the R-1 zone.
John C. Miller, the previous owner, had been granted a building permit by the Township's zoning officer on August 24, 1970, for "addition of 50 spaces of existing park . . . off 10th Street, Greenville, Pa." in "Zoning District R-1." When Appellants purchased the property from Miller on February 15, 1974, they agreed, by contract, to construct 16 additional units, apparently as an inducement to Miller to accept a second mortgage in part-payment.
In April, 1974, Mrs. Cleo Palm, James Lee's daughter, inquired of the Township zoning officer concerning a contemplated expansion of the park. She was informed that a variance would be necessary since the planned expansion would intrude into the Industrial zoning district. Upon a second visit in May, she was given an application for a variance. In July, the zoning officer (not the same person who had previously issued the building permit) observed the utility connections
[ 31 Pa. Commw. Page 582]
being installed for a row of 22 mobile homes parallel to Tenth Street and north of the already existing double row, and extending to a point approximately 315 feet north of the center line of Tenth Street; he issued a stop work order. In July, 1975, Appellants filed the application for a variance for the strip of land upon which they had attempted the aforementioned construction.
The crux of Appellants' argument at two hearings held before the Board and on appeal to this Court is that the permit issued to their predecessor in title allowing the construction of 50 additional mobile home spaces gave them a vested right to so use the property and ...