Appeals from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in case of Logan Square Neighborhood Association v. Zoning Board of Adjustment of the City of Philadelphia and The Priestley Printers, No. 3756 December Term, 1974.
Carl K. Zucker, with him Reuben E. Cohen, and Cohen, Shapiro, Polisher, Shiekman and Cohen, for appellant, The Priestley Printers.
Barbara S. Gilbert, Deputy City Solicitor, for appellant, City of Philadelphia.
James A. Rosenstein, with him Alvin M. Chanin, for appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr. and Wilkinson, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. President Judge Bowman and Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Rogers and Blatt. Judge Crumlish, Jr. did not participate. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson, Jr.
[ 32 Pa. Commw. Page 279]
Appellants appeal a decision of the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas which reversed the granting of a use variance by the Zoning Board of Adjustment of the City of Philadelphia (Board). We reverse the court below.
The subject premises is a corner property located within a residential zone. However, it is entirely occupied by a two-story garage-type structure within which a business consisting of tire sales, wheel alignment, brake service and balancing is conducted. Both the use and the structure are nonconforming.
Appellant Priestley made application to use the premises for letter and offset printing with accessory binding, folding, and plating. The application was denied because such uses are not permitted within the zone. On appeal the Board found as facts that the proposed use would be a moderate one involving only limited hours of operation and creating no excessive noise, odors, dust or other hazards. It also found that the properties on the other corners are nonresidential and that nonresidential activities predominate in the area. Further, it found that the premises could not be converted to a use permitted within the zone without demolition and extensive reconstruction. It ruled, therefore, that the unnecessary hardship requisite for a variance was present. We agree.
Unnecessary hardship may be proved either:
(1) by a showing that the physical characteristics of the property were such that it could not in any case be used for the permitted purpose or that the physical characteristics were such that it could only be arranged for such purpose at prohibitive expense; or (2) by proving that the characteristics of the area were such that the lot has either no value or only a
[ 32 Pa. Commw. Page 280]
distress value for any purpose permitted by the zoning ordinance. . ...