Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of York County in case of Arthur S. Kuhn and Gladys Kuhn; Joseph W. Fullerton and Fannie Fullerton; Katherine Malcolm; Oliver Steger and Mary Steger; Harold Lowe and Mary Lowe; J. Russell Witmer and Mary Witmer; Michael Atkinson and Teresa Atkinson; Mrs. Harrold Guilden; William E. Pitts and Gloria Pitts; John Luckenbaugh, Jr. and Linda Luckenbaugh; Edward Wentz and Norma Wentz; J. Robert Bittinger and Betty Bittinger; Mrs. Leroy Nace; Merle Miller and Beatrice Miller; Robert M. Houck; Reuben Becker and Shirley Becker and Michael J. Hoover and Sharon Hoover v. Hanover General Hospital and Hanover Borough Zoning Hearing Board, No. 76-S-188.
John M. Boddington, with him Budding, Miller & Boddington, for appellants.
Robert J. Stewart, with him Liverant, Senft and Cohen, for appellees.
Judges Crumlish, Jr., Mencer and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.
[ 34 Pa. Commw. Page 209]
The Hanover General Hospital (Hospital) and the Hanover Zoning Hearing Board (Board) appeal here from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of York County which reversed a decision of the Board and denied a special exception to the Hospital to construct an off-site parking lot.
The Hospital had applied to the Board for a special exception to allow the construction of a public parking lot, primarily for hospital employes, to be located on the corner of Stock and Charles Streets in the Borough of Hanover, an area zoned residential R-1. After several public hearings at which substantial neighborhood opposition was expressed, the Board granted the necessary permit for the construction. A group of neighbors (protestants) appealed the Board's decision to the court of common pleas, and after supplementing the record with additional testimony, the lower court held that the hospital had not met its burden to come within the requirements of the applicable zoning ordinance and reversed the Board's decision. The Hospital has now appealed.
In a zoning case where the court below took additional evidence, review by this Court is limited to a determination of whether or not the lower court abused its discretion or committed an error of law. Miorelli v. Zoning Hearing Board of Hazleton, 30 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 330, 332, 373 A.2d 1158, 1159 (1977).
The off-site parking lot which the Hospital proposes to build is designed to provide space for 28 cars. The Hospital currently has an on-site parking capacity of 85 cars and is constructing additional on-site lots to provide another 29 spaces. It has approximately
[ 34 Pa. Commw. Page 210390]
employes and a 245 bed capacity. Even with the off-site lot here proposed, the Hospital does not have sufficient parking to satisfy the Borough ordinance concerning off-street parking requirements, Section 140-105 of which provides in pertinent part:
In order to meet requirements for vehicle-parking space, where such space is not available on the lot occupied by a building, the Zoning Hearing Board may, after receipt of a favorable report from the Borough Planning Commission on the proposal, and after public notice and hearing, grant a permit for the establishment of a parking lot in a residential district, provided that the parking lot is within five hundred (500) feet of the building in question. (Emphasis added.)
The lower court interpreted the above emphasized portion of the ordinance as establishing a threshold requirement that the Hospital had to demonstrate that additional parking space was not available on the property where the Hospital is located before parking on any off-site lot may be permitted. The court applied this interpretation to evidence presented by the protestants that the Hospital had open space available on its own property which could be used to provide 77 additional parking spaces and concluded that the ...