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INTERIM HOUSE v. PHILADELPHIA ZONING BOARD ADJUSTMENT. CITY PHILADELPHIA V. GRIFFITH NURSING HOME (06/09/78)

decided: June 9, 1978.

INTERIM HOUSE, INC.
v.
PHILADELPHIA ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT. CITY OF PHILADELPHIA V. GRIFFITH NURSING HOME, INC., SYLVINA A. GRAY AND INTERIM HOUSE, INC. JOHN PENROSE, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in cases of Interim House, Inc. v. Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment, No. 1213 May Term, 1974; and City of Philadelphia v. Griffith Nursing Home, Inc. and Sylvina A. Gray and Interim House, Inc., No. 3796 July Term, 1974.

COUNSEL

A. Martin Herring, with him Teitelman, Sagot, Herring, Jennings & Luber, for appellant.

Howland W. Abramson, with him James M. Penny, Jr., Assistant City Solicitor, Steven Berger, Assistant City Solicitor, and Leonidas A. Allen, for appellees.

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

Author: Rogers

[ 36 Pa. Commw. Page 55]

We affirm the final order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County denying a mandatory injunction requiring the appellee Interim House, Inc. to close its facility for treating alcoholic women, on the able and comprehensive opinion of Judge William M. Marutani, following:

[ 36 Pa. Commw. Page 56]

The matter presently before this Court is a petition for mandatory injunction directed against Interim House, Inc. ('Interim House'), seeking to enjoin Interim House from 'illegal use, possession and occupancy' of premises 250 West Tulpehocken Street, Philadelphia, 'as a treatment and rehabilitation center for women who prior to admission were addicted to the use of alcohol.' Petitioner is John Penrose, a resident of Philadelphia who is a 'next adjoining neighbor to Interim House.'

FINDINGS OF FACT

1. Petitioner, John Penrose, ('petitioner' or 'Penrose') is a citizen and taxpayer in and of the City of Philadelphia, who resides on premises adjoining 250 West Tulpehocken Street, Philadelphia.

2. Interim House, Inc. ('Interim House') is a non-profit corporation incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with an advance ruling dated November 14, 1973 from the Internal Revenue Service, Department of the Treasury, that Interim House is a tax exempt organization under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and accordingly, until further notice, has been deemed a 509(a)(1) organization thereunder. Said advance ruling ends on June 30, 1977 unless otherwise extended or terminated. Pursuant to a lease and option to purchase agreement dated July 26, 1973 between Interim House and Griffith Nursing Home, Inc., a Pennsylvania corporation, Interim House went into occupancy of 250 West Tulpehocken, on which premises there is situated a three and one-half story detached dwelling.

[ 36 Pa. Commw. Page 573]

. Premises 250 West Tulpehocken Street is situate in a district zoned 'R-2' Residential. In such a zoning district, a property may be used for 'Rest, old age, nursing or convalescent homes, and nurseries' upon the issuance of a certificate.

4. Under application number 36187-H, calendar number X-1129, the said premises were approved on July 24, 1967 by the Zoning Board of Adjustment for a nursing home to contain 29 beds. Thereafter the premises were used as a nursing home into August 1973, Interim House becoming a lessee-optionee thereof by agreement dated July 26, 1973.

5. Pursuant to an application filed by Interim House for a use certificate for 'treatment and rehabilitation center for women providing live in and live out patient care' hearings were held before the Zoning Board of Adjustment on October 11, 1973 and January 17, 1974, and by a majority decision of the Zoning Board of Adjustment dated July 15, 1974 the application for the use certificate was refused.

6. Interim House thereupon filed an appeal to the Court of Common Pleas: Interim House, Inc. v. Zoning Board of Adjustment, May Term, 1974, No. 1213, appealing the Zoning Board's refusal to grant a use certificate. By Order of Judge Ned L. Hirsh dated April 28, 1975, the appeal of Interim House was 'dismissed and the decision of the Zoning Board of Adjustment . . . affirmed.' No appeal was taken from this Order of April 28, 1975.

7. Interim House has continued in possession of 250 West Tulpehocken Street, conducting therein activities described hereinafter. It has beds for 21 residents plus two more for

[ 36 Pa. Commw. Page 58]

    live-in house managers, all women. The only male person on the staff is its Assistant Director, William H. Johnston ('Mr. Johnston').

8. On the staff of Interim House are the following: Clara B. Synigal, Executive Director ('Mrs. Synigal'); Mr. Johnston, Assistant Director; a full-time registered nurse who works 40 hours a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from Monday through Friday; two persons identified as therapists, one with a master's degree in psychology, and the other working toward her bachelor's degree; one community liaison person; a home economics coordinator; one case worker; and two live-in house managers. This totals ten persons. Mrs. Synigal is a certified public accountant in Pennsylvania, has taken courses in psychotherapy and alcoholism at Rutgers University, Temple University, Johns Hopkins University and Melrose Academy, is a member of the Governor's Task Force on Alcoholism and Women (Pennsylvania), has in the past trained Department of Public Welfare Workers on the subject of alcoholism as well as spoken on the topic at various schools in the area such as Plymouth Meeting, Whitemarsh, Germantown High School, Roosevelt Jr. High School, Simon Gratz High School, etc.

In addition, Interim House has consultants or instructors including Dr. Carolyn Michaelson, M.D. to provide medical care of a doctor, an arts-and-crafts teacher, and an instructor in yoga.

9. Residents to and of Interim House are received by referrals from other treatment centers primarily for alcoholics, including Livengrin, Chit-Chat Farms, Riverside, Eagleville

[ 36 Pa. Commw. Page 59]

Hospital, Valley Forge Hospital, Einstein Daroff Division, and Kensington Hospital. Candidates for acceptance into Interim House are first interviewed by a staff member (designated as a 'community liaison person') of Interim House and if approved at this initial interview, then received at Interim House for a 24-hour period for mutual assessment, -- the patient's as well as Interim House's, -- as to desirability to proceed with continued retention at Interim House. Residents are, therefore, not taken ...


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