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A.Z.J.Z. v. TOWNSHIP SPRINGFIELD ET AL. (06/20/78)

decided: June 20, 1978.

A.Z.J.Z., INC. (A CORPORATION)
v.
TOWNSHIP OF SPRINGFIELD ET AL., APPELLANTS



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County in case of A.Z.J.Z., Inc. v. Township of Springfield, Carmen E. Costagliola, Russell G. Gramiak, Bernard E. Stein, Ralph F. Mattia, Lee J. Janiczek, Charles J. Quinn, Frank L. Mustaro, Albert C. Young, No. 76-10594.

COUNSEL

Edward S. Lawhorne, with him Lawhorne, Muller, Hepburn & Bowie, for appellants.

Howard Saul Marcu, with him Sand, Gibbs, Marcu & Smilk, for appellee.

Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Blatt and DiSalle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.

Author: Blatt

[ 36 Pa. Commw. Page 162]

The Township of Springfield and its officials (Township) appeal to this Court from a decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County ordering that a use variance and zoning permit be issued to A.Z.J.Z., Inc. (Appellee).

The Appellee requested a variance to construct a four by nine foot Fotomat kiosk on its property.*fn1 Subsequent to a denial by the Township's Zoning Officer, the Springfield Township Zoning Hearing Board (Board) held a hearing on May 27, 1976, and, on June 25, 1976, less than 45 days later, sent the Appellee a "notice" that it had denied the variance. The Board's notice stated further that "the written decision is in preparation and will shortly be filed in the Township Building." On July 20, 1976, more than 45 days after the hearing, the Board issued and filed a written decision containing findings of fact and conclusions of law. The Appellee thereafter filed an action in mandamus for a permit to be issued because the Board had not rendered its "decision" within 45 days after the hearing in accordance with Section 908(9) of the

[ 36 Pa. Commw. Page 163]

Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code*fn2 (MPC), and its decision was therefore deemed to be in favor of the applicant. Upon this basis the lower court ordered that the use and zoning permit be issued. This appeal followed.

The question here is whether or not the "notice" sent to the Appellee satisfied the requirements of a written "decision" as mandated by Section 908(9) of the MPC.*fn3 The notice stated in pertinent part as follows:

NOTICE

At the meeting of the Zoning Hearing Board on June 24, 1976, the request for permission to erect a Fotomat Kiosk was denied.

The written decision is in preparation and will shortly be filed in the Township Building, 50 ...


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