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EDGAR A. MCCOY AND MARGARET MCCOY v. ZONING HEARING BOARD RADNOR TOWNSHIP AND WILLIAM W. SELLERS AND NANCY F. SELLERS (06/27/78)

decided: June 27, 1978.

EDGAR A. MCCOY AND MARGARET MCCOY, HIS WIFE
v.
ZONING HEARING BOARD OF RADNOR TOWNSHIP AND WILLIAM W. SELLERS AND NANCY F. SELLERS, HIS WIFE. WILLIAM W. SELLERS AND NANCY F. SELLERS, HIS WIFE, APPELLANTS



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County in case of Edgar A. McCoy and Margaret McCoy, his wife v. Zoning Hearing Board of Radnor Township and William W. Sellers and Nancy F. Sellers, his wife, No. 75-15102.

COUNSEL

Fred B. Fromhold, with him Thomas J. Burke, and Haws & Burke, for appellants.

Sondra K. Slade, with her, of counsel, Pepper, Hamilton & Scheetz, for appellees.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Mencer and Rogers, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.

Author: Mencer

[ 36 Pa. Commw. Page 333]

William and Nancy Sellers have brought this appeal from a decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County reversing a decision of the Zoning Hearing Board of Radnor Township (Board) permitting them to construct a garage on the south side of their property. Since the proposed construction is not in the rear or side yard of their property, as required by the Radnor Township Zoning Ordinance (Ordinance), we affirm.

The Sellers' property abuts the land of Edgar and Margaret McCoy, the appellees here, on the east side.

[ 36 Pa. Commw. Page 334]

The Sellers propose to build a three-car, free-standing garage on the southwest corner of their property, despite the fact that their present dwelling contains, in effect, a two-car garage. The McCoys' normal method of access to their property is past this proposed site by way of an easement which is designated on the following sketch as "private lane" and which runs perpendicular to Eagle Road and serves the five lots shown on the sketch:

[ 36 Pa. Commw. Page 335]

Originally, the Township Code Enforcement Officer refused to issue a permit on the grounds that the proposed garage would be in the Sellers' front yard in violation of the Ordinance. On appeal, the Board, pursuant to the Sellers' request, treated the case in part as a request for a variance.*fn1 In a 2-to-1 vote, the Board held that the Sellers were entitled to build the garage as planned under the Ordinance. The lower court reversed, reasoning that the definition of "building line" in the Ordinance fixed the Sellers' front yard as that part of the lot nearest Eagle Road.

Our decision here is based on an interpretation of various sections of the somewhat inartfully drawn Ordinance. The following definitions are found in Section 135-4(B) of the Ordinance:

BUILDING LINE -- A line parallel to the street right-of-way at a distance therefrom equal to the depth of the front yard or setback required for the district in which the lot is located, except in the case of an interior lot not fronting on the highway for its full width, in which case the building line shall be a line parallel to the right-of-way at a distance from the property line nearest ...


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