Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Mercer County in case of Pennsylvania George Junior Republic v. Zoning Hearing Board of Coolspring Township, Mercer County, Pennsylvania, No. 584 C.D. 1976.
Michael J. Wherry, with him Wherry and Ketler, for appellant.
Joseph J. Nelson, for appellee.
Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr. and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.
[ 37 Pa. Commw. Page 152]
The Pennsylvania George Junior Republic (Applicant), a non-profit corporation, appeals an order of the Court of Common Pleas affirming a refusal by the Zoning Hearing Board of Coolspring Township (Board) to grant a building permit.
Applicant is an institution to which juvenile offenders and unmanageable boys are sent pursuant to court order. Applicant's headquarters are located in
[ 37 Pa. Commw. Page 153]
Grove City, Mercer County. It is the desire of Applicant to establish a home on its property in Coolspring Township. On February 21, 1976, the zoning officer of Coolspring Township ordered renovations on the property to cease.
Subsequently, Applicant applied for a building permit. From the zoning officer's denial, Applicant appealed to the Board, which also denied Applicant's request. From this denial, Applicant appealed to the court below which likewise rejected Applicant's contention and upheld the Board. We affirm.
The property in question is located in a "R-1," Residential-Agricultural District. Applicant first raises for our consideration its contention that the proposed use is that of a boarding school which should have been granted a permit by way of special exception. However, we agree with the court below that the proposed use is not, in fact, as a school but rather a group home from which it is proposed the children will be sent to public schools within the Mercer County School District. Though the main campus at Grove City encompasses an education program, there is no program of instruction proposed for the property located within the Township. We are compelled, therefore, to reject the premise of Applicant's special exception contention, i.e., that the property is to be used as a preparatory or boarding school.
Applicant next advances its contention that the home in question, although a group home, nevertheless falls within the category "one-family detached dwellings," a specifically defined use within the R-1 district. We disagree. Article XVI of the Ordinance specifically defines "dwelling" as
[a] building arranged for, containing dwelling unit or units, and used exclusively for residential occupancy, ...