Appeals from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County in case of Florida First Bon Capital Corporation v. Zoning Hearing Board of the Borough of Landsdale, No. 76-1302.
William Litvin, with him Stephen J. Folkman, for appellants.
Richard W. Hollstein, with him Darryl C. Sheetz, and Clark, Ladner, Fortenbaugh & Young, for appellees.
Judges Mencer, Rogers and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.
[ 40 Pa. Commw. Page 449]
These are consolidated appeals by Florida First Bon Capital Corporation (Florida) and Dorothy M. Rigler from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County granting the petition of the Zoning Hearing Board of the Borough of Lansdale (Board) to strike Florida's zoning appeal and dismissing Rigler's petition to intervene in the appeal. We affirm.
Florida applied for a special exception to use a residential property for a nursing home. After a hearing before the Board on November 25, 1975, Florida's application was denied. Florida's appeal to the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County was quashed on the ground that Florida lacked standing to bring an appeal under Sections 1006 and 1007 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC), Act of
[ 40 Pa. Commw. Page 450]
July 31, 1968, P.L. 805, as amended, 53 P.S. §§ 11006, 11007. Rigler's petition to intervene in Florida's appeal from the Board's decision was dismissed because she lacked standing to intervene under Pa. R.C.P. No. 2327.
The first issue on appeal is whether the lower court erred in concluding that Florida had no standing to appeal under Section 1006 of the MPC which provides that a "landowner" may appeal the Board's decision with regard to the use of land in which he has an interest. Section 107(12) of the MPC, 53 P.S. § 10107(12), defines "landowner" as
the legal or beneficial owner or owners of land including the holder of an option or contract to purchase (whether or not such option or contract is subject to any condition), a lessee if he is authorized under the lease to exercise the rights of the landowner, or other person having a proprietary interest in land, shall be deemed to be a landowner for the purposes of this act.
The lower court concluded that Florida was not a landowner because it had been divested of its title and interest in the subject property.
The facts underlying this divestiture, while procedurally complex, are undisputed. The subject property was originally purchased by the Bonaventures, husband and wife, who obtained a mortgage from First Pennsylvania Banking and Trust Co. (First Pennsylvania). The mortgage was recorded on ...