Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Berks County in case of In Re: Application for Variance by Frank Avanzato and Ilda H. Avanzato, Subject Premises -- 242 Exeter Street, Reading, Pennsylvania, No. 25 January Term, 1977.
Joseph E. DeSantis, with him DeSantis & Koch, for appellants.
Calvin Lieberman, for appellee.
Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr. and Mencer, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.
This is an appeal by Frank Avanzato and Ilda H. Avanzato, owners of premises known as 242 Exeter Street in the City of Reading, from a decision of the Zoning Hearing Board of the City of Reading (Board) denying use and dimension variances. We affirm.
The owners acquired the property in January 1925 on which is situated a single-family residence. The property is zoned R-3 residential. A manufacturing facility owned by the Avanzatos is situated to the west of the property. A warehouse owned by the Avanzatos is situated to the southwest. A cemetery borders the property on the east and south. Other commercial and industrial properties exist in the immediate vicinity, along with twelve residences, five of which are located on Exeter Street to the north. While City Council has considered City Planning Commission recommendations that the area be zoned for manufacturing rather than residential, no action has been taken.
The owners seek a use variance in order to use the single-family dwelling as an office and storage facility. In addition, they seek use and dimension variances in order to erect an additional building on the property to be used for light manufacturing, which, if erected, would violate existing set-back and total-lot-coverage requirements under the ordinance.
The Board, after a hearing, denied the application for the variances. The owners appealed to the Berks County Court of Common Pleas, raising, inter alia, the issue of whether the Board had rendered its decision in accordance with the Open Meeting Law (Sunshine
Law).*fn1 That court held that the Board had not complied with the Sunshine Law and ordered a remand so that the Board might correct this error.*fn2 Without taking further testimony, the Board issued its decision in accordance with the Sunshine Law, again denying the application. The owners again appealed to the Court of Common Pleas. The Court took no additional evidence and affirmed the decision of the Board. This appeal followed.
An applicant is entitled to a variance only where he establishes (1) that the zoning regulation uniquely burdens his property so as to create an unnecessary hardship and (2) that the variance would not have an adverse effect upon the public health, safety or welfare. H.A. Steen Industries, Inc. v. Zoning Hearing Board, 39 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 451, 396 A.2d 66 (1978); Hankin v. Zoning Hearing Board, 35 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 164, 384 A.2d 1386 (1978). See also Section ...