Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County in case of Nellie Herman Glazer v. The Zoning Hearing Board of Worchester Township, No. 78-19892.
John O'Rourke, with him Philip D. Weiss, McTighe, Mullaney, Weiss, Bonner, Stewart & O'Neill, for appellant.
Thomas C. Loury, with him Philip R. Detwiler, for appellee.
Judges Mencer, Rogers and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.
[ 55 Pa. Commw. Page 235]
Nellie Herman Glazer (appellant) has appealed from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery
[ 55 Pa. Commw. Page 236]
County which affirmed the decision of the Zoning Hearing Board of Worcester Township (Board) denying her application for a variance.
In 1965, the appellant and her former husband, Leonard Herman, purchased a tract of land and a three-story masonry farmhouse in an area of Worcester Township zoned for agricultural use. The zoning ordinance did not permit the construction or conversion of a building to multiple-tenant use in such a zone. Therefore, the appellant and Herman applied for a variance in order to convert the farmhouse into a first-floor owner's apartment and construct an extension containing two apartment-rental units. The Board granted the variance on the condition, inter alia, that no more than three people occupy each of the two rental units. Herman, however, built an extension containing six rental units, which has been in use since 1966, with one person living in each unit. Appellant is now seeking a variance for the six-unit dwelling, in order to facilitate her sale of the property. Both the Board and the lower court denied appellant's request for a variance. We affirm.
Section 912 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC), Act of July 31, 1968, P.L. 805, as amended, 53 P.S. § 10912, establishes the conditions under which variances may be granted. This section provides, in pertinent part:
The board may grant a variance provided the following findings are made where relevant in a given case:
(1) That there are unique physical circumstances or conditions, including irregularity, narrowness, or shallowness of lot size or shape, or exceptional topographical or other physical ...