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JULIA B. COOK v. MARPLE TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD AND HARDIE BELOFF (12/22/80)

decided: December 22, 1980.

JULIA B. COOK, CARL H. HUBER AND MABEL HUBER, HIS WIFE, MICHAEL R. BRADLEY AND JOAN P. BRADLEY, HIS WIFE, APPELLANTS
v.
MARPLE TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD AND HARDIE BELOFF, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County in the case of Julia B. Cook, Carl H. Huber and Mabel Huber, his wife, Michael R. Bradley and Joan P. Bradley, his wife v. Marple Township Zoning Hearing Board and Hardie Beloff, No. 78-18803.

COUNSEL

Michael R. Bradley, for appellants.

No appearance for appellees.

Judges MacPhail, Williams, Jr. and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.

Author: Palladino

[ 55 Pa. Commw. Page 536]

This is an appeal from an Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, affirming the granting of a special exception by the Marple Township Zoning Hearing Board (Board) to the applicant to construct and operate a private racquetball club in an R-1 Residential District. It is undisputed that the club will be a profit oriented venture with a limited membership subject to certain conditions set out by the Board below.

[ 55 Pa. Commw. Page 537]

Appellants are three contiguous landowners to the tract in question. The individual appellee is the equitable owner (under an agreement of sale) of the tract and applicant for the special exception.

The appellants contend (1) that the Board failed to properly notify them or the Marple Summit Civic Association of public hearings conducted prior to the granting of the special exception; (2) that the Board erred in allowing an individual to apply for a special exception on behalf of a non-existent club; and (3) that the Board erred in concluding that a profit motivated endeavor was intended to qualify as a "club" within the meaning of the Marple Township Zoning Ordinance (Ordinance).

We hold the appellants' contentions to be without merit.

Our scope of review is limited to a determination as to whether the Board abused its discretion or committed an error of law in its Findings of Fact or Conclusions of Law. Fotomat Corp. v. Zoning Hearing Board of Upper Dublin Township, 51 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 267, 414 A.2d 718 (1980); Jones v. Zoning Hearing Board, 7 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 284, 298 A.2d 664 (1972).

Section 85-120 of the Ordinance provides for notice of public hearings concerning an application for special exception in pertinent part as follows:

A. By publishing a notice thereof once a week for two (2) successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the ...


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