Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County in case of Timber Place Associates v. Plymouth Township Zoning Hearing Board, No. 79-11659.
Philip R. Detwiler, Maerz, Detwiler & Watt, for appellant.
Herbert F. Rubenstein, with him Norman Ashton Klinger, Beeghley, Rubenstein and Moore, for appellee.
Arthur Lefkoe, Wisler, Pearstine, Talone, Craig & Garrity, for intervenor, Plymouth Township.
Judges Blatt, Craig and Williams, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr. Judge Wilkinson, Jr. did not participate in the decision in this case.
[ 59 Pa. Commw. Page 583]
Timber Place Associates (appellant) appeals from an Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County. The lower court's Order affirmed the denial by the Zoning Hearing Board of Plymouth
[ 59 Pa. Commw. Page 584]
Township (Board) of appellant's application for a special exception.
The appellant is the owner of a high-rise apartment building known as Place One Apartments located in Plymouth Township (Township), Montgomery County. In March, 1979, appellant filed an application with the Board for a special exception to use the first two floors of Place One Apartments for general office space, and for accessory commercial uses to serve the needs of the tenants of Place One. The application was subsequently amended to limit appellant's request to use of the ground floor only for professional office space. The appellant proposes to rent units on the ground floor of the building as offices for doctors, lawyers, and other professionals.
The Board conducted a hearing on appellant's application on April 30, 1979. This hearing was attended by approximately one hundred and forty-five of the tenants of Place One Apartments. The vice president of Place One Tenants Association appeared and presented a petition opposing appellant's application; the petition was signed by three hundred and fourteen protestants, representing two hundred and twelve households in Place One Apartments. Six other tenants testified against appellant's proposed use. These witnesses vigorously protested that the appellant's proposed use of the ground floor would result in further aggravation of an already inadequate parking situation; and would result in a threat to the security of the premises due to the constant flow of non-residents through the building.
After the hearing the Board, by decision dated May 21, 1979, denied the application. The Board concluded that the use of the ground floor for professional type offices, and any use of the same general character, was within the provisions ...