Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in the case of North Point Breeze Coalition, William M. Artz, Patricia C. Artz, Albert French, David P. Demarest, Jr., Marlene Demarest, William Grisom, Jr., Ann Grisom, Bruce MacDonald, Hattie MacDonald, George W. Shankey, Jr., Bernard Gardner, Irene Gardner, Blanche Davis, Samuel Davis, Milton Nixon, Johnna Mae Nixon, Dolly Brown, Haywood McKenzie, Carrie McKenzie, Ada McKenzie, Gladys McCullough, Henry McCullough, Isabel Allen, Nathaniel Smith, Minnie Smith, Harriet Brumble, David Brumble, Curtis Watkins, Elizabeth McPoland, Dolores Wilson, Margaret Cooper, Douglas Cooper, Evelyn True-Christie, Robert Dittig, Patricia Dittig, Eleanor Knight, Joseph Preston, Mrs. Joseph Preston, Mrs. E. M. Knipp, Frank Butala, Mrs. Willis Moodey, Ralph Mellix, Eric E. Tower, Cecilia Epperson, Bernice Sandidge v. The City of Pittsburgh and The City Council of the City of Pittsburgh, No. SA 11 of 1980.
Maurice A. Nernberg, Jr., with him Patricia McCommon and Gerald A. Kukitz, Nernberg & Laffy, for appellants.
D. R. Pelligrini, Assistant City Solicitor, for appellee.
Ann Lee Begler, for intervenor.
Jon L. Friedman, with him Shelley B. Marshall, for Amicus Curiae, Susan B. Beahm.
Judges Mencer, Craig and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.
[ 60 Pa. Commw. Page 300]
The North Point Breeze Coalition and several individual landowners (objectors) appeal an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, which quashed their appeal from the grant of a conditional use permit to the Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh (applicant) by Pittsburgh City Council (council).
In March of 1979, the applicant entered into a contract to purchase an old funeral home located in an R-4 residential district in the Point Breeze section of Pittsburgh; the applicant intends to use the home as a temporary shelter for women who are victims of domestic abuse. That service, classified as an institutional facility, is permitted as a conditional use under Section 993.01(a)A(10) of the Pittsburgh zoning ordinance (ordinance)*fn1 by council approval,*fn2 when in compliance with specific area, bulk and height requirements very similar to the kind of requirements typically applied to special exceptions by zoning ordinances.
Following the procedure outlined in Section 993.01(a)C of the ordinance, the applicant filed an application for the conditional use with the City Planning Department. After a public hearing, the planning commission recommended to the council that the application be denied. Notwithstanding the recommendation, the council passed Resolution No. 1156 approving
[ 60 Pa. Commw. Page 301]
the use of the premises as an institutional facility.*fn3
The use of a resolution is apparently a matter of councilmanic custom. The zoning ordinance makes no mention of resolutions with respect to conditional uses; it refers only ...