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JOSEPH SCHAEFER AND CONSTANCE SCHAEFER v. ZONING BOARD ADJUSTMENT CITY PITTSBURGH (10/06/81)

decided: October 6, 1981.

JOSEPH SCHAEFER AND CONSTANCE SCHAEFER, APPELLANTS
v.
ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT OF THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of Joseph Schaefer and Constance Schaefer v. Zoning Board of Adjustment of the City of Pittsburgh, No. SA 694 of 1978.

COUNSEL

Edward F. Kelly, for appellants.

Kathryn E. Hanna Katsafanas, Assistant City Solicitor, with her Mead J. Mulvihill, Jr., City Solicitor, for appellee.

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

Author: Mencer

[ 62 Pa. Commw. Page 105]

This is an appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County sustaining a decision of the Zoning Board of Adjustment of the City of Pittsburgh (Board) which denied the application of the appellants, Joseph and Constance Schaefer, for a four-unit occupancy permit. We affirm.

The appellants are the owners of a three-story residence located in an "R-2" zoning district in the City of Pittsburgh. The "R-2" zoning classification limits the use of the property to a maximum of two dwelling units. From 1956 through 1958, the Bureau of Building Inspection (Bureau) issued four building construction permits to the then owners of the premises, Charles and Stella Janeski. The permits authorized

[ 62 Pa. Commw. Page 106]

    various changes in the premises, designed to accommodate them to the use of four units. After those changes were completed, the Bureau issed a "certificate of classification and legality of use in accordance with zoning regulations" to the Janeskis, on November 19, 1959, authorizing four-unit use.

On February 9, 1970, the Janeskis obtained a three-unit occupancy permit for the premises. Ten days later they conveyed the property to Richard and Lois Lininger and Gary and Katherine Titzel (second owners). The second owners conformed to the three-unit occupancy until they conveyed the premises to the appellants on August 26, 1971. Sometime thereafter, the appellants proceeded to adapt the premises to six-unit occupancy. The Building Inspection Department sought to enforce the three-unit occupancy upon learning of the appellants' action.

The appellants filed an application for six-unit occupancy, which the Board, after a hearing, denied on January 27, 1978. Upon learning of the 1959 certificate, the appellants filed a new application seeking the restoration of a four-unit occupancy permit. After a hearing, the Board denied the application on June 2, 1978. The appellants appealed the Board's second determination to the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, which sustained the Board's decision in an order dated July 23, 1980. This appeal followed.*fn1

The appellants contend here that (1) the Board abused its discretion or ...


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