Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of William L. Warren and Gail M. Warren, his wife v. Collier Township Board of Commissioners, No. SA 543 of 1980.
John B. Nicklas, Jr., with him Edward L. Kochuba, Jr., McCrady & Nicklas, and Michael T. Stubna, for appellants.
Michael B. Kaleugher, Rosenberg, Kirshner & Kaleugher, P.A., for appellee.
President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Rogers and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.
[ 62 Pa. Commw. Page 482]
This is the appeal of William and Gail Warren from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County affirming the denial by the Commissioners of Collier Township of the Warrens' conditional use zoning application.
The Warrens are the owners of a forty-two acre parcel of land in Collier Township on which they propose to build a single family detached dwelling and, adjacent to this dwelling, what is best described as a dioramic biblical exhibition consisting of thirty separate scenes dispersed over fifteen acres of the tract; each scene to encompass lifesize fibreglass replicas of biblical personnages, background material, a signboard on which is to be lettered a passage from scripture, and electronic apparatus to reproduce tape recorded inspirational music.*fn1 In their conditional use application the Warrens also proposed to erect certain
[ 62 Pa. Commw. Page 483]
improvements to accompany the biblical exhibition including an accessway with a cartway width of thirty feet, an automobile parking lot, a gravel walkway connecting the exhibits, a domestic water supply and an on-site sewage disposal system, and a "block building" for the dispensation of refreshments to patrons of the exhibit. Mr. Warren's description of the project, contained in his letter dated April 10, 1979 to the Collier Township Planning Commission is as follows:
To make way for off-the-road parking, the land next to the road will be excavated into a two to three tier parking facility. This should be able to hold approximately 200 to 250 cars. Shubbery [sic] will be put in to dress the lot.
Below the parking lot and inside the forest will be located the various scenes from the Bible. There will be 30 different scenes laid out about 70 feet apart. The scenes will depict events from both the Old and New Testament of the Bible. To further illustrate the scenes . . . each location will contain life like characters made out of fiber glass with very human characteristics. Background music will accompany each scene with a tape recording explaining the thought of the Biblical scene. Also located at each site will be a five to six foot rendition of a Bible with the scripture pertaining to the scene.
A gravel pathway will be cut through the forest with the various Biblical scenes interspersed. The pathway will be cut to provide ease of walking ...