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EDWIN C. HOSTETTER AND LUCILLE F. HOSTETTER v. TOWNSHIP NORTH LONDONDERRY (12/10/81)

decided: December 10, 1981.

EDWIN C. HOSTETTER AND LUCILLE F. HOSTETTER, T/A BEL LAND COMPANY, APPELLANTS
v.
TOWNSHIP OF NORTH LONDONDERRY, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lebanon County in case of Edwin C. Hostetter and Lucille F. Hostetter, t/a Bel Land Company v. Township of North Londonderry, No. 1160 of 1980.

COUNSEL

Charles E. Zaleski, Tive, Hetrick & Pierce, P.C., for appellants.

Keith L. Kilgore, Spitler and Kilgore, for appellees.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Rogers, Blatt, Williams, Jr. and Craig. Opinion by Judge Rogers.

Author: Rogers

[ 63 Pa. Commw. Page 123]

This is an appeal by Edwin and Lucille Hostetter from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lebanon County upholding the constitutionality of the North Londonderry Township zoning ordinance of 1973 and affirming the township supervisors' refusal of the Hostetters' request for a curative amendment.*fn1 We affirm.

Edwin Hostetter, a former supervisor of North Londonderry Township, Lebanon County, who was in office when the zoning ordinance here challenged was enacted, is the owner, together with his wife, of a 14.8 acre parcel of land within the township presently

[ 63 Pa. Commw. Page 124]

    zoned so as to permit only single family and closely related uses. The Hostetters propose to construct on this parcel a total of eighty-four multi-family townhouse and semi-detached dwelling units. Following the denial of a request for rezoning, the Hostetters submitted a curative amendment application proposing that the township zoning map be amended to change the zoning classification of their parcel from R-2 residential to R-3 residential (a district where multi-family residential uses are permitted) and a challenge to the substantive validity of the zoning ordinance on the ground that it made only token provision for multi-family development within the township.

Such decisions of our Supreme Court as Surrick v. Zoning Hearing Board of Upper Providence Township, 476 Pa. 182, 382 A.2d 105 (1977) and Township of Willistown v. Chesterdale Farms, Inc., 462 Pa. 445, 341 A.2d 466 (1975) have imposed on each municipality within the Commonwealth the obligation to accept its "fair share" of the legitimate developmental needs of the larger community of which the municipality is a part. These decisions as well as numerous decisions of this Court have established that the determination of whether a particular community has met its fair share obligation requires an initial determination of "whether the community . . . is a logical area for development and population growth," Surrick, 476 Pa. at 192, 382 A.2d at 110, and an examination, if the community is a logical growth area, of such factors as the present level of development, the percentage of land available under the zoning ordinance for the requested use, current and projected population growth within the community and the region, and "whether the challenged zoning scheme effected an exclusionary result or, alternatively, whether there was evidence of a 'primary purpose' or exclusionary intent to zone out the natural growth of population." Surrick, 476 Pa. at

[ 63 Pa. Commw. Page 125192]

, 382 A.2d at 110-111. See, Villa, Inc. v. Zoning Hearing Board, 57 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 221, 426 A.2d 1209 (1980); West Nantmeal Township Appeal, 45 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 303, 406 A.2d 827 (1979); Abcon, Inc. Appeal, 35 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 589, 387 A.2d 1303 (1978); Silver Appeal, 35 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 569, 387 A.2d 169 (1978).

Following two lengthy public hearings and the receipt of over three hundred pages of testimony, the township Board of Supervisors concluded, in a decision encompassing twenty-seven separate findings of fact and conclusions of law, that the Hostetters had failed to meet their burden to establish that the township provides, through its land use regulations, for less than its share of the region's need for multi-family dwellings. The court of common pleas agreed with this determination and additionally, as we read the opinion of the Honorable G. Thomas Gates, President ...


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