Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County in the case of In Re: Appeal of Elocin, Inc. from the denial of its challenges to the validity of the Zoning Ordinance and Map of Springfield Township, Delaware County, and of its curative amendment application by the Board of Commissioners of Springfield Township, No. 78-16748.
James D. Crawford, with him Richard D. Birns, and Michael Sklaroff, Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis, and Vincent J. LaBrasca, Fronefield & deFuria, for appellants.
Jan Z. Krasnowiecki, with him Harry J. Bradley, for appellees, Springfield Township and its Board of Commissioners.
Lloyd R. Ziff, with him M. Duncan Grant, Pepper, Hamilton & Scheetz, and Richard L. Hughey, Anderman, Hughey & Flick, for appellees, Margaret Morrow Cox Ziff, Lloyd R. Ziff and George W. Belk, III.
President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Mencer, Rogers, Craig and MacPhail. Opinion by Judge MacPhail. Judge Rogers dissents. Judge Palladino did not participate in the decision in this case.
This case comes to us on appeal from a decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County which upheld the denial of Appellant Elocin, Inc.'s (Elocin) curative amendment request*fn1 by the Board of Commissioners (Board) of Springfield Township (Springfield Township or Township). The crux of Elocin's challenge to the Township's zoning ordinance is its belief that the Township has failed to provide for its "fair share" of the region's need for multi-family dwellings, specifically apartments and townhouses.
Elocin owns a 63.7 acre tract of land in the Township.*fn2 Elocin acquired title to this land no later than 1970. The land is presently zoned "A Residence" which permits development of single family detached
dwellings on lots of 8500 square feet. The lot is rugged in nature, consisting of a small creek running through the site and slopes in excess of 15% covering portions of the land. No development presently exists on the tract.
On January 9, 1976, Elocin filed two curative amendment applications with the Board, challenging the substantive validity of the zoning ordinance for its failure to provide, or at best token provision, for apartment and townhouse development. Elocin's development plan, as amended in two March 5, 1976 submissions to the Board, proposed construction of 567 apartment units in six story high structures and 305 townhouse units in a variety of clusters. Notices of the planned hearings were published and in response thereto a variety of persons and groups, including Appellees Margaret Ziff, Lloyd Ziff and George Belk, III (Intervenors) sought and were granted party status for the hearings. After thirty-eight public hearings were held to consider Elocin's challenges and proposed curative amendments, the Board rejected the challenges on November 9, 1978 in a fifty-five page opinion which included findings of fact and conclusions of law. Elocin appealed this decision to the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas which took no further evidence.*fn3 The court below affirmed the decision of the Board and Elocin then perfected its appeal to this Court.
Our Supreme Court, in Surrick v. Zoning Hearing Board of Upper Providence Township, 476 Pa. 182, 382 A.2d 105 (1977), developed an analytical method
to be used by courts in the future to aid them in their review of zoning ordinances which are alleged to be exclusionary. In analyzing a case by this method, the reviewing court uses the facts of the case to answer inquiries focused on various factors which have previously been held to be relevant in determining whether a zoning ordinance effects an unconstitutional exclusion of a particular land use. The answers derived from ...