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HERBERT HAMILTON AND JOSEPHINE HAMILTON v. ZONING HEARING BOARD ASTON TOWNSHIP (04/27/82)

decided: April 27, 1982.

HERBERT HAMILTON AND JOSEPHINE HAMILTON, HIS WIFE, APPELLANTS
v.
ZONING HEARING BOARD OF ASTON TOWNSHIP, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County in the case of Herbert Hamilton and Josephine Hamilton v. Zoning Hearing Board of Aston Township, No. 79-6244.

COUNSEL

William D. March, Scallan, March, Berman, Del Fra & Wochok, for appellants.

Francis T. Sbandi, Fronefield and de Furia, for appellee.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Williams, Jr. and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr. This decision was reached prior to the resignation of Judge Mencer. Judge Palladino did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Williams

[ 66 Pa. Commw. Page 305]

Appellants, Herbert and Josephine Hamilton, appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County which affirmed a decision of the Zoning Hearing Board of Aston Township (Board) denying appellants' request for variances.

Herbert and Josephine Hamilton, husband and wife, are the owners of nine contiguous lots located in Aston Township. The lots are numbered 24 through 32, and were purchased by the appellants in 1974. All of the lots are unimproved, with the exception of lots 26 and 27, which two make up the site of an existing dwelling. The lots are situated in an area of the township zoned "Residential B" (RB); and the area was so zoned prior to the appellants' purchase of the lots.

The Aston Township zoning ordinance provides that land located in areas classified RB is subject to certain building restrictions. Single-family detached dwellings must be constructed on lots containing a minimum of 10,000 square feet and having a minimum width at the building line of 70 feet. In addition, there must be a front yard on each street abutting

[ 66 Pa. Commw. Page 306]

    the lot, the depth of which must be at least 30 feet from the street line. Furthermore, there are required to be two side yards, "one on each side of the main building," having an aggregate width of not less than 30 feet, nor less than 10 feet on either side. Finally, there is required to be a rear yard, the depth of which must be at least 30 feet. The building area may not exceed 25% of the lot area.

In January, 1979, appellants petitioned the Board for variances from the terms of the zoning ordinance in order to erect a single-family dwelling on each of two separate parcels of land. Neither parcel complied with the dimensional requirements set forth in the zoning ordinance for construction of single homes. The parcels of land for which the variances were sought were each comprised of two connected plots of ground. Lots 24 and 25 were merged to form one parcel of land; lots 31 and 32 were merged to create the second parcel.

With respect to the parcel comprised of lots 24 and 25, appellants requested the following variances for their proposed single-family dwelling: (1) a variance to reduce the lot area requirement from 10,000 square feet to an area of 5,900 square feet; (2) a variance to reduce the lot width requirement at the building line from 70 feet to a width of 40 feet; (3) a variance to reduce the aggregate width of the two side yards from the required minimum of 30 feet to an aggregate width of 15 feet; and (4) a variance to reduce one side yard to a width of 5 feet, with the required minimum width being 10 feet.

Appellants prayed that the following variances be granted for lots 31 and 32: (1) a variance to reduce the lot area from the required minimum of 10,000 square feet to an area of 6,000 square feet; (2) a variance to reduce the width of the lot ...


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