Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County in case of Robert Haslett and Adele M. Haslett, his wife v. Board of Commissioners of Lower Merion Township, No. 80-22280.
Larry J. Folmar, Henderson, Wetherill, O'Hey & Horsey, for appellant.
Fred B. Fromhold, Haws & Burke, for appellees.
Judges Blatt, Williams, Jr. and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.
The Board of Commissioners of Lower Merion Township (Township) appeals an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County which determined that Robert and Adele M. Haslett (appellees) had been improperly denied subdivision approval because the Township's decision failed to cite any "statute" or "ordinance" not complied with, as required by Section 508(2) of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.*fn1
On June 16, 1950, Charles McIlvain, the owner of a 6.5 acre parcel of land, entered into a subdivision agreement with the Township pursuant to which he was to divide his land into three lots, comprising
.008, 1.005 and 4.5 acres respectively, and to construct a road through the tract before any portion would be sold or built upon. Subsequently, he desired to increase the area of the 1.005 acre lot to 2.465 acres and to decrease the area of the 4.5 acre lot to 3.091 acres,*fn2 and a second subdivision agreement was entered into on August 6, 1952 between him, two separate prospective purchasers of these lots, and the Township. This 1952 agreement provided for the cancellation and revocation of the 1950 agreement thereby relieving McIlvain from the obligation to construct a road through the tract, and it also provided that only one single-family dwelling would be erected on each of the two lots remaining. On October 2, 1952, McIlvain conveyed the 2.465 and 3.091 acre lots to the two purchasers who were parties to the 1952 subdivision agreement. On November 29, 1957, these purchasers joined in conveying both lots to the appellees' predecessor in title, Edward D. Meanor, who then executed a declaration of trust in which he recited that the appellees had an undivided one-half interest in the lots. On April 22, 1968, the appellees and the widow of Mr. Meanor, conveyed to the appellees the 2.465 acre lot which, due to the inclusion of a twenty-foot wide strip of land that was omitted in the prior deed, was described as consisting of 2.758 acres. This 2.758 acre lot is the subject of the instant matter.
On August 14, 1980, the appellees filed a subdivision plan with the Township proposing to subdivide their property into two parcels, one containing 1.504 acres and the other containing 1.254 acres, both of which would comply with the zoning ordinance minimum
lot size requirement. The Township, however, denied approval stating that the 1952 subdivision agreement precluded further subdivision and was enforceable under the Township's zoning power because it was a "regulation" within the meaning of ...