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VALLEY BROOK LAND DEVELOPMENT CO. v. EAST WHITELAND TOWNSHIP (03/09/83)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: March 9, 1983.

VALLEY BROOK LAND DEVELOPMENT CO., APPELLANT
v.
EAST WHITELAND TOWNSHIP, APPELLEE

Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County in case of Valley Brook Land Development Co. v. East Whiteland Township, No. 37 August Term, 1980.

COUNSEL

Ronald M. Agulnick, Pitt, Agulnick, Supplee, Johnson & Slade, for appellant.

Ronald C. Nagle, Buckley, Nagle, Gentry, McGuire & Morris, for appellee.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Rogers and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 72 Pa. Commw. Page 443]

Valley Brook Land Development Company (Appellant) has appealed from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County which affirmed a denial of Appellant's challenge to the validity of the zoning ordinance of East Whiteland Township. We affirm.

Appellant is the equitable owner of a tract of land comprising approximately 21 acres in East Whiteland Township. The land is presently zoned "R-1", a residential district which permits single-family detached dwellings. Appellant proposes to construct what is variously characterized in the record as "two-family, semi-detached dwellings", "twin duplexes", "quadruplexes" or "Maisonettes". As proposed, each four unit building would consist of two stories with two dwelling units on each floor. The units would have separate entrances with a party wall dividing the building vertically into two duplexes. Appellant proposes

[ 72 Pa. Commw. Page 444]

    to convey each duplex and half of the building lot in fee simple to purchasers, with an extension of the party wall line constituting the boundary dividing the lot into separate properties. It is undisputed that the proposed use is not one which is permitted in the "R-1" district.

Appellant filed a petition for a curative amendment with the Board of Supervisors of East Whiteland Township (Board)*fn1 alleging that its proposed use is unconstitutionally excluded by the zoning ordinance. We have carefully reviewed the briefs and records in this case and are in complete agreement with the conclusion reached by the court of common pleas and the Board that Appellant's proposed use may be constructed by special exception in the "R-4" residential district as a "multi-family dwelling", as that term is defined in the zoning ordinance.*fn2 Therefore, we shall affirm on the basis of the able opinion of Judge Sugerman, Valley Brook Land Development Co. v. East Whiteland Township, Pa. D. & C. 3rd (1981).

Order

The order of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, dated September 18, 1981, is hereby affirmed.

Disposition

Affirmed.


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