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WILLIAM HAWKINS v. ZONING HEARING BOARD TOWNSHIP BRISTOL. TOWNSHIP BRISTOL (08/19/83)

decided: August 19, 1983.

WILLIAM HAWKINS
v.
ZONING HEARING BOARD OF THE TOWNSHIP OF BRISTOL. TOWNSHIP OF BRISTOL, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County in the case of William Hawkins v. Zoning Hearing Board of the Township of Bristol, No. 81-8682-09-5.

COUNSEL

Clyde W. Waite, for appellant.

Robert P. Snyder, for appellee.

Judges Rogers, Craig and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.

Author: Rogers

[ 76 Pa. Commw. Page 471]

This is the appeal of Bristol Township from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County reversing decisions of the township zoning hearing board denying the appellee, William Hawkins, the right to use a premises in the township's M-2 Heavy Manufacturing zoning district as an adult massage center.

In September, 1980, Morton Schwartzman, the owner of the premises, applied for a use and occupancy permit. On the form of application Hawkins wrote under the heading, General Description of the Work, "Health Center/Physical Therapy" and under the heading, Intended Uses, "Health Center work with Insurance Co. & Doctors, therapeutic heat massages, exercise machines." A use and occupancy permit was issued to Schwartzman on which the intended use was described as "Heath Center/Physical Therapy." Schwartzman leased the premises to William Hawkins

[ 76 Pa. Commw. Page 472]

    who then commenced operation of what he admitted could most properly be called an adult massage center. The record shows that the adult massage center was given the name Emilie's Massage Parlor*fn1 and that the operatives were women, referred to by the appellee at the board hearings as his subcontractors.*fn2

The use and occupancy permit was revoked by the township in March, 1981, on the ground that the use was not in accordance with the use and occupancy permit. The appellee filed an appeal from this action. He also filed two successive applications for use and occupancy permits. In the first, the intended use was described as "Health Center/Therapeutic Massage" and in the second as "Adult Massage Center." Both were rejected by the township on the ground that the intended uses were not permitted uses in the M-2, Heavy Manufacturing zoning district.

The appellee filed appeals to the board from all these actions: the revocation of the use and occupancy permit granted to Schwartzman and the rejection of the two applications made by the appellee. After hearings, the board upheld the actions of the township. The court of common pleas, which received no evidence, reversed the board's decisions and ordered "the [Zoning Hearing] Board to reinstate and/or issue an appropriate use and occupancy permit. . . ." We may assume that the court meant that the township should issue a permit and that it would be for the use of the

[ 76 Pa. Commw. Page 473]

    premises as an adult massage center because the court employs that phrase as the true description of the use of the premises made, ...


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