Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Venango County in the case of Atlantic Richfield Company v. City of Franklin Zoning Hearing Board, and Raymond J. Brown and Mildred Y. Brown, Martha G. Richardson, Sebastian M. Bernardo and Dolores M. Bernardo, John A. Hamilton and Margaret Hamilton, Robert H. Thurau and Nita M. Thurau, James Nelms and Tomann Nelms, St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, United Methodist Church of the City of Franklin, Pennsylvania, and The First Baptist Church of the City of Franklin, Pennsylvania, No. 392 of 1981.
Victor R. Delle Donne, Baskin and Sears, P.C., for appellant.
Raymond S. Woodard, Dale, Woodard, Montgomery & White, for appellee, City of Franklin Zoning Hearing Board.
Henry W. Gent, III, Gent, Daniels, Thompson and Gent, for appellees, Raymond J. Brown et al.
President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Williams, Jr. and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr.
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Atlantic Richfield Company has appealed from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Venango
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County affirming the decision of the Zoning Hearing Board of Franklin City (Board). The Board, by a decision dated July 8, 1981, denied the appellant's application for a special exception because the health, safety and general welfare of the public would be adversely affected by the granting of the special exception.
The appellant owns a gasoline service station located at the northwest corner of 11th and Liberty Streets, known as 1050 Liberty Street, in Franklin City, Pennsylvania. This present use of the property is an allowable nonconforming use predating the current zoning ordinance, which designates the area in which the appellant's property is located as an R-2 residential district.
By an application dated April 24, 1981 the appellant requested a special exception pursuant to the pertinent provisions of the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Franklin (Ordinance). In an effort to utilize the property more effectively and more profitably the appellant proposed to convert the existing gasoline station to an AM/PM Mini-market with self-service gasoline pumps.
Section 1329.01(b) of the Ordinance provides that a "non-conforming use may be changed to another non-conforming use of the same, or a more restricted, classification if no structural alterations are made, or may be changed with structural alterations by special exception." The standards by which the Board is guided when considering a request for a special exception are stated in Section 1321.07 of the Ordinance as set forth below:
The Zoning Board of Adjustment, in deciding on an application for a special exception, shall consider the following as standards in the ...