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JAMES E. SORBARA AND CHRISTINE SORBARA v. CITY PITTSBURGH ET AL. (02/23/84)

decided: February 23, 1984.

JAMES E. SORBARA AND CHRISTINE SORBARA, HIS WIFE, APPELLANTS
v.
CITY OF PITTSBURGH ET AL., APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in the case of James E. Sorbara and Christine Sorbara, his wife v. City of Pittsburgh v. Dairy Investments, Inc. and Owen Lavelle, Case No. SA 617 of 1982.

COUNSEL

William R. Grove, Jr., Hollinshead and Mendelson, for appellants.

D. R. Pellegrini, City Solicitor, for appellee, City of Pittsburgh.

Joel P. Aaronson, Baskin and Sears, P.C., for appellee/intervenor, Owen Lavelle.

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

Author: Macphail

[ 80 Pa. Commw. Page 426]

Appellants*fn1 have brought this appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County which quashed their zoning appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

Owen Lavelle (Intervenor), owner of a five acre tract of land fronting Noblestown Road for 516 feet in the 28th ward of the City of Pittsburgh, requested a change in the zoning district classification in order to construct a supermarket. On June 14, 1982, the Council of the City of Pittsburgh approved an ordinance which changed the zoning of Intervenor's tract of land from a limited industrial district to a commercial district,

[ 80 Pa. Commw. Page 427]

    and on July 23, 1982 the Bureau of Building Inspections approved the issuance of the permit to Intervenor for the construction of a commercial building.

Appellants appealed to the common pleas court averring first that the rezoning was the object of special treatment without justification and, therefore, the reclassification was spot zoning; and second that the rezoning was arbitrary and unreasonable, with no substantial relation to the public health, safety, morals and general welfare. The common pleas court quashed the appeal because it was improperly filed directly to the common pleas court rather than the Pittsburgh Zoning Board of Adjustment (Board). The common pleas court also stated that it was without power to transfer the appeal to the Board.

Appellants contend that the Board lacks jurisdiction to decide appeals which contest the validity or constitutionality of a legislative act by the city council. Appellants rely on Section 7 of the Act of March 31, 1927 (Second Class City Code), P.L. 98, 53 P.S. ยง 25057 and the Pittsburgh Code of Ordinances (Code)*fn2 to support their contention that the Board is limited to ...


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