Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lebanon County in case of Sunnyside Garage v. The Zoning Hearing Board of North Lebanon Township, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, No. 153 of 1983.
John D. Enck, Rowe, Enck & Keys, for appellant.
Frederick S. Wolf, Henry, Beaver, Wolf, Harlan, Parker & Whitmoyer, for appellees.
Judges Williams, Jr., Doyle and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr.
[ 84 Pa. Commw. Page 287]
Sunnyside Garage (Sunnyside) appeals an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lebanon County affirming the denial of its petition for a special exception by the Zoning Hearing Board (Board) of North Lebanon Township, Lebanon County.
Sunnyside is a motorcycle club and is the equitable owner of premises located at 1121 East Cumberland Street, North Lebanon Township (premises) under a purchase agreement. The purchase agreement is conditioned upon Sunnyside being granted a special exception and can be terminated by either party thereto should the special exception not be granted.
Under the North Lebanon Township Zoning Ordinance (Ordinance), the premises are located in an R-2 Residential District. The premises had been used previously as a motor freight terminal which was a pre-existing and non-conforming use in that district.*fn1 The
[ 84 Pa. Commw. Page 288]
area around the premises is known as Avon and is described as an old rural residential village with a number of old homes, a church, a playground and a few compatible businesses.
Sunnyside proposes to use the premises as a clubhouse to hold its monthly meetings and to provide its twenty-two current members with a place to store, and perform maintenance and repair work on, their motorcycles. Each member of the club will have a personal key and will have twenty-four hour access to the clubhouse. None of the members are residents of the Avon area. The great majority of the members are employed and work various hours so that it is expected that they will use the facility at their convenience at any time of the day or night, although most of their activity is expected to occur in the evenings.
Prior to the scheduling of this matter for oral argument before the court of common pleas, residents of the Avon area successfully petitioned that court to allow their intervention in the case. No further evidence was taken by the court below; consequently, our scope of review is limited to determining whether the Board abused its discretion or committed an error of law. Atlantic Richfield Company v. City of Franklin Zoning Hearing Board, 77 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 102, 465 A.2d 98 (1983).
Section 6.02 of the Ordinance specifies permitted uses in the R-2 Residential District and allows in such districts such special exceptions as are permitted in R-1 Residential Districts.*fn2 Sunnyside is an incorporated nonprofit club and there is no ...