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JAMES W. BELL AND CATHERINE BELL v. ZONING BOARD ADJUSTMENT CITY PITTSBURGH (08/06/84)

decided: August 6, 1984.

JAMES W. BELL AND CATHERINE BELL, APPELLANTS
v.
ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT OF THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of James W. Bell and Catherine Bell, his wife v. Zoning Board of Adjustment of Pittsburgh, No. S.A. 782 of 1982.

COUNSEL

James G. Dunn, Wymard and Dunn, for appellants.

Gretchen G. Donaldson, Associate City Solicitor, with her, D. R. Pellegrini, City Solicitor, for appellee.

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

Author: Doyle

[ 84 Pa. Commw. Page 348]

This is an appeal by James and Catherine Bell (Appellants) from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County which quashed their appeal

[ 84 Pa. Commw. Page 349]

    from a decision of the Zoning Board of Adjustment of the City of Pittsburgh (Zoning Board).

Appellants are the owners of a property located at 1006 Farragut Street in the City of Pittsburgh. Situate on the property is a two and a half story structure which contains three dwelling units. The property is located in an R-2 zoning district which, under Pittsburgh's 1958 zoning legislation, permits two-family dwellings subject to side yard, lot size, and off-street parking restrictions. The property does not meet the 1958 side yard, lot size and off-street parking restrictions. Prior to 1958, the property was zoned B-residential, permitting two-family dwellings without restriction.

In 1964, Appellants applied to the Zoning Board, requesting a variance to allow use of the property for three dwelling units. The request was denied and no appeal was taken. Nevertheless, the property continued to be occupied as a three-unit dwelling. In March of 1982, Appellants applied to the Zoning Board for permission to occupy the premises as a two-family dwelling, and on March 25, 1982, the application was denied. The Zoning Board noted that Appellants were not in compliance with the 1964 order and directed Appellants "to reduce the number of dwelling units in this structure from three units to one dwelling unit within 30 days." No appeal was taken. The record indicates that Appellants failed to comply with the Zoning Board's order. In August of 1982, Appellants again applied to the Zoning Board for permission to occupy the premises as a two-family dwelling. On October 18, 1982, the Zoning Board denied the application, noting Appellants' non-compliance with its March order, and stated:

The Board is of the opinion that it must not reward the type of behavior displayed by the Appellant

[ 84 Pa. Commw. Page 350]

    in ignoring the decision of the Board to reduce to 1 dwelling unit within 30 days under Zone Case No. 161 of 1982 and ignoring the order of the Board in Zone Case No. 345 of 1964. The Board hereby dismisses the subject appeal and orders the Appellant to reduce the number of dwelling units in the subject ...


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