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STROUDSBURG MUNICIPAL WATER AUTHORITY v. VERSATILE INVESTMENT PROJECTS (08/13/84)

decided: August 13, 1984.

STROUDSBURG MUNICIPAL WATER AUTHORITY, APPELLANT
v.
VERSATILE INVESTMENT PROJECTS, INC., APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Monroe County in case of Versatile Investment Projects, Inc. v. Supervisors of Stroud Township, No. 3589 Civil Term, 1981.

COUNSEL

John B. Dunn, Matergia and Dunn, for appellant.

Edwin Krawitz, for appellee.

Judges Rogers, Williams, Jr. and Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Barbieri.

Author: Barbieri

[ 84 Pa. Commw. Page 435]

The Stroudsburg Municipal Water Authority (Authority) appeals here from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of the Forty-Third Judicial District directing the Supervisors of Stroud Township (Supervisors) to issue a conditional use permit to Versatile Investment Projects, Inc. (Versatile). We will remand.

Stroud Township's (Township) zoning ordinance (Ordinance) defines twenty-three "use classes" which are allowed in some or all of the Township's zoning districts; nine of these use classes are characterized by the Ordinance as "Permitted Uses" which require no prior approval by the Township Zoning Hearing Board (Board) or Supervisors, seven are defined as "Special Uses" which must receive prior approval from the Board, and the remaining seven are defined as "Conditional Uses" which must be approved by the Supervisors. In addition, Section 5.902 of the Ordinance provides that any use proposed for a site with "special environmental or hazardous conditions" is a "Special Use" requiring prior approval from the Board.

[ 84 Pa. Commw. Page 436]

In 1980, Versatile submitted a conditional use application to the Supervisors seeking permission to locate a commercial picnic and bathing area on a 15.8 acre tract of land adjacent to Brodhead Creek in an area of the Township zoned S-1. Since the Township zoning authorities were apparently unsure which use class the proposed project fell within, however, Versatile was advised to also file a special use application with the Board. Versatile subsequently did so, and after a preliminary hearing on this application the Board concluded (1) that Versatile's project fell within the ambit of Section 5.902 of the Ordinance, and hence needed prior approval from the Board, and (2) that the proposed project also fell within the definition of two use classes deemed to be conditional uses in the Ordinance,*fn1 and thus also needed prior approval from the Supervisors. Versatile's application

[ 84 Pa. Commw. Page 437]

    for a special use was subsequently conditionally granted by the Board,*fn2 but after a hearing before the Supervisors its application for a conditional use was denied for the following reasons:

2. Applicant has failed to demonstrate that a sufficient market exists for the type, size and character of the development proposed.

3. Applicant has failed to demonstrate or adequately justify that the proposed site alterations to the subject property will not adversely effect (sic) the existing environment, ...


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