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PETER A. CIAVARELLA AND LAURA LEE CIAVARELLA v. ZONING BOARD ADJUSTMENT HAZLE TOWNSHIP (11/28/84)

decided: November 28, 1984.

PETER A. CIAVARELLA AND LAURA LEE CIAVARELLA, HIS WIFE, APPELLANTS
v.
THE ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT OF HAZLE TOWNSHIP, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County in case of Peter A. Ciavarella and Laura Lee Ciavarella, his wife v. The Zoning Board of Adjustment of Hazle Township, No. 1838-C of 1982.

COUNSEL

Anthony J. Ciotola, for appellants.

Lewis J. Bott, for appellee.

Judges Williams, Jr., Barry and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.

Author: Blatt

[ 86 Pa. Commw. Page 194]

Peter A. Ciavarella and Laura Lee Ciavarella (appellants) appeal here an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County which affirmed a decision and order of the Zoning Board of Adjustment of Hazle Township (Board) denying their request to place a mobile home on their unimproved lot in the R-2 district of Hazle Township.

The application was made pursuant to Section 9.211 of the Township Zoning Ordinance (Ordinance) which requires that a zoning permit be issued by a Zoning Officer "prior to the erection, construction, moving or alteration of any building, structure or portion thereof." The Board concluded that a mobile home was not a permitted use within the R-2 district and that the appellants were consequently not entitled to place such a structure on their lot without prior Board approval. Section 4.03 of the Ordinance (permitted uses without board approval in the R-2 district include one-family detached dwellings, two-family detached dwellings, multiple family dwellings, utilities (except storage yards and buildings) and accessory

[ 86 Pa. Commw. Page 195]

    uses to the above). The Board then reviewed the appellants' application as if it were a request for a variance, which the Board refused to issue, finding that the appellants had failed to prove that the property could not be developed as zoned and that they had failed to prove any hardship.*fn1 On appeal to the court of common pleas, the order of the Board was affirmed. The present appeal ensued.

The appellants argue that the Board erred in reviewing their application as a request for a variance and contend that they are entitled to place a mobile home on their lot without prior board approval because

[ 86 Pa. Commw. Page 196]

    it will be affixed to a concrete foundation and therefore should be considered a single family dwelling permissible under Section 4.03 of the Ordinance in an R-2 district without prior Board approval.

The only question here, therefore, is whether or not a mobile home when affixed to a concrete foundation becomes, in essence, a single-family dwelling under the Ordinance. And, of course, where, as here, the court of common pleas did not take additional evidence, our scope of review is limited to determining whether or not the Board committed an abuse of discretion or erred as a matter of ...


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