Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County in the case of John Dale, et al. v. Zoning Hearing Board of Tredyffrin Township and Cabrini College, No. 407 July Term, 1979.
John E. Riley, with him, Thomas A. Riley, Jr., Riley Law Associates, Ltd., for appellants.
John D. Snyder, with him, James E. McErlane, Lamb, Windle & McErlane, P.C., for appellee, Cabrini College.
Judges Craig and MacPhail, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.
[ 91 Pa. Commw. Page 221]
John and Rosalie Dale and other neighboring residents (objectors) appeal an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, which affirmed a decision of the Tredyffrin Zoning Hearing Board granting to Cabrini College a special exception to permit construction of three dormitories on land in Tredyffrin Township, which is zoned as an R-1 (single-family) District.
We must determine*fn1 (1) if the proposed dormitories, in the context of a municipality where only the
[ 91 Pa. Commw. Page 222]
dormitories are located, are an educational use according to the applicable provisions of the zoning ordinance; (2) whether the proposed structures may be used only as single-family dwellings, not as dormitories, because of their single-family design; and (3) whether the zoning hearing board and the court below erred in rejecting the contention of neighboring objectors that notice of the hearing on the special exception was inadequate.
Cabrini College is located on approximately 110 acres, only six acres of which are in Tredyffrin Township, Chester County, while the remaining 104 acres are in Radnor Township, Delaware County. Presently Radnor Township contains all of the college's facilities.
Cabrini College's special exception request proposes, on the six-acre Tredyffrin tract, three dormitory buildings designed in a style consistent with that of the single-family dwelling neighborhood, and in conformity with the area and height requirements of the R-1 Residential District. Each of the three residences would accommodate about sixteen students. The board and the trial court granted the special exception on the basis that the dormitories constituted an "educational use."
The objectors contend that, where dormitories are the only college facility located in the municipality, dormitory facilities are not educational uses. The Tredyffrin Township Zoning Ordinance allows:
601.5 The following uses, when authorized as a special exception, subject to the general standards ...