Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of Louis W. Fabrizi v. Zoning Hearing Board of the Borough of Brentwood et al., No. SA 520 of 1983.
Frederick A. Boehm, with him, Patrick J. Clair, Goehring, Rutter & Boehm, for appellants.
A. Bruce Bowden, Buchanan Ingersoll, P.C., for appellee.
Judge MacPhail, and Senior Judges Blatt and Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt. Judge Barry did not participate in the decision in this case.
[ 91 Pa. Commw. Page 341]
William and Geraldine Sullivan, Xavier W. Franz and Walter and Frances Laska (appellants) appeal here from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County reversing a decision of the Zoning Hearing Board of the Borough of Brentwood (Board) which revoked a building permit issued to Louis W.
[ 91 Pa. Commw. Page 342]
Fabrizi (landowner) and also denied the landowner's request for a variance.
The property in question is located in an R-1 low density residential district at the corner of Brownsville Road and West Brentridge Avenue in the Borough of Brentwood. Two buildings stand on the property; a primary residence facing Brownsville Road and a carriage house facing West Brentridge Avenue. The landowner received a building permit in early July 1983 to construct a one story addition to the rear portion of the primary residence, consisting of a family room, laundry room and kitchen, and a three car garage which would be connected to the proposed addition by means of an open passageway, commonly referred to as a breezeway.*fn1
On July 22, 1983, the appellant appealed from the issuance of the building permit, contending that the proposed extension violated building setback requirements as contained in the Zoning Ordinance of the Borough of Brentwood (Zoning Ordinance), that the property had never been legally subdivided, and that a three-car garage was not a permitted use in the R-1 district. The landowner agreed to suspend construction until the Board had decided the appeal. Additionally, the landowner filed a request for a variance in the event the Board concluded that the building permit had been improperly issued.
The Board found that the property in question consisted of a single lot on which was located two principal
[ 91 Pa. Commw. Page 343]
structures,*fn2 that both buildings had been constructed prior to the enactment of the zoning ordinance and that, therefore, they constituted a nonconforming use.*fn3 The Board further stated that although the proposed garage, if constructed, might hinder any future attempt to subdivide the lot, that issue was not presently before it inasmuch as the landowner had not sought to subdivide his property. Consequently, the Board dismissed the appellants' objections pertaining to an alleged illegal subdivision of the lot. The Board also concluded that the Zoning Ordinance did not prohibit the construction of a three car garage in the R-1 district. It did find, however, that the construction of the garage as planned would be in violation of the Zoning Ordinance's setback requirements. Specifically, the Board found that the planned ten feet six inch setback between the West Brentridge Avenue property line and the proposed garage would violate the Zoning Ordinance's minimum front yard requirement of a ...