Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County in the case of Benito DiMartino v. The Zoning Hearing Board of Newtown Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, No. 83-6219.
Joseph P. Caranci, with him, Walter T. ReDavid, ReDavid & Caranci, for appellant.
Robert J. Sugarman, with him, Robin T. Locke, Sugarman, Denworth & Hellegers, for appellee.
Judges Doyle and Barry, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Barry.
[ 93 Pa. Commw. Page 499]
This appeal results from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County which affirmed the decision of the Zoning Hearing Board of Newtown Township (Board) denying an application for a special exception filed by Benito DiMartino (applicant).
Applicant purchased a lot in Newtown Township in 1959. He testified that he signed an agreement of sale in January, 1959; the closing, however, was not
[ 93 Pa. Commw. Page 500]
held until April 30, 1959, at which time a deed was issued to applicant. That deed was recorded in the Delaware County Recorder of Deeds Office on May 7, 1959. The deed indicates that applicant purchased the property from one Augustino Bravo who had purchased the property from the Newtown Development Corporation in 1930.
The lot in question has frontage of seventy-five feet and is 125 feet deep, thereby totaling 9,375 square feet. On March 30, 1959, the Board of Supervisors of Newtown Township amended the township's zoning ordinance, requiring that single family residences in the zone in which applicant's lot was located have frontage of at least eighty feet and a minimum lot size of 12,000 square feet. There were also requirements concerning the size of the side and rear yards as well as a provision that the building should not exceed twenty percent of the total lot area.
Section 1377.02 (Section 1377.02) of the zoning ordinance, also passed on March 30, 1959, stated:
A building may be created or altered on any lot held at the effective date of this Zoning Ordinance in single and separate ownership which is not of the required minimum area or frontage or is of such unusual dimensions that the owner would have difficulty in providing the required open spaces for the district in which such lot is situated, provided a special exception is authorized.
Believing that Section 1377.02 was applicable to the present situation, applicant applied to the ...