Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, in case of Beaver Valley Builders Supply, Inc. v. The Zoning Hearing Board of Bell Acres Borough, No. SA 679 of 1982.
Carl M. Kerchner, for appellants.
A. Bruce Bowden, with him, Laura Ellsworth Mead, Buchanan Ingersoll Professional Corporation, for appellee.
President Judge Crumlish, Jr., and Judges Rogers and Barry, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.
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This is the appeal of the Borough of Bell Acres (borough) and the Zoning Hearing Board of Bell Acres (board) from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County discharging a rule to show cause why Beaver Valley Builders Supply, Inc. (Beaver Valley) should not be held in contempt of court.
In February 1981, Beaver Valley, the owner of 72.5 acres of then undeveloped land in the borough located in an R-1 Residential zoning district in which only single-family residential use was permitted, requested
[ 97 Pa. Commw. Page 135]
borough council to rezone 50 acres of its land from R-1 to the Industrial-Commercial district, which would allow it to construct an office-warehouse complex, together with landscaping, paved on-site parking and necessary utilities, all as shown on plans submitted with the request. After hearings, borough council denied the request.
On August 11, 1982, Beaver Valley filed with the board an application for a variance pursuant to Section 912 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC) Act of July 31, 1968, P.L. 805, as amended, 53 P.S. § 10912, and alternatively a challenge to the validity of the borough's zoning ordinance pursuant to Section 1004(1)(a) of the MPC, 53 P.S. § 11004(1)(a). Both applications were accompanied by the same plans which had been presented to the borough council with the application for rezoning.
At the board hearing, Beaver Valley amended its request for a variance to embrace only 27 acres of land and to amend its validity challenge to propose that its land be placed in the Industrial district rather than the previously requested Industrial-Commercial. The substance of the challenge was that the zoning ordinance unreasonably restricted commercial and industrial uses.
On March 23, 1983, the board denied Beaver Valley's request for a variance and dismissed its challenge.
Beaver Valley appealed the board's action to the common pleas court, which handed ...