Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Schuylkill County, in case of Schuylkill Haven Bleach & Dye Works, Inc. v. The Zoning Hearing Board of the Borough of Schuylkill Haven, No. S-1669-1983.
Herbert G. Rupp, Jr., Rupp and Meikle, for appellant.
Leroy G. Adams, Lipkin, Marshall, Bohorad & Adams, for appellee.
Judges Craig and Doyle, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.
[ 100 Pa. Commw. Page 126]
Schuylkill Haven Bleach & Dye Works, Inc. (Appellant) appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Schuylkill County which affirmed the decision of the Zoning Hearing Board of the Borough of Schuylkill Haven (Board) denying Appellant's application to reconstruct a nonconforming use destroyed by fire.
Appellant is the owner of an industrial business located in the Borough of Schuylkill Haven. Prior to May 1, 1982, this business consisted of a bleach and dye plant on Market Street, an adjoining office building on St. Peters Street, and a second plant on St. James Street which was not contiguous to either the Market Street or St. James Street properties. The Market Street plant and office building were located in an R-2 residential district, and were valid nonconforming uses. The St. James Street plant, some 2000 feet distant from the Market Street plant, was in an industrial district, and conformed to current zoning.
[ 100 Pa. Commw. Page 127]
On May 1, 1982, the Market Street plant was damaged in a fire. As a result, the roof and walls of the one-story plant were completely destroyed. All that remained were the basement and eighty percent of the concrete floor slabs which had served as the first floor. Thereafter, Appellant continued to operate its business using the adjoining office building and the St. James Street plant.
On June 17, 1983, Appellant applied to the zoning officer for permission to begin reconstruction of the Market Street plant. The application was refused on the basis of Section 5.700 of the Schuylkill Haven Zoning Ordinance, which states:
Any legal nonconforming use may be continued, repaired, maintained and improved except as provided below, subject to the review and approval of the Zoning Hearing Board.
a. Enlargement -- such nonconforming use may not be enlarged more than 25 percent of the existing floor or use area and/or lot area.
b. Restoration -- If less than 50 percent of the floor area of any such nonconforming use is damaged, it may be restored or reconstructed within a ...