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AD HOC COMMITTEE FOR BETTERMENT PORT RICHMOND ET AL. v. ZONING BOARD ADJUSTMENT CITY PHILADELPHIA (12/08/86)

decided: December 8, 1986.

AD HOC COMMITTEE FOR THE BETTERMENT OF PORT RICHMOND ET AL., APPELLANTS
v.
ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT OF THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, CITY OF PHILADELPHIA AND CAMDEN IRON & METAL, INC., APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in the case of Ad Hoc Committee for the Betterment of Port Richmond et al. v. Zoning Board of Adjustment of the City of Philadelphia and Camden Iron & Metal, Inc., No. 1977 June Term, 1985.

COUNSEL

Louis J. Gagliardi, for appellants.

Joy J. Bernstein, for appellee, Zoning Board of Adjustment of the City of Philadelphia.

Carl S. Primavera, Mesirov, Gelman, Jaffe, Cramer & Jamieson, for intervenor, Camden Iron & Metal, Inc.

Judges MacPhail, Doyle and Barry, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.

Author: Doyle

[ 102 Pa. Commw. Page 391]

This is an appeal by the Ad Hoc Committee for the Betterment of Port Richmond (Committee) from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County affirming a determination of the Zoning Board of Adjustment of the City of Philadelphia (Board) which granted a certificate*fn1 for the storage of scrap metal and dismantling or wrecking of used motor vehicles to Camden Iron & Metal, Inc. (Camden).

The case began when Camden filed an application with the Department of Licenses and Inspection (Department) for a zoning and/or use permit for premises located at 2501-2899 Richmond Street. The subject property is located in a district zoned G-2 Industrial. The Department referred the matter to the Board because the storage of scrap metal and dismantling or wrecking of used motor vehicles in a G-2 Industrial district requires a certificate from the Board pursuant to Section 14-508(2)(b) of the Philadelphia Zoning Code (Code). This Section, which pertains to uses in G-2 Industrial districts, provides:

[ 102 Pa. Commw. Page 392]

    order also adopted the recommendations of the City Planning Commission which in a May 15, 1985 letter to the Board had suggested, inter alia, that the certificate be limited to Camden's leasehold.*fn3

The Committee appealed the Board's decision to the common pleas court which, without taking additional evidence, affirmed. Appeal to this Court followed. On appeal the Committee raises the same four issues for our consideration which were raised below. We will examine its arguments seriatim keeping in mind that where, as here, the trial court does not take additional evidence, our scope of review in a zoning appeal is limited to determining whether the Board committed an error of law or abused its discretion. Fabrizi v. Zoning Hearing Board of the Borough of Brentwood, 91 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 340, 497 A.2d 276 (1985).

The Committee first asserts that Camden failed to meet its burden of establishing that its proposed use is one actually permitted in a G-2 Industrial district with the grant of a certificate. Specifically, the Committee contends that Camden in its petition to the Board stated that its proposed use was for a steel processing facility and that the evidence presented did not in fact show that the proposed use was the dismantling and wrecking of used motor vehicles. Hence, the Committee argues, the Board erred in granting the certificate. What the testimony disclosed was that Camden intended to use an ...


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