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SCHENLEY FARMS CIVIC ASSOCIATION AND PAUL L. TIETJEM v. ZONING BOARD ADJUSTMENT CITY PITTSBURGH AND RICHARD DAY (07/31/87)

decided: July 31, 1987.

SCHENLEY FARMS CIVIC ASSOCIATION AND PAUL L. TIETJEM, APPELLANTS
v.
THE ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT OF THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH AND RICHARD DAY, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of Schenley Farms Civic Association and Paul L. Tietjem v. The Zoning Board of Adjustment of the City of Pittsburgh, No. SA 956 of 1985.

COUNSEL

Leonard M. Mendelson, Hollinshead and Mendelson, for appellants.

David F. Toal, Baskin, Flaherty, Elliott & Mannino, P.C., for Richard Day, intervenor.

Gretchen G. Donaldson, with her, D. R. Pelligrini, for appellee.

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

Author: Macphail

[ 108 Pa. Commw. Page 179]

Schenley Farms Civic Association and Paul J. Tietjem (Appellants) appeal an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County which dismissed their appeal from an order of the Zoning Board of Adjustment of the City of Pittsburgh (Zoning Board) granting an appeal for occupancy of a dwelling unit for three unrelated persons living together as a single family. We affirm.

The property in question, which is improved by a three-story, single-family dwelling and a two-story, three-car garage, is located in a single-family residential zoning district in the City of Pittsburgh. On February

[ 108 Pa. Commw. Page 1807]

, 1985, the property owner, Richard Day, applied for an occupancy permit which would allow the use of the second floor of the garage as an additional dwelling unit. The application was disapproved by the Zoning Administrator because the legal existence of a dwelling unit above the garage had not been established.

Day appealed to the Zoning Board, and, at an initial hearing held February 21, 1985, Day was advised that he must prove that the dwelling unit had been in existence prior to 1923 when the single-family zoning district was established.*fn1 The hearing was continued to March 7, 1985, at which time an architect, Mr. Schinhofen, testified on behalf of Day and opined that due to the presence of a kitchen sink in the original construction of the rooms above the garage, the second floor had been a dwelling unit before 1923.*fn2

On May 16, 1985, the Zoning Board granted the appeal for occupancy, concluding that proof of the existence of a dwelling unit on the second floor of the garage had been provided. Appellants herein appealed the decision to the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County asserting that the Board's order was arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of ...


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