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PARKSIDE ASSOCIATES v. ZONING HEARING BOARD MONTGOMERY TOWNSHIP (10/08/87)

decided: October 8, 1987.

PARKSIDE ASSOCIATES, INC., APPELLANT
v.
ZONING HEARING BOARD OF MONTGOMERY TOWNSHIP, ET AL., APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, in case of Parkside Associates, Inc. v. Zoning Hearing Board of Montgomery Township, et al., No. 85-04687.

COUNSEL

Emory W. Buck, Grim and Grim, for appellant.

Richard W. Berlinger, Berlinger & Small, for appellee, Zoning Hearing Board of Montgomery Township.

Gerald F. Glackin, Brunner, Conver, Glackin & Chase, for appellees, Donald J. Walsh et ux.

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

Author: Barry

[ 110 Pa. Commw. Page 158]

Parkside Associates, Inc., appeals an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County which affirmed a decision of the Zoning Hearing Board of Montgomery Township refusing Parkside's request for either a certificate of nonconformity or a variance.

Parkside is the equitable owner of a parcel of land located in Montgomery Township. In 1941, a large tract of land, known as Lansdale Manor Heights, was subdivided. In December of 1947, Nelson and Marie Moyer bought two adjoining unimproved parcels, numbered lots 11 and 12. Less than one month later, they acquired the contiguous lot number 10, the subject of this litigation. The Moyers built a house which was essentially centered upon lots 11 and 12. In 1951, the

[ 110 Pa. Commw. Page 159]

Moyers conveyed to Harry White by single deed and for a single consideration, lots 10, 11 and 12. Lots 11 and 12 were referred to as Parcel A while lot 10 was referred to as Parcel B. Both parcels were conveyed by single deed in 1955 and again in 1966, when David and Elsie Detwiler obtained the property. In 1976, the Detwilers sold Parcel A, retaining lot 10-Parcel B. In 1984, the Detwilers signed an agreement of sale for the property to Parkside, subject to Parkside obtaining approval for construction of a single family dwelling.

Montgomery Township passed a zoning ordinance in 1952 which zoned the property R-2 and required, inter alia, frontage of 100 feet and a minimum area of 20,000 square feet. Lot 10 has sixty feet of frontage and an area of 19,500 square feet. In order to provide for lots made undersized by the zoning ordinance, Article XII, Section 1201 of that ordinance provides:

Lots: Non-Conforming lots as to Area and Width Regulations, and Lots of Unusual Dimensions. In any Residential District, a building may be erected or altered on any unimproved lot held in single and separate ownership on the effective date of this Ordinance which is not of the required minimum area or width. (Emphasis added.)

The ordinance also defines "single and separate ownership" in Article II, Section 200, as "[t]he ownership of property by any person, which ownership is separate and ...


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