Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County in the case of In Re: Appeal of Lawrence H. Baird and Rosemarie C. Baird from the decision of the New Britain Township Zoning Hearing Board, No. 85-8245-03-5.
Albert Blackman, with him, George M. Bush, Hartzel & Bush, for appellant.
John A. VanLuvanee, with him, Marcus S. Saitschenko, Eastburn and Gray, for appellee.
Judges Colins and Palladino, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Kalish.
[ 113 Pa. Commw. Page 638]
New Britain Township (Township) appeals an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County which
[ 113 Pa. Commw. Page 639]
sustained appellees', Lawrence H. Baird and Rosemarie C. Baird, appeal from a decision of the New Britain Township Zoning Hearing Board (Board) and granted appellees' application for a special exception. We reverse the trial court.
Appellees own 11.86 acres of land located in the Township's SR-2 residential zoning district, on which there is a farmhouse used as a residence, and a barn. Appellees applied for a special exception to use the property to establish a commercial dog kennel, which is a use permitted in this district by special exception. The Board denied appellees' application. The trial court, taking no additional testimony, reversed the Board and granted the special exception. Our scope of review is to determine whether the findings of the Board are based on substantial evidence, whether the Board committed an error of law, or abused its discretion. Valley View Civic Association v. Zoning Board of Adjustment, 501 Pa. 550, 462 A.2d 637 (1983).
Section 1005(c) of the zoning ordinance sets forth general requirements and standards that must be met before the Board may grant a special exception:
The Board shall among other things require that any proposed use and location be:
(1) In accordance with the New Britain Township Comprehensive Plan and consistent with the spirit, purposes, and the intent of this Ordinance;
(2) In the best interests of the Township, the convenience of the community, the public welfare, and be a substantial improvement to the ...