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TOWNSHIP MIDDLETOWN v. MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD (10/05/88)

decided: October 5, 1988.

TOWNSHIP OF MIDDLETOWN, APPELLANT
v.
MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, in the case of Township of Middletown v. Zoning Hearing Board of Middletown Township, No. 86-6875-17-5.

COUNSEL

Thomas E. Timby, Timby and Dillon, P.C., for appellant.

Thomas J. Profy, III, Begley, Carlin & Mandio, for appellee.

Judges Doyle and Barry, and Senior Judge Narick, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle. This decision was reached prior to the resignation of Judge MacPhail.

Author: Doyle

[ 120 Pa. Commw. Page 239]

The Township of Middletown (Township) appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County which, following a remand, reversed a decision of the Middletown Township Zoning Hearing Board (Board) and granted a nonconforming lot certificate to Frank Polizzi (Polizzi). We affirm.

[ 120 Pa. Commw. Page 240]

There are two parcels relevant to this case, Lot 135 and Lot 136.*fn1 Lot 135 is rectangular in shape and contains 9,979 square feet. Lot 136 is triangular in shape and contains 8,095 square feet in area. These two parcels were always adjacent to each other, were always held in "single and separate ownership," and prior to 1965 were zoned R-3, which required a minimum lot area of 5,000 square feet in order to construct a single-family dwelling.

In 1965, the area was rezoned R-2, which required a minimum lot area of 10,000 square feet in order to build. As a result of this zoning change, Lot 136 became nonconforming as to the lot area requirement.*fn2 Both Lot 135 and Lot 136 continued to be held in "single and separate ownership."

Polizzi purchased Lot 136 on April 7, 1980, and seven days later he purchased Lot 135 and took title in a separate deed from a different seller. Prior to Polizzi's purchase of Lot 135 and Lot 136 the parcels were never in common ownership.

In March, 1982, Polizzi applied to the Board for a certificate of nonconformance for Lot 136 pursuant to Section 1805 of the Township zoning ordinance. Section 1805 provides:

A. A building may be erected or altered on a lot which is not of the required minimum areas or width, provided a certificate of nonconformance has been issued ...


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