Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Centre County, in the case of Dr. John L. Thomas and Miriam Thomas v. The Zoning Hearing Board of Benner Township, No. 87-1691.
Benjamin Novak, Novak, Stover & McCarty, for appellant.
Donald M. Kresen, Robert B. Mitinger & Associates, for appellees.
Judges Barry, Colins and McGinley, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Colins.
[ 121 Pa. Commw. Page 394]
The Board of Supervisors of Benner Township (Board) appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Centre County which reversed the decision of the Zoning Hearing Board of Benner Township (ZHB) and ordered that Dr. John L. Thomas and Miriam Thomas (appellees) be permitted to erect a stable for the keeping of horses. We affirm.
Appellees are a veterinarian and his wife who recently built a home on a 5.08 acre lot contained in Walnut Grove Estates, a development located in a Low-Density Residential (LDR) district in Benner Township. Appellees applied to the zoning officer for a permit to construct a stable for the keeping of horses for their own personal recreational use.*fn1 This application was denied and an appeal was taken to the ZHB. Hearings were conducted and after due consideration of the evidence presented, the ZHB issued its decision denying the appeal. On further appeal, the trial court took no additional
[ 121 Pa. Commw. Page 395]
evidence*fn2 and reversed the decision of the ZHB. The Board filed a timely appeal with this court.
The issue before the ZHB was whether a stable was an accessory building or the keeping of horses an accessory use to the permitted uses in a LDR district, pursuant to Section 503 of the Benner Township Zoning Ordinance (Ordinance).*fn3 Under Section 503 of the Ordinance, the following uses (as well as other uses not relevant here) are permitted as of right in LDR districts:
1. Single-family detached dwellings, single-family semi-detached dwellings, and two-family detached dwellings.
3. Accessory buildings and uses customarily incidental to the ...