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CRICKLEWOOD HILL REALTY ASSOCIATES v. ZONING BOARD ADJUSTMENT CITY PITTSBURGH AND WILLIAM G. JOSEPH AND CRICKLEWOOD HILL TENANT ASSOCIATION. CITY PITTSBURGH (05/09/89)

decided: May 9, 1989.

CRICKLEWOOD HILL REALTY ASSOCIATES
v.
ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT OF THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH AND WILLIAM G. JOSEPH AND CRICKLEWOOD HILL TENANT ASSOCIATION. CITY OF PITTSBURGH, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, in the case of Cricklewood Hill Realty Associates v. Zoning Board of Adjustment of The City of Pittsburgh, William G. Joseph and Cricklwood Hill Tenant Association, No. SA 2699 of 1987.

COUNSEL

Kellen McClendon, Assistant City Solicitor, with him, D. R. Pellegrini, City Solicitor, for appellant.

A. Bruce Bowden, with him, Stephen Yakopec, Jr., and K. Sidney Neuman, Buchanan Ingersoll Professional Corporation, for appellee, Cricklewood Hill Realty Associates.

Judges Craig and Palladino, and Senior Judge Narick, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.

Author: Palladino

[ 125 Pa. Commw. Page 654]

The City of Pittsburgh appeals from a decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County (trial court) which reversed a decision of the Zoning Board of Adjustment of the City of Pittsburgh (ZBA) and granted the request of Cricklewood Hill Realty Associates (Realty Associates) for a variance from the definition of family contained in the Pittsburgh Zoning Ordinance (Ordinance).

Realty Associates is the owner of an apartment complex at 700 Forbes Avenue in the City; the complex is a 24 story apartment building containing 314 apartments of varying size. The property is located in an AP Planned Commercial-Residential Development District, and is the only tract in the subject AP District. The property is surrounded on three sides by the campus of Duquesne University, which is zoned I-C, Institutional-Civic, and on the fourth side the property is adjacent to an M-2 Limited Industrial District. Ninety-seven percent of the tenants in the apartment building are students.

[ 125 Pa. Commw. Page 655]

The Ordinance limits occupancy of a dwelling unit to one person or one family. "Family" is defined in the Ordinance as:

(a) An individual, or two or more persons related by blood or marriage or adoption, living together in a dwelling unit; or

(b) A group of not more than three persons who need not be related by blood or marriage or adoption, living together as a single housekeeping unit in a dwelling unit, and sharing common facilities as considered reasonably appropriate for a family related by blood, marriage or adoption; in either case exclusive of usual servants.

Thus, under the terms of the Ordinance, occupancy in all of Realty Associates' apartments is limited to three unrelated people. Realty Associates sought to lease certain of its apartments to four unrelated people; accordingly, Realty Associates requested that the ZBA grant it a variance*fn1 from the Ordinance's ...


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