McCarry v. Haverford Twp. Zoning Hearing Bd., 113 A.3d 381 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2015).

With respect to variances, a hardship existing on one lot may not be considered a hardship on an abutting lot.
Case Details:

Applicant owns two lots –  one with access to a public road and one to the rear of the first with no access.  Applicant proposed to build a house on the rear lot and sought to subdivide a section of the front lot into the rear lot to provide the rear with the required minimum street frontage.  The front lot, however, would not meet the 30-foot setback requirement of the Zoning Ordinance and the Zoning Ordinance further prohibited the subdivision of a lot with a nonconforming building.  Applicant requested a dimensional variance and Objectors testified to stormwater runoff that would be increased by development of the rear property.

The Zoning Hearing Board denied the variance request because applicant failed to show a hardship.  The trial court and Commonwealth Courts affirmed.  Each held that it was the rear lot, not the front, that suffered the hardship (no access).  The rear lot’s hardship could not be imposed on the front lot, even under the lessened requirement under Hertzberg for a dimensional variance.

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