Vitti et. al, v. Zoning Board of Adjustment of the City of Pittsburgh and Bethlehem Haven, 710 A2d. 653, Pa. Cmwlth (1998)

The MPC does not generally apply to the City of Pittsburgh.
Case Details:

Note: Appeal denied

Cross Reference MPC 101-1101.

This case is cited primarily for purposes of indicating that the MPC does not apply to the City of Pittsburgh. The Court did note, however, that since variance provisions in the Pittsburgh Code, are similar to the MPC, the court would apply case law developed under the similar variance provisions of the MPC.

The major substantive holding of this case, which is generally applicable to use variances under the MPC, is that an unnecessary hardship can be demonstrated by proof that (1) the physical characteristics of the property are such that it could not be used in any case for any purpose permitted in that district or that it could only be used for a permitted purpose only at prohibitive expense, and also (2) the characteristics of property are such that the lot either has no value or only distress value for any permitted purpose under the ordinance.

The Court clearly differentiates between mere “economic hardship” and those cases in which the court finds virtually no viable permitted uses exist for the property or that the costs of compliance are extreme enough to make the property virtually worthless.

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