Society Created to Reduce Urban Blight et. al. V. Zoning Board of Adjustment for the City of Philadelphia (Conrail), 772 A 2d. 1040, Cmwlth., 2001

Applicability of the MPC to City of Philadelphia and question of whether "improper" zoning constitutes a "hardship" sufficient to permit a variance under the MPC.
Case Details:

Note: Distinguished by Society Created to Reduce Urban Blight v. ZHB of Adjustment for the City of Philadelphia (Arsenal), 2004 WL 2148819

Cross Reference: MPC Sections 10910.2 and 910.2(a)(1)

While the MPC does not apply to the City of Philadelphia, the requirements of MPC 910.2(a) are applicable to variances sought under Section 14-1802 of the Philadelphia Zoning Code). See Corman v. Zoning Board of Adjustment of Philadelphia, 162 Pa. Cmwlth. 80, 638 A. 2d 365 (1994).

In this case the Commonwealth Court reversed the decision of the Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment granting a variance to Conrail to place certain signs on its property which was zoned Recreational.

The Commonwealth Court found that the zoning classification (Recreation) was clearly contrary to the Philadelphia Zoning Code, which permits only “public” lands under governmental control to be included in the Recreational District. The Court, however, rejected such inconsistency as grounds for a variance under MPC 910(2)(a)(1). The Court stated that “A zoning board may not grant rezoning under the guise of a variance” adding that the proper procedure to redress an “improper zoning” grievance is by curative amendment or a request for rezoning.

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