Agnew v. Bushkill Township ZHB, (Pa. Cmwlth. 2003), 837 A.2d 634

Case Details:

Note: Appeal Denied

The Commonwealth Court reversed the trial court and refused to grant Agnew (landowner) a special exception to conduct a roofing business as a “home occupation” on a residential property in a Rural Agricultural District. The court explained that the ZHB ignored the language of the Ordinance restricting a home occupation to “only” those uses that are “clearly incidental and secondary to the principal residential use.” The court stated that although administrative work associated with an offsite business may be allowed if conducted is entirely within the confined of one’s home, the landowner’s proposed uses go far beyond running an office.

In addition to ignoring the language of the Ordinance, the Court explained that the ZHB ignored the limitations specified in the Ordinance on permitted home occupations. Specifically, the landowner could not comply with the requirements established for 1) the number of employees, 2) outdoor activity, 3) the location of the business and 4) the square footage devoted to the home occupation. The landowner failed to satisfy his burden of proving that his proposed use met the specific criteria for a special exception home occupation.

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