The owner of an existing 18-hole golf course appealed the denial by the zoning officer of his request to add a bowling alley to the property as an accessory use, or alternatively requested a variance.
The ZHB denied the appeal, but granted the variance. The ZHB justified the variance by concluding that the Property is 154-plus acres in size and developed as a golf course making it difficult to change to a different use; a new building is not proposed as Landowner would place the use in an existing building; the additional use is necessary to bring in additional income; and the variance would not alter the essential character of the neighborhood. The Commonwealth Court reversed, finding the owner failed to establish the variance was necessary to afford reasonable use of the property, and his mere desire to maximize the potential use was insufficient to establish hardship.
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