Request for Exception from Applicable Zoning Regulations to Build a Canopy Over New Gasoline Pumps
Can a Gas Station Owner Request an Exception from Applicable Zoning Regulations to Build a Canopy Over New Gasoline Pumps if He Replaces the Old Underground Storage Tanks ?
In M&M Sunoco, Inc. v. Upper Makefield Township Zoning Hearing Board, 154 Pa. Commw. 316, 623 A.2d 908 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1993), the owner of a gas station requested a special exception and variance to build a canopy over new gasoline pumps.
The gas station was a nonconforming use and its original concrete pump island violated the front yard setback requirement.
The owner replaced the underground storage tanks and sought to install new computerized gas pumps covered by a canopy.
The owner argued that its new canopy would not extend any further into the setback than the edge of the concrete pumping island that had replaced the old island.
The common pleas court found that the canopy was not an expansion of a nonconforming structure (that is, gas pumps, lights and concrete island situated within the front yard setback).
Rather, the canopy would be a new structure because the light poles and concrete island were not used in the canopy's construction and were not nonconforming structures that could be enlarged.
The Court agreed with the trial court that the owner was building a new structure that had to comply with applicable zoning regulations. Id. at 911.