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Argued: March 6, 2001

Albert M. Tantala and Keystone Outdoor Advertising Company (collectively, Keystone) appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County (trial court) reversing the decision of the Zoning Board of Adjustment of the City of Philadelphia (Board) granting their request for a variance to erect an outdoor advertising sign.

On July 7, 1998, Keystone applied to the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) for a permit that would allow the erection of a double-faced, free standing, non-accessory, outdoor advertising sign on property located at 25 Pattison Avenue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The property, which is zoned Least Restricted Industrial and permits outdoor advertising signs, is bordered by the Walt Whitman Bridge Approach to the north, Pattison Avenue to the south, a trash transfer station to the east and the Delaware Expressway to the west. The property is owned by the City of Philadelphia (City) and is used by the City’s Water Department as the site of the Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant. A portion of the property is licensed by the City to the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development (PAID). On September 18, 1998, PAID entered into an agreement with Keystone to sub-license that same portion of property so that it could erect an outdoor advertising sign.

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