Emma said that if he used the house as a studio for his photo-illustration business, no customers would visit and no structural changes would be made.
His attorney, Sondra K. Slade, said the neighborhood around the house is ''more commercial than it is residential."
However, Bruce I. Miller, who owns the house adjoining Emma's, opposed the commercial use. He said he worried that Emma would eventually use the second and third stories of the house as apartments.
Two other neighbors objected to the allowing of an additional commercial establishment in the neighborhood.
Slade said her client would promise not to rent out the rest of the house, and to maintain the residential look of the exterior, if the zoning board approved his request.
In another appeal, the owners of the Berwyn Collision shop in the 900 block of Lancaster Avenue, Berwyn, asked for permission to expand their auto-repair business into a part of a building formerly occupied by the K & G Speed Shop.
The expansion was opposed by Ralph Capriola owner of Conestoga Auto Body, a neighbor and competitor of Berwyn Collision. Capriola contended that his neighbor was causing parking problems that had forced him to construct a fence between their properties.
On another matter, the board granted the Philadelphia Electric Co. a zoning exception that will allow it to move a research laboratory into the former Allstate Insurance building at Swedesford and Old Eagle School Roads.