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GITLIN v. PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE COMMISSION (03/13/56)

March 13, 1956

GITLIN
v.
PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE COMMISSION, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 4, Jan. T., 1956, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, April T., 1953, No. 247, in case of Benjamin Gitlin et al. v. Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

Thomas E. Waters, with him Harry C. Pepper, Edward L. Springer, Deputy Attorney General, Herbert B. Cohen, Attorney General, and Waters, Cooper & Gallagher, for appellant.

Conrad G. Moffett, with him Hankin, Hankin & Shanken, for appellees.

Before Stern, C.j., Stearne, Jones, Bell, Chidsey and Musmanno, JJ.

Author: Jones

[ 384 Pa. Page 327]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE JONES:

On March 4, 1952, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission formally adopted a resolution, pursuant to authority conferred on it by the Act of May 23, 1951, P.L. 335, locating its Delaware River Extension and condemning the private property necessary therefor, according to attached plan approved by the Governor and the Department of Highways. The resolution established the center line of the proposed extension by compass directions and distances and fixed the width of the right of way at one hundred feet on each side

[ 384 Pa. Page 328]

    of the center line for a total width of two hundred feet together with such additional lands as were necessary for the slopes of cuts and fills and such further lands as were deemed necessary by the Commission "For ramp approaches, maintenance sheds, gasoline stations, restaurants, power facilities, waste banks, borrow pits and other facilities including tunnels ...."

At the date of the resolution (viz., March 4, 1952), the plaintiffs were the owners of certain property in Upper Moreland Township, Montgomery County, containing 8.281 acres and improved with two dwellings. The property fronted on Easton Road, highway Route 611, which, in the locality, runs in an almost north and south direction. The center line of the turnpike extension, as described in the resolution, ran through the plaintiffs' property from west to east, and the two hundred foot strip thereby appropriated lay to the north of the two dwellings and other buildings located on the plaintiffs' property. Some fourteen months later, the Commission, deeming it essential that an interchange at Route 611 be constructed, appropriated additional property of the plaintiffs to the extent of 7.14 acres in all. This increased appropriation, which included the two houses, was accomplished by means of a revised plan formally adopted by the Commission on May 8, 1953.

On the plaintiffs' petition, the court below appointed a board of view for the ascertainment of the damages due the plaintiffs for the appropriation of their property. At the hearing before the viewers, the plaintiffs offered testimony, over the Commission's objection, as to the value of their condemned property both at the date of the original resolution of March 4, 1952, and at the time of the Commission's adopting of the revised plan on May 8, 1953. The question as to which date should be taken in determining the value of

[ 384 Pa. Page 329]

    the property appropriated was considered to be of particular importance by reason of the fact that, between the two dates, the zoning regulations of the township were amended. Thereby, the zoning classification of the plaintiffs' property, inter alia, was changed from "A Residential" to "G.G. Industrial" with a resultant ...


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