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March 16, 1959


Appeal, No. 81, Jan. T., 1959, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, June T., 1957, No. 14, in equity, in case of Simplex Precast Industries, Inc. v. L. Charles Biehl et al. Order reversed.


Robert W. Honeyman, for appellant.

Ernest E. Heim, for appellees.

Before Jones, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen and Mcbride, JJ.

Author: Musmanno

[ 395 Pa. Page 106]


In August, 1955, the Simplex Precast Industries, Inc., plaintiff in this case, entered into negotiations to purchase from L. Charles Biehl, Theodore L. Gey and Arthur W. Gey, individually and trading as Gey Band and Tag Company (hereinafter to be referred to as Gey Band) a tract of land containing 3,069 acres in East Norriton Township, Montgomery County. Although there had been no previous discussion on the subject the plaintiff noted, on receiving the deed, that it impressed an easement for a temporary cul-de-sac on the land in question.

Gey Band owned three contiguous lots which for convenience were termed in the Court below, and which terminology we will follow here, as Lots I, II, and III. The one just mentioned was numbered Lot I. Lot No. II, consisting of 13.792 acres, was located north of Lot I. Lot No. III flanked both Lots I and II on the east and embraced an area of 9.24 acres. In June, 1957, the plaintiff also purchased Lot II from Gey Band. Still later, Gey Band prepared to sell Lot III to Edward G. End and Thomas J. Carney, Jr., individually and trading as Springfield Oil Co. (hereinafter to be referred to as Springfield.) The plaintiff, Simplex Precast, now instituted an action in Equity against Gey Band and Springfield to enjoin the conveyance of Lot III from Gey Band to Springfield. The defendants filed preliminary objections, to which the plaintiff countered with preliminary objections, all of which were dismissed by the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County. The defendants then filed separate answers to which the plaintiff made separate replies. In the end, the court entered judgment on the pleadings against the plaintiff Simplex.

[ 395 Pa. Page 107]

Without attempting to individualize the paragraphs in which the several averments were made in the respective pleadings, the contentions of the parties will be epitomized as follows. When Simplex objected to the inclusion in the deed to Lot I of the easement described as a "temporary cul-de-sac," Gey Band replied that this cul-de-sac was required by the authorities of East Norriton Township, and that it would be liquidated when Felton Road, which ran up to, abutted and ended at Lot I, would be extended past the Gey Band property. Felton Road is a 40-foot road which, coming from the south, ends at the northeast corner of Lot I. The cul-de-sac, which, of course, simply means a dead-end street, or a blind alley, constitutes the end of Felton Road and extends on to Lot I in order to provide a turn-around area for traffic coming up to this point. Once Felton Road would be extended there would be no need for the cul-de-sac on Lot I. Felton Road, if extended, would skirt Lots I and II along their eastern borders and provide a thoroughfare accessible, of course, to Lots I and II to the west and Lot III to the east. The extension would actually be on the ground of Lot III.

Simplex says that when it objected to the easement of the cul-de-sac, Gey Band orally promised to extend Felton Road as above indicated and that, therefore, the cul-de-sac was a mere temporary stopgap until the extension was constructed. It was upon that representation, Simplex claims, that it accepted the deed and entered into possession of Lot I. When Simplex later negotiated with Gey Band for the purchase of Lot II, Gey Band "orally agreed with the plaintiff that the said defendants, in consideration of the plaintiff's completing the purchase of the said tract would convey or dedicate the extension of Felton Road at the same width as the existing portion of Felton Road provided

[ 395 Pa. Page 108]

    that the plaintiff, or any of its assignees, improves such extension of Felton Road in accordance with Township specification." Fully satisfied with this understanding Simplex purchased Lot II. Later Simplex prepared to sell Lots I and II to willing purchasers when it developed that Gey Band was selling Lot III to Springfield without first having made any arrangements for the extension of Felton Road through Lot III and the contemporary extinguishment of the temporary cul-de-sac on Lot I. This limitation on the title to Lot I became an impediment to the sale of Lots I and II ...

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