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SGARLAT ESTATE v. COMMONWEALTH. (01/18/60)

January 18, 1960

SGARLAT ESTATE
v.
COMMONWEALTH.



Appeals, Nos. 215 and 216, Jan. T., 1959, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County, Jan. T., 1956, No. 725, in case of Frank B. Sgarlat Estate v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Judgment affirmed; reargument refused March 17, 1960. Appeal from decision of board of view in eminent domain proceeding. Before APONICK, P.J., and a jury. Verdict directed for defendant and judgment entered, opinion by APONICK, P.J.; FLANNERY, J., dissenting. Plaintiffs appealed.

COUNSEL

Neville B. Shea, for appellants.

Morris J. Dean, Deputy Attorney General, with him Jacob Schiffman, Thomas F. Gill, and Anne X. Alpern, Attorney General, for appellee.

Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Musmanno, Jones, Cohen and Bok, JJ.

Author: Bok

[ 398 Pa. Page 407]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BOK

The case involves the price to be paid by the Commonwealth for condemning part of plaintiff appellant's land.

The Sgarlat family has been in the sand and gravel business in Luzerne County for many years, and in 1932 acquired a tract of land in the Borough of West Wyoming consisting of 33.8 acres. They also have a washing plant a few miles away, at Forth Fort, where sand and gravel from the West Wyoming land is washed and made commercial. The product is of high quality and is in active demand in the area. It appears throughout the West Wyoming tract from surface level to a depth of thirty-five feet or more, and the Sgarlats have been excavating it since 1946.

On September 14, 1955, the Water and Power Resources Board, having entered appellant's land on August

[ 398 Pa. Page 40827]

, 1954, adopted a resolution of condemnation under the basic Act of 1936, First Ex. Sess., August 7, P.L. 106, 32 P.S. ยง 653 et seq., which gave the Board the power of eminent domain.

The land so condemned consisted of three separate bits of the West Wyoming tract: Parcel 23 WW-s, 2.826 acres; Parcel 23WW-2C, 1.222 acres; and Parcel 23WW-2F, 0.78 acres; a total of 4.828 acres. The third parcel cannot be excavated, since it is so small that it owes full support to its neighboring owners, and hence it does not concern us. The Board constructed levees on all three parcels as part of the Flood Control program.

The Board's appraisers valued the condemned acreage at $1660, which was offered and refused, and a Board of View later awarded $6500. Plaintiff appealed to the Court of Common Pleas, which on trial ...


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