Appeals, Nos. 165 and 166, March T., 1963, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, July T., 1961, No. 2677, in re application of Sanitary Authority of Elizabeth Township. Order reversed.
Robert Palkovitz, with him David S. Palkovitz, Jack Palkovitz, and Palkovitz and Palkovitz, for appellants.
Bernard J. McGowan, with him Gay B. Banes and John W. Mamula, for appellee.
Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'brien and Roberts, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE JONES
These appeals challenge the propriety of the dismissal by the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County of exceptions filed to a report of a board of viewers (viewers) which assessed benefits against lands of Mildred Butler Nill and Eav Butler Waldbaum (Butlers) arising from the construction of sanitary sewers under and through Butlers' land by the Sanitary Authority of Elizabeth Township (Authority), Allegheny County.
Butlers own a 564 acre tract of land upon one portion of which a sewage pumping station will be erected and under and through other portions of which trunk lines of the sewage system will be constructed.
The Authority, having adopted sewage system plans for Elizabeth Township, proceeded to divide the work of construction of the sewage system into several contracts, presumably for bidding, administrative and engineering convenience. Contract No. 5 dealt with the construction of a pumping station on one portion of Butlers' land, while Contracts 8 and 9 dealt with the
construction of sewer trunk lines under and through Butlers' land which lines are to be connected with the proposed pumping station.
By two separate resolutions - one dated March 25, 1960 and the other dated April 20, 1960 - the Authority condemned the several portions of Butlers' land, even though only one unitary sewage system was planned. Under the first resolution, the Authority took a portion of Butlers' land - 3,000 square feet - as the site for a pumping station and, under the second resolution, the Authority took easements for rights of way through and under Butlers' land for the construction and maintenance of sewer lines. The election to effect condemnation in this manner was that of the Authority.
Butlers' 564 acre tract is a contiguous unit, save for a small portion thereof which is separated from the rest of the tract by a public highway. The entire tract - on which were located a golf course and certain residential dwellings with the balance devoted to agricultural purposes - is clearly a "contiguous ...