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BOARD SUPERVISORS NORTH COVENTRY TOWNSHIP v. SILVER FOX CORPORATION (11/27/73)

decided: November 27, 1973.

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF NORTH COVENTRY TOWNSHIP, APPELLANT,
v.
SILVER FOX CORPORATION, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County in case of Silver Fox Corporation v. Board of Supervisors of North Coventry Township, No. 134 July Term, 1969.

COUNSEL

Lawrence Sager, with him Sager & Sager, for appellant.

Alvin L. Weiss, for appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Rogers.

Author: Rogers

[ 10 Pa. Commw. Page 647]

The Supervisors of North Coventry Township have appealed from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County in mandamus directing them to reissue

[ 10 Pa. Commw. Page 648]

    building permits for the construction of a 1500 unit apartment townhouse development. The plaintiff-appellee and proposed recipient of the permits is Silver Fox Corporation. The trial was by a judge without a jury.

Robert E. Wilson and Florence E. Wilson, his wife, were the owners of 160 acres of land in North Coventry Township. Commencing in late 1966 and continuing into 1967, the Wilsons and an associate, one John Gambone, engaged in conversations and negotiations with the North Coventry supervisors looking toward the approval by the latter, required apparently by an ordinance not in this record, of the construction of apartments and townhouses on the Wilson land. In July 1967, the supervisors approved the scheme of development, subject, however, to two conditions; first, that public water would be available to the development and second, that the developers would reserve by a duly executed and recorded instrument a tract of about 17 acres for recreation purposes. Silver Fox Corporation had been organized by the developers in May or June 1967 to hold title to the land.

In purported compliance with the condition that public water be available, there was exhibited to the supervisors on July 10, 1967 an agreement bearing the same date between Silver Fox Corporation and Pottstown Borough Authority by which the latter would supply water to the development. The first paragraph of this agreement provides: "This agreement shall become effective and operative when Silver Fox Corporation becomes the absolute, fee simple owner of the entire tract by a properly recorded deed."

There appears in the township's minutes under date of August 14, 1967, a notation "The agreement for the Recreation Area . . . has been recorded and final approval given to the plans." This had reference to an agreement between Silver Fox Corporation and the

[ 10 Pa. Commw. Page 649]

    township dated July 31, 1967, purporting to reserve a tract therein described for recreational uses. That ...


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