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G. C. MURPHY CO. ET AL. v. REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (10/16/74)

decided: October 16, 1974.

G. C. MURPHY CO. ET AL., APPELLANTS,
v.
REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY



Appeal from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Erie County, No. 52 of 1972, in case of G. C. Murphy Company, Darling Jewelry Company, S. A. Meyer Land Company, Isaac Baker & Son, Inc., Isaac Baker & Son Realty, Erie Sport Store and George J. Weber, Dwecks of Pa., Inc. and D & K Stores, Inc. v. Redevelopment Authority of the City of Erie, and the City of Erie.

COUNSEL

John M. Wolford, with him MacDonald, Illig, Jones & Britton, for appellants.

John M. Quinn, with him James J. McDonald, Jr., James G. Hanes, City Solicitor, and Quinn, Gent, Buseck & Leemhuis, for appellees.

Will J. Schaaf and Marsh, Spaeder, Bauer, Spaeder & Schaff, for intervenors.

Jones, C. J., Eagen, O'Brien, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Pomeroy. Mr. Justice Nix and Mr. Justice Manderino concur in the result. Mr. Justice Roberts took no part in the decision of this case.

Author: Pomeroy

[ 458 Pa. Page 220]

Appellants, who are owners and lessees of properties fronting on State Street in the City of Erie, brought this action against the City of Erie and the Erie Redevelopment Authority to enjoin the creation of a four block "Transitway Mall" on State Street between Sixth and Tenth Streets. The chancellor denied the requested relief, and the court en banc dismissed appellants' exceptions to the decree nisi in a final decree. This appeal followed.*fn1

By a resolution of February 12, 1965, the Erie City Council adopted a redevelopment proposal submitted by

[ 458 Pa. Page 221]

    the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Erie ("the Authority") for the downtown Erie business district. The proposal embraced a twelve block area, including portions of State Street, a major traffic artery which runs on a North-South axis through the core of the business district. As originally conceived, the proposal included a pedestrian mall on West Eighth Street between Peach Street and State Street. The location of the proposed mall was indicated on a land use map appended to an Urban Renewal Plan ("the Plan") prepared by the Authority and recorded in the office of the Recorder of Deeds of Erie County. This same map showed State Street as a hundred foot wide right-of-way.

By a resolution adopted February 22, 1967, City Council determined that Eighth Street would remain open to vehicular traffic between Peach Street and State Street. Shortly thereafter, on March 15, 1968, a revised version of the Plan was recorded in the office of the Recorder of Deeds. This version of the Plan retained a provision for a "Pedestrian Mall or Plaza" as a part of the proposal for the downtown area, but the precise location of the mall was not specified either in the revised Plan itself or in the accompanying land use map.

On April 8, 1970, following a comprehensive study of traffic flow in the downtown area, City Council adopted a resolution approving preliminary plans for a "Transitway Mall" on State Street. Final plans submitted by the Authority for the Transitway Mall were approved by a resolution of City Council on March 29, 1972. These plans call for a division of the hundred foot right-of-way of State Street into two broad sidewalk areas, embellished with benches, trees ...


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