Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County in case of Harold S. Campbell v. The Bethlehem Parking Authority, The Redevelopment Authority of the City of Bethlehem, and The City of Bethlehem, No. 11 October Term, 1974.
Richard A. Sprague, with him David Berger, Michael K. Simon and, of counsel, David Berger, P.A. for appellant.
Thomas M. Kittredge, with him Hugh M. Morrison and, of counsel, Morgan, Lewis & Backius, for appellee, Bethlehem Parking Authority.
Robert J. Washko, Assistant City Solicitor, with him Robert W. Rudas, City Solicitor, for appellee, City of Bethlehem.
Michael E. Riskin, for appellee, Redevelopment Authority.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Kramer.
[ 20 Pa. Commw. Page 447]
This is an appeal filed by Harold S. Campbell from orders*fn1 of the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County dismissing Campbell's complaint in equity which sought to enjoin (a) the Bethlehem Parking Authority; (b) the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Bethlehem; and (c) the City of Bethlehem.*fn2 The case involves the proposed construction of a parking garage in the City by the Parking Authority which Campbell contends is to be constructed "for the predominant purpose of serving parking desires of two private commercial interests in the Center City Urban Renewal areas. . . ." The court below found and held that the garage was predominantly and primarily a public use with any private gain only incidental.
Shortly after World War II, the City, like many metropolitan areas of our State, commenced a study through independent experts to provide planning with respect to
[ 20 Pa. Commw. Page 448]
the City's urban renewal. That study culminated in 1956 with a report providing for a 14-stage program of community development. In 1963 the City commenced its urban renewal program with one of its major projects concentrated in what is known as the Central Business District. All of the experts who made any proposals to the City recognized that off-street parking in the Central Business District would be an indispensable part of any renewal program. In 1960, a comprehensive plan was prepared which was approved by the City's Planning Commission and Council. Once again the necessity for off-street parking facilities was recognized. The City commenced its first urban renewal project in the Central Business District in 1962. Some of the early projects were a new city hall, city council rotunda, and city library.
On July 8, 1968, the City's Planning Commission certified the Central Business District as a blighted area, and in that same year, through independent experts, the City prepared an "update" to its planning for the Central Business District. On November 25, 1969, the City Council approved the updated report (hereinafter the "1969 report") which was later approved by the City's Planning Commission and a special citizens' task force (which had been established by the City's Mayor). The 1969 report recommended that a municipal parking authority be formed to provide off-street parking for a total of 3,000 vehicles in five parking garages in the Central Business District. It also called for a new hotel, concert hall, exhibit hall, office and professional buildings, transportation center, retail shopping center, two new department stores, and other improvements. The 1969 report also recommended that assurance be given to prospective developers that parking ...