Appeals from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County in case of Edward R. Moore and Kathryn L. Moore, his wife v. County of Montgomery, No. 70-7796.
Joseph A. Smyth, Assistant Solicitor, with him Roger B. Reynolds, Solicitor, for appellant.
William H. Yohn, Jr., with him Binder, Binder, Yohn & Kalis, for appellees.
Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer and Wilkinson, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.
[ 22 Pa. Commw. Page 263]
In this eminent domain appeal, County of Montgomery (County) appeals not only the judgment on the verdict of the jury awarding Edward R. Moore and Kathryn L., his wife (Condemnees) damages in the amount of Sixteen Thousand Dollars ($16,000.00), but also a denial by the Court of Common Pleas of motions for new trial and arrest of judgment. These appeals were consolidated for argument and disposition. We affirm.
The land in question is part of a seventeen acre tract purchased by Condemnees in 1959.*fn1 The title line in
[ 22 Pa. Commw. Page 264]
their deed runs to the center of Swamp Creek.*fn2 The two plus acre tract condemned by the County lies between this title line and the center of Grebe Road right of way which transverses their land.*fn3
County, seeking to make a public park along Swamp Creek, filed a declaration of taking. A jury of view awarded Condemnees Sixteen Thousand Dollars ($16,000.00), which award they appealed to the Court of Common Pleas of the County. After a full and complete trial, the trial jury likewise awarded the Condemnees Sixteen Thousand Dollars ($16,000.00). This appeal followed.
Two questions are presented: 1) Have the Condemnees convincingly demonstrated a unity of use between the condemned 2.038 acreage tract and the remaining acreage, and 2) Should the Condemnees' land valuation experts be permitted to appraise the land as one tract of land under the unity of use theory by appraising the condemned acreage and the remaining acreage separately, and then adding the combined values to arrive at the total appraisal?
County's first position advanced is that Grebe Road so divides Condemnees' land that severance damages under the unity of use doctrine were not proper in computing the amount of compensation due as a result of the taking.
In United States v. 287.89 Acres of Land, 241 F. Supp. 464 (W.D. Pa. 1964), the Court in awarding severance damage to the owner of a tract which was ...