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PRIVATE ROAD NOAH M. BRUBAKER AND HILDA S. BRUBAKER BUFFALO TOWNSHIP (02/20/76)

decided: February 20, 1976.

IN RE: PRIVATE ROAD OF NOAH M. BRUBAKER AND HILDA S. BRUBAKER IN BUFFALO TOWNSHIP, UNION COUNTY, PA. GEORGE A. RUHL AND MARY RUHL MAHER, APPELLANTS


Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of the 17th Judicial District, Union County Branch, in case of In Re: Private Road of Noah M. Brubaker and Hilda S. Brubaker in Buffalo Township, Union County, Pennsylvania, No. 1, 1970 Misc. Road Docket.

COUNSEL

James F. McClure, Jr., for appellants.

Paul W. Brann, for appellees.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Mencer and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Crumlish

[ 23 Pa. Commw. Page 419]

By an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Union County dated September 13, 1841, after considering the petition of Philip Ruhl, a private road was established in Buffalo Township leading from the farm then owned by Philip Ruhl to a public road connecting Lewisburg to Buffalo Crossroads. The order was silent as to the width of the road.

The Philip Ruhl farm was subsequently conveyed to Noah M. Brubaker and Hilda S. Brubaker, his wife, (Brubakers) Appellees herein. On March 6, 1970, the Brubakers, by petition, sought the appointment of viewers for the purpose of widening of the private road to twenty-five feet, alleging that the road could not accommodate

[ 23 Pa. Commw. Page 420]

    modern vehicles and farm machinery.*fn1 A board was appointed and after due notice it heard testimony and filed its report of June 6, 1970, which was thereafter confirmed nisi by the court. It concluded that the present width of the road (thirteen feet) was inadequate for modern farm machinery usage and recommended expansion of twenty-five feet.

George A. Ruhl and Mary Ruhl Maher, his sister, (Ruhls), owners of a parcel abutting the private road, appealed the order widening the road. Their appeal was dismissed, hence they appeal to this Court.

Although the Ruhls pressed nine objections below, their present challenge is limited to three issues:

1. The finding by the viewers that there existed a need to widen the private road to twenty-five feet was arbitrary, capricious and ...


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