Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County in case of In the Matter of the Appeal of Lanchester Medical Association from Assessment of Real Estate Situate in Sadsbury Township for 1975, Trust Book No. 43, Page 101.
John W. Burge, with him M. Elvin Byler, James H. Thomas and Wengler & Byler, for appellant.
David E. Greer, with him Carl G. Herr, and Herr, Kirchner & Herr, for appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Mencer.
[ 23 Pa. Commw. Page 597]
At the beginning of this decade, the foresighted and resourceful residents of rural eastern Lancaster County and rustic western Chester County underwent the frightening experience of watching two of their seven local doctors flee to the city in the pursuit of more settled, if not more lucrative, careers. Having in the past been unable to attract additional physicians to service the needs of their neighbors, the few remaining physicians, together with certain community leaders, embarked upon a search for a solution to their physician shortage problem.
[ 23 Pa. Commw. Page 598]
The citizens of the various communities voiced their feelings of concern and, early one summer evening, some seventy anxious neighbors converged upon the Gap Fire Hall to discuss their collective problem. Unfortunately, even after the expenditure of a considerable amount of effort, the combined citizenry was unable to attract a single additional doctor to its rural paradise.
Refusing to be defeated, the leaders again called for a meeting of the citizens of the area. This time literally hundreds of concerned residents converged on the Christiana Fire Hall. After lengthy democratic debate and discussion, these citizens initiated the formation of what would soon become the Lanchester Medical Center Association (Association). By its Articles of Incorporation*fn1 the new Association set forth the following laudable reasons for its existence:
"3. . . . [T]he purpose or purposes of the corporation are:
"To promote improved medical services for the Gap, Christiana, Atglen, Parkesburg and Cochranville areas of eastern Lancaster County and western Chester County.
"To encourage family service and general practice physicians to practice in those areas in order to meet their medical needs.
"To assist in the establishment of adequate facilities in those areas for the practice of family service ...