Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County in case of In Re: Taking in Eminent Domain of Certain Parcels of Real Estate by the Redevelopment Authority of Easton, Pa., located in the South Side Neighborhood Development Program, Project No. Pa. A-2, in the City of Easton, Pa., No. 33 October Term, 1975.
Robert L. Lansberry, with him Lansberry & Lansberry, for appellant.
Daniel E. Cohen, with him Seidel and Cohen, for appellee.
Judges Mencer, Blatt and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.
[ 40 Pa. Commw. Page 289]
Condemnee Moninghoff appeals from the lower court's decision denying his claim for business dislocation damages in conjunction with the condemnation of his Easton property, which included a nine unit apartment building.
The Redevelopment Authority of Easton filed a declaration of taking, and paid estimated just compensation in the amount of $43,200 to condemnee. Viewers were appointed and filed their report on August 6, 1976 awarding condemnee general damages of $47,000,
[ 40 Pa. Commw. Page 290]
but denying condemnee's claim for business dislocation damages. Condemnee appealed the general damage award to the Court of Common Pleas where the jury returned a verdict of $47,000 for the taking, but a judge denied the claim for business dislocation damages, under Section 601-A(b)(3) of the Eminent Domain Code (Code),*fn1 heard separately.*fn2
Condemnee argues that he has met the burden of proof entitling him to dislocation damages by presenting substantial evidence of his inability to secure a relocation property, which in effect proves that he would necessarily suffer a substantial loss of patronage. Thus condemnee argues that the court erred as a matter of law by denying him business dislocation damages. We disagree and affirm the lower court's decision denying business dislocation damages.
Section 601-A(b)(3), provides in pertinent part:
(3) In addition to damages under clauses (1) or (2) of this subsection, damages of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) nor less than twenty-five hundred dollars ($2,500), in an amount equal to . . . (ii) the average annual net earnings. . . . In the case of a business, payment shall be made under this subsection only if the business (i) cannot be relocated without a substantial loss of its existing patronage. . . .
In March Brothers v. Redevelopment Authority of Philadelphia, 20 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 212, 215, 342 A.2d 131, 133 (1975) this court held that Section 601-A(b)(3) requires the condemnee to prove that "its ...