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PACE MOTELS v. TOWNSHIP LOYALSOCK (12/07/79)

decided: December 7, 1979.

PACE MOTELS, INC. AND FAXON CONSTRUCTION CO., APPELLANTS
v.
TOWNSHIP OF LOYALSOCK, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lycoming County in case of Pace Motels, Inc. and Faxon Construction Co. v. Township of Lycoming, No. 77-0497.

COUNSEL

Norman M. Lubin, with him Casale & Bonner, for appellants.

Lester L. Greevy, with him Greevy, Greevy & Greevy, for appellee.

Richard H. Wix, Bernadette Barattini, and Wix, Wenger & Weidner, for amicus curiae, Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors.

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

Author: Mencer

[ 47 Pa. Commw. Page 561]

Pace Motels, Inc., and Faxon Construction Co. (petitioners) appeal an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lycoming County, granting a judgment n.o.v.

[ 47 Pa. Commw. Page 562]

    in favor of the Township of Loyalsock (Loyalsock). We reverse.

Petitioners appealed assessments levied by Loyalsock for the cost of a sidewalk constructed on petitioners' property. The assessments were levied pursuant to Section 1402(b) of The Second Class Township Code (Code), Act of May 1, 1933, P.L. 103, as amended, 53 P.S. ยง 66402(b), which provides, in pertinent part:

Whenever any sidewalks or curbs are constructed by the supervisors pursuant to such ordinance, the expense of the construction of such sidewalks or curbs shall be paid by the abutting property owners in proportion to their frontage, but in no such instance shall any abutting property owner be liable for the construction of such sidewalk in an amount greater than ten percent . . . of the assessed valuation of the abutting property owned by him.

Petitioners alleged that the assessment was invalid because their property was not specially benefited by the construction. Loyalsock moved for judgment on the pleadings, claiming that a special benefit was not required under the statute. The lower court, holding that a special benefit was necessary, denied Loyalsock's motion, and the case went to trial. The jury found that petitioners' property was not specially benefited and returned a verdict in favor of petitioners.

Loyalsock subsequently asked the court to reconsider its earlier ruling and moved for judgment n.o.v. Upon reconsideration by the court, this judgment n.o.v. was granted on the ground that a special benefit was not expressly required ...


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