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CONDEMNATION BY REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY CITY BETHLEHEM 120-128 WEST UNION BOULEVARD (REAR) (12/30/80)

decided: December 30, 1980.

IN RE: CONDEMNATION BY THE REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF BETHLEHEM OF 120-128 WEST UNION BOULEVARD (REAR), BETHLEHEM, NORTHAMPTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, PROPERTY OF ABRAHAM MILLER AND MINNIE MILLER. ABRAHAM MILLER AND MINNIE MILLER, APPELLANTS


Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County in the case of In Re: Condemnation by the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Bethlehem of 120-128 West Union Boulevard (Rear), Bethlehem, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, Property of Abraham Miller and Minnie Miller, No. 1978-CM-3084.

COUNSEL

Thomas J. Maloney, Maloney, Danyo, Goodman, Hensel & Center, for appellants.

Michael E. Riskin, for appellee, Redevelopment Authority of the City of Bethlehem.

Jackson M. Sigmon, for appellee, City of Bethlehem.

President Judge Crumlish and Judges Blatt and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.

Author: Blatt

[ 55 Pa. Commw. Page 613]

The appellants, Abraham and Minnie Miller, seek review of an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County which sustained preliminary objections filed by the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Bethlehem (Authority) in opposition to the appellants' petition for an appointment of viewers. Their petition had alleged a de facto condemnation of their property by the Authority.

In January of 1972, the City of Bethlehem and the Authority instituted a redevelopment project known as Northside Urban Renewal Area No. 1 and the appellants were notified that their property*fn1 was scheduled to be acquired as a part of that project. Subsequently, the Authority acquired numerous other properties in the redevelopment area, but informed the appellants by letter dated December 22, 1975, that, due to a shortage of funds, their real estate and the

[ 55 Pa. Commw. Page 614]

    equipment thereon, which had been appraised at $125,000 and $25,000 respectively, would not be taken. Thereafter, the Authority continued to acquire still other properties as part of the project, and the appellants' premises was officially deleted from the redevelopment plan in November of 1978. The project was finally closed out between January and March of 1979.

Appellants petitioned for an appointment of viewers alleging that the activities of the Authority amounted to a de facto condemnation of their property and a board of view was appointed by order of November 14, 1978. The Authority filed preliminary objections to the petition in December of 1978, an evidentiary hearing was held in May of 1979 and the lower court entered an order in December of 1979, sustaining the preliminary objections and dismissing the appellants' petition.

The appellants contend that the Authority through its then-executive director Augustine Concilio engaged in conduct that substantially deprived them of the use and enjoyment of their property and that they therefore suffered a compensable injury under Section 502(e) of the Eminent Domain Code, Act of June 22, 1964, Special Sess., P.L. 84, as amended, 26 P.S. ยง ...


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