Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in the case of Ramon L. Posel and Sidney L. Posel, CoPartners trading as Posel Partnership v. Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia, a body corporate and politic, No. 2175 March Term, 1979.
Lester J. Schaffer, with him William E. Taylor, III, of counsel: Blank, Rome, Comisky and McCauley, for appellants.
Stewart Dalzell, Robert J. Hoelscher, Drinker, Biddle & Reath, for appellees.
Judges Blatt, Williams, Jr. and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.
[ 72 Pa. Commw. Page 116]
This case comes to us on an appeal by John Taxin and Bookbinder's Restaurant, Inc. (Taxin) from two orders of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County.*fn1 One order denied Taxin's petition to intervene in an equitable action brought by Ramon L. Posel and Sidney L. Posel, t/a Posel Partnership (Posel) against the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia (RDA). The other order entered a final decree in that equitable action which, inter alia, effectively enjoined RDA from conveying a parcel of land
[ 72 Pa. Commw. Page 117]
to Taxin, for which Taxin and RDA had entered into an agreement of sale.
The relevant facts are as follows: A tract of land located in the Society Hill section of Philadelphia and known as Parcel A-4 in the Washington Square East Urban Renewal Area, Unit No. 1, had been designated for commercial use under the City's Urban Renewal Plan for a number of years but remained undeveloped except as a parking lot operated by the City Parking Authority. The parcel is roughly 2.4 acres in size and is bounded by Front, Walnut, Second, Dock and New Dock Streets. Across Walnut Street from the parcel is Bookbinder's Restaurant, in which Taxin has an interest. Commercial property redeveloped by Posel is located in the same project area, adjacent to parcel A-4 across Second Street.
During 1978, Taxin attempted to secure a portion of the parcel for exclusive valet parking for Bookbinder's Restaurant. A subdivision was proposed to RDA to sever a sixty-five to seventy-one foot strip along Walnut Street to be conveyed to Taxin and his associates for the parking they desired. In addition, the proposal called for redesignation of the remainder of the parcel for mixed-residential rather than commercial development.
It appears from the record that pursuant to this proposal RDA entered into an agreement with Taxin for the conveyance of the subdivided portion along Walnut Street (parcel A-4-1) at a price of $322,000.00, subject to the requisite approval by the Planning Commission and City Council. At the same time, RDA set in motion the redesignation of land use for the rest of the parcel (parcel A-4-2) by amendment of the Urban Renewal Plan (Plan). The redesignation is known as the "Sixth Amendment." City Council ultimately approved the contract on October 18, 1979 by Resolution No. 556. The redesignation of land use for parcel
[ 72 Pa. Commw. Page 118]
A-4-2 was approved by City Council on ...