Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Butler County in the case of In Re: Incorporation of Borough of Seven Fields, No. 2 of 1981, B.T. & S. Docket 1981, Book 7, Page 284.
Richard DiSalle, with him Russell J. Ober, Jr., and Kim D. Eaton, Rose, Schmidt, Dixon & Hasley, for appellant.
Frank P. Krizner, with him James E. Kerr, McCandless & Krizner, for appellee.
Judges Blatt, Williams, Jr. and Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr.
[ 75 Pa. Commw. Page 335]
This case arises from a petition to incorporate as a borough a certain area of Cranberry Township, Butler County. When that petition was denied by the Court of Common Pleas of Butler County, the petitioner, Canterbury Village, Inc., sought our review of the trial court's decision.
Canterbury Village, Inc. (Canterbury) is a real estate development corporation that owns an area of land, exceeding 500 acres, in Cranberry Township (Township). On that property, the corporation is in the process of building a planned community called "Seven Fields," which, according to plans, will consist of about 2400 residential units. On August 31, 1981, a petition was filed in the Court of Common Pleas of Butler County to bring about the incorporation of Canterbury's development tract as a borough, to be known as the "Borough of Seven Fields."
[ 75 Pa. Commw. Page 336]
The petition to incorporate was filed pursuant to Sections 201 and 202 of The Borough Code (Code).*fn1 Section 201 states that:
The courts of quarter sessions may incorporate any area within their jurisdiction, not already incorporated or a part of an incorporated municipality, as a borough, which, after having been so incorporated, shall be a body corporate and politic by the name which shall be decreed by the court.
Section 202 provides, in part here pertinent, as follows:
The application for incorporation shall be by a petition signed by a majority of the freeholders residing within the limits of the proposed borough, . . . The signatures must be secured within three months immediately preceding the presentation thereof to the court. Such petition shall be subscribed by and sworn to by at least one of the signers. The number of signers required to the petition shall be ascertained as of the date the petition was presented to court. (Emphasis added.)
The petition for incorporation was signed by twelve people, including one Thomas J. Reilly and his wife, Barbara. One of the averments of the petition was that Thomas J. Reilly was the president of Canterbury and as such represented Canterbury's freehold interest. Excepting Thomas J. Reilly and Barbara Reilly, the other signers of the petition were people who had agreed to purchase residential units in the "Seven Fields" development. According to the ...