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APPEAL DANIEL LASKEY ET AL. DANIEL LASKEY (05/23/84)

decided: May 23, 1984.

IN RE: APPEAL OF DANIEL LASKEY ET AL. DANIEL LASKEY, RICHARD ROACH AND PATRICK CONNOLLY, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF ALL SIMILARLY SITUATED TAXPAYERS IN THE BOROUGH OF BLAWNOX, APPELLANTS


Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of In Re: Appeal of Daniel Laskey, Richard Roach and Patrick Connolly, individually and on behalf of all similarly situated taxpayers in the Borough of Blawnox from the 1980 Blawnox Borough Auditor's Report, No. 12 of 1981.

COUNSEL

James Victor Voss, with him, James R. Mall, Meyer, Unkovic & Scott, for appellants.

John F. Cambest, Conway, Meyer & Cambest, for appellees.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Williams, Jr. and Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Barbieri.

Author: Barbieri

[ 82 Pa. Commw. Page 517]

The appellants in this case are three resident taxpayers of the Borough of Blawnox (Borough). They have appealed here, individually and on behalf of all other taxpayers similarly situated, from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County dismissing their appeal from the 1980 Borough audit report. We affirm.

The City of Pittsburgh (City) is the owner of a vacant parcel of land located in the Borough, on Freeport Road, and in 1974, leased this property to the Borough. As permitted by the lease, the Borough subleased the premises to the Blawnox Recreational Authority (Authority), also in 1974. At some time prior to and during August of 1979, landfill was dumped on the property, at the Authority's request, for use in connection with its construction of a "parklet." Some of this landfill, which consisted of rocks, dirt, concrete, and other debris, was deposited on top of a water main

[ 82 Pa. Commw. Page 518]

    which runs beneath the property at a depth of from eight to sixteen feet. This water main, which is part of the City's water distribution system, is sixty inches in diameter and is approximately one hundred years old.

On September 27, 1979, the City's Department of Lands and Buildings (Department) informed the Borough Building Inspector that it had conducted two inspections of the Freeport Road premises and had noted the dirt and debris. In addition, the Department requested the Building Inspector to order the responsible party to stop any further dumping. The Building Inspector, in response, advised the Department that on August 24, 1979, he had directed the Authority to discontinue work on the "parklet" project due to the unsafe and dangerous conditions created by the landfill.

On November 14, 1979, the Department informed the Borough Mayor that according to its engineers, the weight of the landfill could cause a break in the water main, and directed that all dirt and debris be removed from the property by December 14, 1979. On November 20, 1979, the Borough, in turn, ordered the Authority to remove the landfill at its own expense by November 30, 1979. The Department, at the Authority's request, extended the time for the removal of the debris to January 14, 1980; however, the Authority failed to meet this deadline.

In a letter to the Borough Mayor dated February 14, 1980, the Department wrote: "[w]e have tried to be lenient with your Recreational Authority in granting an extension of time from December 14, 1979 to January 14, 1980 . . . but to no avail." The Borough was ordered to remove all dirt and debris from the property no later than February 18, 1980, and was warned ...


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