Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County in case of In Re: Incorporation of the Borough of Bridgewater, No. A-34 Misc. Docket, Page 216 of 1979.
Marc Lamer, for appellant.
Christopher F. Gorbey, for appellee, Township of Chester.
Judges Williams, Jr. and Palladino and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino. This decision was reached prior to the resignation of Judge Williams, Jr.
[ 87 Pa. Commw. Page 600]
This case arises from the denial by the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County of a Petition for the Right to Incorporate the Borough of Bridgewater (Petition). For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.
The proposed borough, also known as "Toby Farms", consists of ninety-two acres, and lies within Chester Township in Delaware County. Pursuant to Section 202 of The Borough Code,*fn1 the Petition, signed by a majority of the freeholders residing in the proposed borough, was filed with the Court of Common Pleas (trial court) on July 5, 1979. Exceptions to the Petition were filed by Chester Township and the Chester-Upland School District. Because of the resignation of the solicitor of Chester Township and delays in finding a replacement, no action was taken on the Petition until 1981, when the trial court ordered the Petition to be amended and recirculated. The amended petition was filed on June 23, 1981 and the initial hearing was held on September 17, 1981.
At that hearing, the Township entered a motion requesting the trial court to proceed under the amended version of Section 202, which required the
[ 87 Pa. Commw. Page 601]
trial court to appoint a five-member Borough Advisory Committee (Committee).*fn2 A Committee was established, it held several hearings, and submitted its report to the trial court on July 29, 1982. The Committee concluded that the disadvantages of creating the Borough of Bridgewater outweighed the advantages, and recommended that the borough should not be incorporated. Two members of the Committee dissented and filed a minority report.
The trial court adopted as part of its opinion the history, conclusions on jurisdiction and findings of fact of the Committee's report, and noted with approval the discussion section of that report. After reviewing the testimony and evidence presented, and considering the advice of the Committee, the trial court concluded that to permit the proposed incorporation
[ 87 Pa. Commw. Page 602]
would be destructive of the remaining portion of Chester Township, and denied the ...