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SOUTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION (03/04/86)

decided: March 4, 1986.

SOUTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY, PETITIONER
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION, RESPONDENT. WEST GOSHEN TOWNSHIP, PETITIONER V. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION, RESPONDENT



Appeals from the Order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in the case of William Freas v. Consolidated Rail Corporation, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, West Goshen Township and Chester County, No. C-82330, dated January 3, 1985.

COUNSEL

Vincent J. Walsh, Jr., with him, James F. Kilcur and G. Roger Bowers, for petitioner, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.

Ronald C. Nagle, Buckley, Nagle, Gentry, McGuire & Morris, for petitioner, West Goshen Township.

Richard S. Herskovitz, Assistant Counsel, with him, John B. Wilson, Deputy Chief Counsel, and Charles F. Hoffman, Chief Counsel, for respondent.

Joseph J. Malatesta, Jr., Malatesta, Hawke, McKeon & Morris, for intervenor, William Freas.

Judges Craig and Colins, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig. Senior Judge Kalish dissents.

Author: Craig

[ 95 Pa. Commw. Page 343]

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) and West Goshen Township appeal an order of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission that directed them to develop plans to improve an existing rail crossing. The commission concluded that "a public rail/highway crossing exists where Snyder Avenue (T-617) crosses at-grade one track of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) in West Goshen Township, Chester County." Accordingly, in view of that conclusion as to the public status of the crossing, the commission exercised its jurisdiction to order that:

1. SEPTA prepare and submit to the commission for approval and to the parties of record for examination, construction plans, cost estimates and descriptions needed for the construction of an at-grade crossing and also submit plans and cost estimates for automatically operated flashing light railroad crossing warning signals with short-arm gates at that crossing.

2. West Goshen Township prepare and submit to the commission for approval and to the parties of record for examination, plans and cost estimates for the construction of the approach roadways within the commission's jurisdiction.

3. Complainant, William Freas, submit a detailed report describing his efforts and progress in obtaining 'all required approvals to build a facility for his manufacturing business and facilities to lease to other businesses on the subject parcel of land, and securing tenants for his proposed industrial park, and his specific plans and time frames for beginning and completing the proposed development.'

[ 95 Pa. Commw. Page 344]

The commission further directed that, after the parties provided the necessary information, it would determine what party or parties would construct the required improvements and would allocate the costs of the improvements and assign responsibility for future maintenance. We reverse.

Our scope of review requires us to affirm the commission unless we find a violation of constitutional rights or error of law, or that substantial evidence does not support the decision. Norfolk and Western Railway Co. v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 489 Pa. 109, 413 A.2d 1037 (1980).

Snyder Avenue, to the extent designated as Township T-617, exists today in two separate sections. The first section, originating at an intersection with South Concord Road, runs west to an intersection with Bolmar Street and stops at Bolmar. The second section, west of the first, starts at South High Street and continues east, intersecting with Matlack Street, and continues further east to a deadend before it would intersect or pass under the West Chester By-Pass. Thus, neither of these sections ...


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