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TOWNSHIP EAST PENNSBORO ET AL. v. BOROUGH CAMP HILL ET AL. (09/09/86)

decided: September 9, 1986.

TOWNSHIP OF EAST PENNSBORO ET AL., APPELLANTS
v.
BOROUGH OF CAMP HILL ET AL., APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Cumberland County, in case of Township of East Pennsboro, Joseph Perko, Jr., Francis A. Schneider, George B. Kunkel, Iris J. Kennedy and Richard D. Colyer v. Borough of Camp Hill, Borough Council of Camp Hill and Ruth Wrye, Mayor of Camp Hill Borough, No. 858 Civil, 1984.

COUNSEL

Henry F. Coyne, for appellants.

Donn L. Snyder, for appellees.

Judges MacPhail and Doyle, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.

Author: Doyle

[ 100 Pa. Commw. Page 415]

Before us is a case of first impression involving the interpretation of Section 1704 of The Borough Code,*fn1 which governs the manner in which a borough may vacate a street which connects with a street of another municipality.

At issue in the present matter is the vacation of a portion of Creek Road in the Borough of Camp Hill. The Township of East Pennsboro and various individuals*fn2 (Appellants) have taken this appeal from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Cumberland County which affirmed the Borough Council's decision to vacate a portion of that road.

Creek Road is a public highway which runs through the Borough of Camp Hill and connects with a highway owned and maintained by East Pennsboro Township. The road is a narrow secondary street which runs along the banks of the Conodoguinet Creek, and passes through a public park owned by the Borough of Camp Hill. During 1983, Borough residents along Creek Road began complaining of excessive traffic using the road as a short cut to a nearby commercial development in East Pennsboro Township. Acting in response to these complaints, the Borough Council passed an ordinance

[ 100 Pa. Commw. Page 416]

    on November 16, 1983, in which it vacated that portion of Creek Road which traversed the Borough's park lands. The Borough also erected gates which limited access to this portion of the road to those nearby residents who were given cards to activate the gates. The Borough enacted its ordinance without obtaining prior approval from either the Township of East Pennsboro or the Cumberland County Court of Common Pleas.

Soon after the passage of the ordinance, Appellants filed a petition with the Borough Council requesting that the ordinance be rescinded. The Borough Council held a hearing pursuant to Section 1741 of the Borough Code,*fn3 and, after hearing testimony from all parties, voted to dismiss Appellants' petition, and filed formal findings of fact and conclusions of law in support of that decision. Appellants appealed the Borough Council's decision to the Court of Common Pleas, which took no additional evidence, and affirmed, finding that the Borough did not abuse its discretion in vacating the portion of Creek Road.

At issue in the present appeal is the trial court's interpretation of Section 1704 of the Borough Code, which states:

No action shall be taken under this article [Article XVII] that would result in the change of location or grade, or the vacation of any street or portion thereof that connects with a street of another municipality or township, without approval of the court of quarter sessions [now common pleas]*fn4 of the ...


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