Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, in case of Life Services, Inc., d/b/a Park Avenue Manor of Chalfont and Grenoble Associates, a General Partnership v. Chalfont-New Britain Township Joint Sewage Authority, No. 84-6348-12-2.
William E. Benner, Power, Bowen & Valimont, for appellants.
Peter A. Glascott, for appellee.
Judges Doyle and Barry, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Barry.
[ 107 Pa. Commw. Page 485]
This is an appeal by Life Services, Inc., (Life Services) d/b/a Park Avenue Manor of Chalfont and Grenoble Associates, (Grenoble), a general partnership, from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County*fn1 in which that court found the imposition of a
[ 107 Pa. Commw. Page 486]
"contribution fee" against them by the Chalfont-New Britain Township Joint Sewage Authority (Authority) to be reasonable. We affirm.
In September of 1982, Grenoble purchased an improved parcel of land situate in the Borough of Chalfont from The Patriotic Order Sons of America (P.O.S. of A.) P.O.S. of A. operated a residential nursing facility on the premises and Grenoble now leases the same to Life Services which operates a personal care boarding home facility licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare under the name Park Avenue Manor of Chalfont (Park Avenue Manor). The initial license was for a maximum occupancy of seventy-eight (78) residents. Prior to its expansion in 1983, Park Avenue Manor operated at a capacity of fifty-five (55) residents.
On June 21, 1979, the Department of Environmental Resources issued an order prohibiting additional connections to the Authority's sewage treatment plant. Pursuant to a planned expansion of their facilities Life Services: 1) sought and obtained approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare for its expansion which resulted in the relicensing of the facility for a maximum capacity of 158 residents, 2) sought and obtained an exception granted in July of 1983 to a Department of Environmental Resources ban on the entry into the sewer system of the Authority and 3) sought and obtained a building permit from Chalfont Borough on September 13, 1983.
On December 13, 1983, the Authority amended its 1980 Statement of Policy for Sewer Service to Apartments, Townhouses, Condominiums, Shopping Centers and other Multiple Commercial and Industrial Units or Equivalent Dwelling Units. This Statement of Policy
[ 107 Pa. Commw. Page 487]
provides for the imposition of, inter alia,*fn2 a one-time contribution fee of $600.00 per ownership unit, rental unit or equivalent dwelling unit (EDU). An EDU is defined as "one (1) family unit or 350 gallons usage per unit." The December 1983 amendment created a new classification called "Institutions" and provides for the imposition of a contribution fee at the rate of $500.00 per ...