Appeal from the Monroe County Common Pleas Court, Honorable Peter J. O'Brien, Judge.
David A. Martino, Zito, Martino and Karasek, Brodheadsville, for appellant, Thomas Victor Ventre.
Steven M. Gordon, Pocono Lake, for appellant, Anna R. Hall.
Phillip H. Williams, Stroudsburg, for appellant, Pocono Land and Homes, Inc.
Timothy J. McManus, Cramer, Swetz & McManus, Stroudsburg, for appellees, Pocono Township.
Craig, McGinley, (p.), JJ., and Narick, Senior Judge.
[ 127 Pa. Commw. Page 118]
Thomas Victor Ventre and Anna R. Hall appeal from an order of Judge Peter J. O'Brien of the Court of Common Pleas of Monroe County that denied their motions for post-trial relief and affirmed the court's previous order declaring that they were liable to Pocono Township on certain road bonds.
The issues are (1) whether a township may enforce "road bonds" executed in its favor by developers in connection with the township's approval of plans for subdivisions, to compel the paving of unfinished roads within the subdivisions, where the bonds, which were drafted by the developers, state that the obligations would mature when application is made to the supervisors to take over the roads, and (2) whether the statute of limitations applicable to actions on bonds bars the township from attempting to enforce these bonds after the statutory period has run from the time when the bonds were executed.
The facts as found by the trial court are as follows. On July 31, 1973, the supervisors of Pocono Township approved a plan for a subdivision known as "Cherry Lane Estates" at the request of Thomas Victor Ventre, and on August 7, 1974, the supervisors approved a final plan of lots for "Hallmark Acres" at the request of Anna R. Hall and her late husband Wilbur L. Hall. The plan approved for Thomas Ventre included a covenant that "[a]ll roads will be constructed to comply with minimum standards, of Pocono Twp. and the State of Penna." The plan approved for Anna and Wilbur Hall included a covenant that "[a]ll roads shall be constructed with grades less than 12% and in full accordance with township and state regulations."
On March 20, 1973, Pocono Township had enacted a revised subdivision ordinance. Section 12.9 of that ordinance
[ 127 Pa. Commw. Page 119]
required the owner or developer, before approval of any plot plan, to deposit money in escrow or to provide a performance bond or some other security in an amount sufficient to cover the cost of blacktopping or paving the roads in the development.*fn1
The day before the approval by the supervisors of Pocono Township for the plan of Cherry Lane Estates, Thomas Ventre executed a "road bond" in favor of the supervisors of Pocono Township in the amount of $13,300. Two days before final approval of the plan for Hallmark Acres, Anna R. Hall and Wilbur L. Hall executed a "road bond" in favor of the supervisors in the amount of $40,000, intending to bind themselves ...