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Ephrata School District v. County of Lancaster

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court
886 A.2d 1169 (2005)


Facts

The Lancaster County Agricultural Preserve (defendant) owned a negative easement over the property of David and Erma Lauver. The easement required the Lauvers to maintain the agricultural character of the land. The Ephrata School District (plaintiff) reached an agreement with the Lauvers to purchase a right-of-way over a 50-foot strip of their property. The school district planned to use the right-of-way as an access road for a new school that was to be constructed. The school district hoped to obtain the county’s approval of the right-of-way acquisition, or for the county to otherwise remove the 50-foot strip from its negative easement. The county declined to consent to the right-of-way acquisition. The school district brought suit, seeking an order that county approval was not required for the right-of-way. The county conceded prior to trial that that the school district’s proposed right-of-way would not interfere with its easement. Both parties moved for summary judgment. The trial court granted the county summary judgment. The school district appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Simpson, J.)

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