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VALLEY FARMS COMPANY YONKERS v. COUNTY WESTCHESTER.

decided: February 19, 1923.

VALLEY FARMS COMPANY OF YONKERS
v.
COUNTY OF WESTCHESTER.



ERROR TO THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK.

Author: Mcreynolds

[ 261 U.S. Page 158]

 MR. JUSTICE McREYNOLDS delivered the opinion of the Court.

Plaintiff in error, a New York corporation, seeks cancellation of an assessment of taxes upon its real property to pay for construction and operation of the Bronx Valley sewer. Westchester County, a necessary party under the local statute, demurred to the complaint upon the ground that it states no cause of action. The trial court overruled

[ 261 U.S. Page 159]

     the demurrer. The Appellate Division reversed the judgment -- 193 App. Div. 433 -- and the Court of Appeals affirmed this action, without opinion -- 231 N.Y. 558.

The complaint alleges --

Plaintiff in error owns certain designated lands in Westchester County assessed for taxes for the year 1918 for the benefit of the Bronx Valley sewer.

That under c. 646, New York Laws of 1905, entitled "An Act to provide for the construction and maintenance of a sanitary trunk sewer and sanitary outlet sewer in the county of Westchester, and to provide means for the payment therefor," and sundry amendments thereto, especially c. 646, Laws of 1917, the Legislature attempted to designate the area benefited by the trunk and outlet sewers and to provide for taxing all property therein. The trunk sewer is 11 3/4 miles long, the outlet sewer 3 miles. Both are wholly within Westchester County. The former lies along the Bronx River. At a point near the south line of the county it connects with the outlet sewer which extends thence westwardly under two high ridges and across Tibbetts Valley to the Hudson River.

That the sewer system carries house drainage only -- no surface water; and throughout its entire course the grade is downward; the sewage flows by gravity; there are no pumping stations.

That east of and near Hudson River a high ridge runs north and south. Immediately east of this lies Tibbetts Valley; further east there is a second north and south ridge; then comes Bronx Valley shut in on the east by a third ridge. The natural drainage of Bronx Valley is southerly into East River; Tibbetts Valley also drains southerly, but into Harlem River. No natural drainage connection exists between the two valleys; they are separated throughout their entire length by the second ridge.

That the outlet sewer, through which the whole system discharges, extends from the trunk sewer in Bronx Valley

[ 261 U.S. Page 160]

     under the second ridge at great depth below the surface, thence across Tibbetts Valley and under the first ridge also at great depth to the Hudson River. Any connection with this sewer from Tibbetts Valley must be made therein; ...


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