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Eminent Domain & Takings

Condemnation of Lands of George and Grace Laughlin, Appeal of Keystone Outdoor Advertising Company, Inc. (2003)

2003
Organizations/Sources: PA Commonwealth Court
Commonwealth Court case upholding the authority to take private property by a municipality because the property was identified on the official map as a location on which the township had proposed to build a park.
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Last Modified
Jul 18, 2012
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Condemning Conservation: Protecting the Public Interest and Investment...

Organizations/Sources: University of Utah
The public is investing substantial financial and other resources in conservation easements and the conservation and historic values they protect. Yet little has been written about who should be entitled to what when land encumbered by a conservation easement is condemned in whole or in part. This Article explores these issues.
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Last Modified
Oct 16, 2009
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Ephrata Area School District versus County of Lancaster, Borough of Ephrata, and Lancaster County Agricultural Preserve Board

2007
Organizations/Sources: PA Commonwealth Court
On 12/27/07, the PA Supreme Court reversed a divided Commonwealth Court panel, ruling in Ephrata Area School District versus County of Lancaster, Borough of Ephrata, and Lancaster County Agricultural Preserve Board that the School District must secure consent of the County in order to obtain a right-of-way over privately owned land that is subject to an open space property interest vested in the County. To quote from the opinion: "This appeal presents a question of first impression: whether, under the Open Space Lands Act, 32 P.S. § 5001 et seq., appellee, Ephrata Area School District, must secure the consent of appellant, the County of Lancaster, in order to obtain a right-of-way over privately owned land that is subject to an open space property interest vested in the County. Overruling the trial court, a divided Commonwealth Court panel determined that consent was not required under Section 5011 of the Act in this instance, based on the fact that the County is not a fee simple owner of the property. Based upon the plain language of Section 5011, as well as the agreement granting the open space easement, we disagree and, therefore, reverse." The Pennsylvania Land Trust Association joined with the Lancaster County Agricultural Preservation Board, Lancaster Farmland Trust, Chesapeake Bay Foundation and others in working to attain this Supreme Court ruling. Both the majority and dissenting opinion are available for download.
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Jul 18, 2012
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Taking of Land by Townships for Recreational & Open Space Purposes

2005
Organizations/Sources: Saul & Ewing LLP
A review of the recent court case, Middletown Township v. Lands of Stone, in which the Commonwealth Court upheld a 2nd class township's right to condemn land for open space.
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Feb 01, 2010
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