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April 2015 Archives

Proposed rehab center near school in Haddonfield draws opposition

A classic "NIMBY" is developing in the borough of Haddonfield concerning the site of the former Bancroft School. What is a NIMBY? A NIMBY is a land use dispute in which residents of a neighborhood oppose a proposed development or construction project because they perceive it to be harmful to the neighborhood. The acronym stands for "Not In My Back Yard." In this case, the proposed NIMBY is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility that would be located next to the local high school.

What is a title examination?

Real property is immovable: the land remains in the same place more or less forever. But it may have changed hands many times. In Pennsylvania, as in virtually every other state, the sale of land can be a very formal transaction, comprising a deed, a loan, a mortgage, and various warranties about the physical condition of the land. Unfortunately for the buyer, none of these documents provides any guarantees that the seller actually owns the land and has the right to sell it.

Neighbors challenge university's 30-year development plan

Land use disputes often arise when a large organization such as Wal-Mart or Target wants to build on land adjacent to a residential neighborhood. Certain institutions, such as schools and churches, might appear immune to criticism of their intentions, but when a school announces its intentions to expand its campus over 30 years, the immunity can disappear and a bitter property dispute can erupt. Philadelphia University is experiencing such a reaction to its recently announced 30-year master plan.

A primer on eminent domain in Pennsylvania

The legal process of "eminent domain," also called condemnation, gives public agencies in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania the right to force private land owners to sell their land to the agency, if the land will be used to serve a valid public purpose. Eminent domain proceedings are subject to the due process clauses of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the United States Constitution, Title 26 of the Pennsylvania Statutes and the provisions of the specific legislation that authorizes the agency to acquire the land.

Selling a house: disclosure of material defects

Houses can be complex structures, with many systems that are susceptible to defects that are not readily apparent to a prospective buyer. For example, a basement that leaks after a heavy rain may not appear to be wet in August or after a period of no rainfall. Similarly, a buyer who inspects a house in the summer may not notice that the furnace does not work properly. In order to assist persons buying a home and prevent sellers from hiding known defects in a house, Pennsylvania has enacted the Real Estate Seller Disclosure Law.

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