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Eminent Domain Archives

What happens when the state wants to build a road on my land?

Like other government agencies in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has the power to exercise eminent domain, meaning it can take the property of a Philadelphia resident and apply that property to a public purpose, such as building or improving a road.

Property owners disputing pipeline ruled against in Pennsylvania

Property takings are significant concerns for property owners, which is why property owners should be familiar with the process. A Pennsylvania court recently ruled that a natural gas and liquid pipelines company is a public utility and is able to use eminent domain in the construction of a disputed pipeline in Pennsylvania.

Concerns mount that private property is increasingly threatened

As recently discussed in this blog, there exist protections available to property owners in Pennsylvania and elsewhere when the government seeks to take their property through the eminent domain process. A concern is mounting that across the country more and more property owners are watching their property being taken for private use. The principle of eminent domain in the United States dates back to the 1800s. It allows the government to take private property for a public use. Public uses are commonly highways and railroads but could also include such public uses as post offices.

Understanding protections in eminent domain situations

When the government attempts to take property from a property owner it can be an understandably significant and an alarming concern for that property owner. Property owners may have concerns that their property is being unfairly or unjustifiably condemned or that they are not receiving just compensation for their property. Property owners may be unfairly impacted by condemnations, unfair zoning schemes and condemnation actions.

Pennsylvania pipeline implicates property owner rights

The planned construction of a natural gas pipeline through central Pennsylvania makes it essential for affected property owners to understand their rights. The pipeline will pass through 10 Pennsylvania counties. Property owners will be notified that their lands may be taken by the government under the doctrine of eminent domain, which allows for the taking of private lands for public use provided the owner is paid just compensation.

Eminent domain: what is a fair price for property?

Pennsylvania property owners may be surprised to one day find the government requiring them to relinquish their property for some sort of public purpose. Per eminent domain laws, the government has the ability to take private land in order to make improvements to streets, install power lines and sewer systems and for other public purposes. This taking is called "condemnation." However, in order to exercise this right, the government must fairly compensate the private individual who owns the property.

Sliver of farmland triggers development fight in Lancaster

Philadelphia is surrounded by farming communities that are slowly giving way to urban development. Even though more than 100,000 acres of rural farm land near Philadelphia is zoned as off-limits to development, the fate a small sliver of farm land near Lancaster has stirred considerable controversy among the residents of Manheim Township.

Navigating issues of eminent domain

Many people in the Philadelphia area do not realize that state and local governments have the power to demand a private citizen turn over his or her land so that the government can put it to a public use. When a government employee does come knocking on a person's door demanding the sale of the person's property, a Pennsylvania resident may have no idea what rights she has or where to turn for help.

Court decision may affect large pipeline projects in state

This blog has observed the growing conflict between private land owners and pipeline companies over the companies' right to use the law of eminent domain to acquire pipeline right-of-way. Now, a recent decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court may be a signal that the state's eminent domain law cannot be used in that fashion.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court decides eminent domain case

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently ruled that a state law that allows for the seizure of private lands by companies for certain natural gas projects is unconstitutional. The ruling was unanimous and may have a significant impact on one of the biggest proposed pipelines in the state. The original rule from 2012 permitted any company the authority to take private land for the purposes of storing natural gas underground using the eminent domain process.

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