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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: May 30, 2018 01:37 PM
From: Representative Warren Kampf and Rep. Kate Harper, Rep. Marcy Toepel
To: All House members
Subject: Limitations on Eminent Domain for Permanently Preserved Land
In the near future, we plan to introduce legislation that will add provisions to Title 26, Eminent Domain, to limit the use of eminent domain by governmental agencies on land that has been set aside with a conservation easement for parks and open space purposes from condemnation and taking under the Eminent Domain Code. Two school districts in the Commonwealth have decided to use Eminent Domain to condemn privately owned land permanently preserved by conservation easements held by local land trusts, over the objections of many residents of the communities. Other suitable non-preserved land in each vicinity is available.

Our legislation proposes to amend the Eminent Domain Code to add a new section that would require any government agency to obtain Orphans’ Court approval before using eminent domain to take permanently preserved land. The procedure is similar to that found in the Agricultural Area Security Law which requires additional scrutiny before condemnation of agricultural lands. The Orphans’ Court is given authority in the Donated and Dedicated Property Act over certain transactions related to publicly owned lands held for public uses.

Please join us in sponsoring this important legislation that will limit a government agency’s ability to use the Eminent Domain Code to override the preservation of our open space and parkland.

Introduced as HB2468