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                                                      PRINTER'S NO. 2916

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA


HOUSE RESOLUTION

No. 523 Session of 2007


        INTRODUCED BY M. O'BRIEN, W. KELLER, J. TAYLOR, McGEEHAN, BAKER,
           CLYMER AND REICHLEY, DECEMBER 3, 2007

        REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON URBAN AFFAIRS, DECEMBER 3, 2007

                                  A RESOLUTION

     1  Urging the Attorney General to ask for an injunction restraining
     2     construction on riparian lands of the Commonwealth and urging
     3     the Attorney General to appeal a submerged lands license
     4     issued by the Department of Licenses and Inspection of the
     5     City of Philadelphia.

     6     WHEREAS, The riparian rights of the navigable waterways of
     7  the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are held in trust for the
     8  public; and
     9     WHEREAS, These public rights are protected under Article I,
    10  section 27 of the Constitution of Pennsylvania and by
    11  Pennsylvania common law; and
    12     WHEREAS, The Administrative Code of 1929 clearly states that
    13  no interest, easement, sale or exchange of such real estate is
    14  permissible without specific authority of the General Assembly;
    15  and
    16     WHEREAS, The Dam Safety and Encroachment Act of 1978
    17  reaffirms the General Assembly's authority over the riparian
    18  lands of the Commonwealth; and
    19     WHEREAS, The Commerce Department of the City of Philadelphia

     1  directed the city's Department of Licenses and Inspection to
     2  issue an affirmative decision to grant a submerged lands license
     3  to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to construct on
     4  submerged lands of the Commonwealth pursuant to section 10 of
     5  the act of June 8, 1907 (P.L.488, No.321), entitled "A
     6  supplement to an act, entitled "An act to provide for the better
     7  government of cities of the first class in this Commonwealth,"
     8  approved the first day of June, one thousand eight hundred and
     9  eighty-five; creating a Department of Wharves, Docks, and
    10  Ferries, for the improvement, regulation, and supervision of the
    11  construction, extension, alteration, maintenance, and use of
    12  wharves, piers, bulkheads, docks, slips, basins, ferries,
    13  harbors, and harbor structures, in cities of the first class;
    14  and providing for the making and enforcement of rules and
    15  regulations, and fixing certain penalties for violation thereof;
    16  and providing for the acquisition of property by said cities, by
    17  purchase and by condemnation, for certain purposes," and
    18  Chapters 18 through 101 of the City of Philadelphia Municipal
    19  Code; and
    20     WHEREAS, The act of June 8, 1907 (P.L.488, No.321) empowers
    21  the City of Philadelphia to oversee the piers, wharves, docks,
    22  slips, bulkheads and basins, but it does not empower the city to
    23  convey or license development rights to Pennsylvania lands held
    24  in public trust; and
    25     WHEREAS, Officials of the City of Philadelphia overstepped
    26  their perceived authority in directing the city's Department of
    27  Licenses and Inspection to issue a license to construct on
    28  submerged lands owned by the Commonwealth; and
    29     WHEREAS, The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is the sovereign
    30  over the City of Philadelphia; therefore be it
    20070H0523R2916                  - 2 -     

     1     RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives urge the Attorney
     2  General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to file for a
     3  restraining order against any construction on riparian lands of
     4  the Commonwealth and to file an appeal of the City of
     5  Philadelphia Commerce Department's decision to direct the city's
     6  Department of Licenses and Inspection to grant a submerged lands
     7  license.
















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