The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania recently upheld the condemnation of a strip club for the use of a Charter School. The property, located in the City of Chester, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, was located in an area certified as blighted. The property owner challenged the condemnation primarily on the basis that the project would allegedly benefit the private developer retained for the project. Therefore, the property owner argued, the taking violated the Fifth Amendment’s requirement that condemnations must be for a “public use.”
The Commonwealth Court rejected the property owner’s argument and restated the principal that “a taking is proper if the benefit to the public is primary and any benefit to a private individual is only incidental.” In this case, the Court found the Charter School and the elimination of blight were “public uses” and the fact that the developer may profit from the project does not negate those public uses.