The Pennsylvania General Assembly is considering a bill which would permit governmental entities to sell its public parks. The concern expressed by many – including newspaper columnists and groups such as the League of Women Voters – is that government officials will improperly use this as a “quick fix” to solve fiscal problems. For example
Municipalities Armed with New Prosecution Tools For Derelict Property Owners
On April 25, 2011, the Neighborhood Blight Reclamation and Revitalization Act, approved on October 27, 2010, became effective. The Act grants municipalities two primary tools to prosecute derelict owners of real estate in Pennsylvania and force owners to correct serious code violations and public nuisances.
The first tool is the right to sue the owner…
Philadelphia RDA Changes Executive Director
Terry Gillen has resigned as Executive Director of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority and will be replaced by Ed Covington, a Wachovia Bank executive.
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Governor Rendell Signs Approval/Permit Suspension Legislation
On July 6, 2010, Governor Rendell signed the Fiscal Code Bill (Senate Bill 1042), providing, in part, for the automatic suspension, during the "extension period" (which begins after December 31, 2008, and ends before July 2, 2013), of approvals granted by a government agency for or in effect during the extension period, whether obtained before…
Philadelphia Trying To Beat Deadline To Spend $45M To Fight Blight
The City of Philadelphia has until March 2011 to spend $45 million to fight blight.
The money is the last of the bond proceeds for the city’s Neighborhood Transformation Initiative that former Mayor John F. Street started in 2001 to demolish abandoned buildings and acquire vacant properies.
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PA and N.J. Awarded $115 Million in Federal Housing Funds
Pennsylvania will receive $68.8 million and New Jersey will get $46.8 million in federal stimulus funds for housing redevelopment projects. These projects will include acquiring blighted properties. It is virtually certain that many will be acquired through the power of eminent domain.
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New York’s Highest Court Upholds Atlantic Yards Condemnations
New York’s highest court ruled on Tuesday that private property could be condemned for the “Atlantic Yards” project. That project involves, among other things, an NBA arena and 16 office and residential towers in Brooklyn. The properties were purportedly condemned to eliminate “blight.”…
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Audit Faults Accounting on Philadelphia Anti-blight Effort
A Philadelphia City Controller audit found significant accounting and reporting problems with former Mayor John Street’s anti-blight effort, the Neighborhood Transformation Initiative. The audit found that NTI, as of June 30, 2008, had failed to make nearly $13 million in payments on nearly 1,500 condemned properties awaiting settlement in court.
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Eminent Domain Remains In The News
There can be no question that eminent domain remains a hot button issue. Regardless of your role in an eminent domain project, it is critical to always be mindful of this fact which was made evident by two recent articles.
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Battle Over Nets Arena Site Continues
The Battle over the taking of property for, among other things, an NBA arena and 16 office and residential towers in has moved to New York’s highest Court and will be argued in Albany on October 14.
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