Updated information from the Department of Licenses and Inspections
- SB 726, proposed revision to the PA Mechanics' Lien Law, for new definition of residential properties. It would exclude a three story home with a basement.
- Pennsylvania's Uniform Environmental Covenants Act (UECA), became effective on February 19, 2008.
- Philadelphia Zoning Reform [in the planning stage, not enacted]: Learn about SmartCode zoning here and here.
- Two recent eminent domain decisions of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court:
1. A Condemnation Proceeding in Rem by the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia (Appeal of Mary Smith), 938 A.2d 341, 2007 Pa. LEXIS 2894 (Pa. December 27, 2007), affirming in part and reversing and remanding in part, 891 A.2d 820 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2006). Property owner files preliminary objections challenging declaration of taking of the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia; PA Supreme Court holds that the taking of private property certified as blighted for conveyance to a developer that is a religious organization did not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution under the facts of the case and reverses the decision of the Commonwealth Court, which had reversed the trial court's determination that the taking was lawful.
2. Middletown Township v. Lands of Joseph Seegar Stone, ___A.2d.___, 2007 Pa. LEXIS 2891 (Pa. December 27, 2007), reversing and remanding, 882 A.2d 1066 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2005). Pretextual purpose case; administrator of decedent's estate files preliminary objections challenging declaration of taking of Middletown Township condemning a farm for recreational and open space purposes; PA Supreme Court rules that a second class township has the authority to condemn for recreational purposes under the Second Class Township Code, even if it lacks authority under the Open Space Lands Act to condemn for open space purposes; the factual findings of the trial court do not support the legal conclusion that the taking was for recreational purposes; Commonwealth Court erred in affirming the trial court, which abused its discretion by overruling preliminary objections to the declaration of taking.
Also: An Eminent Domain and Appraisals Handout
Be sure to check the Bar Association's Tracking Report for continued updates on state legislation.
The Real Property Section provides Association members opportunities to meet, network and share expertise with other lawyers practicing real estate and real property law. In addition, the section maintains committees allowing members to focus more specifically in the areas of buyers' bulk sales liability, condominiums and cooperatives, construction contracts, eminent domain and appraisals, financing of real estate, landlord and tenant, local government and taxation affecting real estate, title insurance, sales and settlements, and zoning and land use.
The section also offers frequent continuing legal education programs for the real estate professional as well as opportunities for cross-professional networking through its Joint Committee of Lawyers and Realtors. Section members also receive the section's quarterly newsletter highlighting issues of interest to section members.
CLE discounts available
Section members are now eligible to receive discounts for CLE programs presented by their sections under a new agreement between the Philadelphia Bar Association and the Pennsylvania Bar Institute.
The new discount program only applies to programs proposed and presented by the sections and the various committees of those sections. It does not apply to stand-alone Bar Association committees. The discount program became effective on May 1.