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November 2015 Archives

Green roofs may allow developers to add units

The Rules Committee of the Philadelphia City Council recently approved a measure that would allow developers to construct more residential units in multi-unit residential buildings than are presently allowed by the zoning code if a building has a qualifying "green roof." The bill was introduced last month to encourage residential and commercial real estate developers to provide energy efficient green roofs by permitting an increase in density.

Real estate values pose problem for churches, non-profit tenants

This blog has previously written about the conflicts that surround the sale or proposed demolition of Philadelphia's old church buildings. Usually, the parties in conflict are the congregation that wants to reap profit by selling the building for a lucrative development as commercial real estate and neighbors who want to preserve the character of the neighborhood. A new type of conflict is arising, this time involving non-profit entities who have rented all or part of older churches as a means of saving on operating costs.

Height limits cause problem for parcel with steep slopes

This blog has frequently written about zoning disputes involving the conversion of a property's use to residential from industrial, commercial or less intensive uses such as churches or educational institutions. The opponents to such conversions usually point to increased traffic, parking difficulties or an undesirable change in a neighborhood's character. Now, a land use dispute in south Philadelphia shows how the terrain of a parcel can arouse neighborhood opposition.

Pennsylvania challenge company's condemnation claim

Property owners have important rights associated with the condemnation process. Two Pennsylvania residents are challenging the planned oil pipeline that would cut through their property. The proposed pipeline would carry natural gas liquid, including propane, methane and butane. In addition, the proposed pipeline is intended to transport natural gas liquids removed from hydraulic fracturing in Pennsylvania and will run along the border of Pennsylvania, Delaware and Eastern Ohio. The natural gas company offered the couple $14,000 for 3 acres of their land but the couple refused the offer.

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