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January 2016 Archives

Borough solves land use dispute by agreeing to by property

This blog has written previously about the conflict in Haddonfield Township that resulted when a private developer put forth a plan to purchase the campus of a private school and convert the property into a drug and alcohol treatment center. The neighbors organized into vociferous opposition and brought the project to a halt. What appeared to be an intractable real estate dispute, pitting neighbors against the developer and the borough, may now be resolved by the borough's agreement to buy the land and devote it to public use and private housing.

Neighborhood Improvement Zone challenged in federal court

Philadelphia and many other cities in Pennsylvania provide economic incentives to persuade developers to construct new buildings. One of the most common of such incentives is the creation of a zone in which property taxes are lowered and low interest loans made available to prospective developers. Allentown created such a district and called it a Neighborhood Improvement Zone ("NIZ").

Sunoco pipeline faces opposition in eastern Pennsylvania

Sunoco Logistics, LLP, a large petroleum and natural gas pipeline company, is going ahead with plans to begin construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline from West Virginia across southern Pennsylvania to its terminal at Marcus Hook on the Delaware River north of Philadelphia. While most of the pipeline's route lies in open country, the pipeline must pass through densely populated residential areas before it can reach its planned terminus. Acquiring right-of-way in these areas is posing financial, legal and public relations problems for the pipeline company, and it is taking steps to avoid costly eminent domain proceedings.

Philadelphia developers open to listening and compromise

This blog has taken note of a number of disputes involving neighbors' objections to the plans of developers that threaten an older neighborhood with what the neighbors view as unacceptable change. On several recent occasions, however, Philadelphia developers have listened to the neighbors, changed their plans and seen opposition turn to support.

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