People who live in Pennsylvania may not feel all that concerned about how the proposal to build a border wall may affect their property rights. After all, they are several states away from the south. However, for people who own land in any of the border states or who stand to inherit land in these areas from family members, the situation may be different.
Residents of Pennsylvania may have heard the story of the artist in Philadelphia who fought the city to keep his home and won. The city allegedly used eminent domain to attempt to evict the world-renowned artist so they could build a supermarket. It then offered just $600,000 for the studio, which was once appraised for $2 million. At another point, they offered an additional $40,000 and then a land swap.
As natural gas production only continues to increase in Philadelphia, many residents have worried about losing their land to natural gas companies via eminent domain. According to Forbes, eminent domain is typically reserved for governmental use. This allows the government to build roads or other infrastructure that serves the public interest. In these instances, people receive payment for allowing the use of their property.
There is a sense of pride when it comes to home ownership. Widely considered to be the American dream, owning a house can result in feelings of success and "making it." However, some homeowners in Pennsylvania may find that the house they worked hard for is now being taken by the government. While this does not seem right, it can happen in cases of eminent domain. When it comes to compensation, you need to make sure you are getting a fair price.
The concept of eminent domain may still seem to be difficult to comprehend for many in Philadelphia. While may be understandable why local governments would want to take dilapidated properties and use the land for public works projects, many may still fail to see how people who are living on coveted land (and paying property tax on it) can be forced to sell it and relocate when they do not want to. Ultimately it comes down to a question of land use.
The concept of eminent domain can seem daunting to property owners. In Pennsylvania, eminent domain encompasses the laws and statutes that allow the state government to seize private property for specific purposes, including what conditions make this acceptable and what conditions do not - as well as whether or not the government is required to compensate property owners for the seizure.
Many Philadelphia residents do not want to receive, and may even fear getting, a notice from government authorities telling them that their home or business property, or even a portion of it, is the target of a potential eminent domain action.
The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution allows the government to take private property and convert it for public use, but they must provide just compensation to the property owner. This process of government acquisition of private property is referred to as eminent domain. The property that is the subject of the taking is known as the condemned property.
This blog has on many occasions discussed eminent domain proceedings in which a governmental authority legally takes private land, even over a Pennsylvania landowner's objection, and re-dedicates the property to a public use, like a government building or even a highway.
The federal Constitution as well as Pennsylvania's laws, protect the rights of citizens to enjoy their private property by using it in a way they see fit. Of course, there are some exceptions to this general principle, and one of those is the eminent domain exception.