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Real Estate Disputes Archives

Planning commission grants variance for Point Breeze development


A controversial residential development on south Wharton Street moved one step closer to fruition when the Philadelphia Planning Commission granted a variance to the developer to allow residential structures in an area zoned for industrial commercial mixed use. However, the action is not likely to quell the real estate dispute that has surrounded this project since its announcement in 2013.

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.

Tax sale challenged by owner who failed to pay property taxes


Virtually all property owners in Philadelphia understand that a failure to pay real estate taxes may ultimately result in losing title to the property. At least one such owner, however, has commenced a novel real estate dispute with the city and is now challenging the validity of a tax sale that transferred title to his property to another person.

Quiet title action can resolve land ownership disputes


Real estate in and around Philadelphia has been bought and sold, platted, subdivided and leased for over 300 years. Numerous parcels have been sold many times over. What happens when a decades-old transaction is discovered to have created conflicting interests in the same piece of property? These conflicts can be the result of errors in transcribing legal descriptions, misunderstandings about the size or shape of the parcel being sold or any of the myriad of other mistakes that humans can make during this complex process. The disputes can range from the validity of a deed, a property line dispute or whether a lien or mortgage has been satisfied.

Proposed pipeline stirs concern, controversy in Chester County


Any proposal to build a large industrial facility is certain to stir controversy and, usually, the intensity of the controversy is directly proportional to the size of the proposed facility. At a recent public meeting, residents of Chester County stood up to express a variety of concerns about a proposed natural gas pipeline that would run hundreds of miles through southern Pennsylvania.

Fate of black church building may depend upon historic past


As a city with many buildings built in the first two centuries of its existence, Philadelphia is constantly faced with decisions about how to treat old buildings that may have out-lived their original use. Differences of opinion on this question have started many heartfelt and hard fought real estate disputes in the city. A current example of the City's dilemma is the First African Baptist Church in South Philadelphia.

Supreme Court upholds $18.5 million breach-of-lease judgment


Many real estate disputes go to court, but very few are tried and most are settled. Only rarely do such cases result in the entry of a final judgment for a significant amount of money. A very large exception to this "rule" was recently provided by a decision of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The court refused to hear an appeal by Safeway, Inc. from a decision of the state superior court that affirmed a judgment of $18.5 million against Safeway, Inc. for breaching its lease with Newman Development Group.

Protecting property rights in Pennsylvania real estate disputes


For many Pennsylvania residents, their real estate is their most valuable assets. Not only do people pour their money into their property, this investment can also hold a high emotional value. When this investment is threatened in some way, people can feel like they have no choice but to fight to protect what is theirs.

Preservation dispute being fought on several fronts


A common aphorism in the real estate industry is that the most important factor is location, location, location. A real estate dispute in Roxborough may now add another: in historic preservation litigation, the most important factor may be timing, timing, timing.

Neighbors challenge university's 30-year development plan


Land use disputes often arise when a large organization such as Wal-Mart or Target wants to build on land adjacent to a residential neighborhood. Certain institutions, such as schools and churches, might appear immune to criticism of their intentions, but when a school announces its intentions to expand its campus over 30 years, the immunity can disappear and a bitter property dispute can erupt. Philadelphia University is experiencing such a reaction to its recently announced 30-year master plan.

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