In the Matter of Condemnation of Property in Perry Township, 925 A.2d 215 (Pa. 2007).
A municipality can authorize a declaration of taking by the adoption of a resolution.
Perry Township Supervisors adopted a resolution which authorized the condemnation of Landowners’ property. Landowners filed preliminary objections challenging the Township’s taking of the property arguing that (1) the Township’s authorization had to come by way of an ordinance rather than a resolution, (2) the Township failed to advertise and (3) the Township failed to hold a public hearing. The trial court dismissed all of Landowners objections.
Landowners appealed to the Commonwealth Court, reiterating its arguments, and also claimed that the Resolution was void on its face for failure to follow the publication requirements of the Second Class Township Code. The Commonwealth Court found that the publication requirements under the Second Class Township Code only apply to ordinances and are not applicable to condemnation resolutions. Furthermore, the Commonwealth Court found that a municipality may authorize a declaration of taking by resolution; the Eminent Domain Code specifically refers to the fact that a declaration of taking may be made by an ordinance, resolution or otherwise. A resolution does not have to meet the statutory requirements that are applicable to ordinances under the various municipal codes. The Commonwealth Court also found that Landowners’ challenge of the failure to comply with notice and publishing requirements was an improper subject for preliminary objections.
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