Marple Newtown v. Marple Newtown School District
856 A.2d 225 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2004).
A township may not condemn lands that are being used for a school or charitable institution under Pennsylvania law. 53 P.S. §57803. However, because the School District had not used the property for anything other then storage for over twenty years, the court allowed the township to take the property by eminent domain.
The court held that although an Intermediate Unit had leased 10% of a building and was using it to provide an educational program, the Intermediate Unit owned no real property interest. Also, the court stated that an annual carnival for the local fire company was insufficient to classify the property as being used as a “charitable institution.” Finally, the court said that because the school district had listed the property for sale through a real estate broker before the township declared the taking, the township’s intended use of the property would not be inconsistent with the existing use.
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