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Kampf, Toepel and Harper Sponsor Bill to Protect Open Space from Eminent Domain Law
HARRISBURG—Rep. Warren Kampf (R-Montgomery/Chester) joined Reps. Marcy Toepel (R-Montgomery) and Kate Harper (R-Montgomery) in introducing legislation to limit the use of eminent domain on land that has been set aside to be used as green or open space.

The legislators introduced House Bill 2468 in response to school districts which are using the state’s eminent domain laws to take open space and use it for construction.

“The Lower Merion School District has decided to use eminent domain to condemn privately owned land permanently preserved by conservation easement, over the objections of many residents of the community,” Kampf said. “This bill will do what most people thought would have happened to all preserved land.”

This legislation proposes to amend the Eminent Domain Code to add a new section that would require any government agency to obtain Orphans’ Court approval before using eminent domain to take permanently preserved land.

The procedure is similar to that found in the Agricultural Area Security Law, which requires additional scrutiny before condemnation of agricultural lands. The Orphans’ Court is given authority in the Donated and Dedicated Property Act over certain transactions related to publicly owned lands held for public uses.

“Eminent domain laws are important, but must be used sparingly, and not as a tool to develop land set aside as open space,” Harper said.

“We must limit a government agency’s ability to use the Eminent Domain Code to override the preservation of our open space and parkland,” Toepel said.

The lawmakers hope to advance the bill quickly through the legislative process to protect open space lands throughout the Commonwealth.

Representative Warren Kampf
157th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: David Foster
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