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Pennsylvania Land Use & Zoning Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Driveway easement

Purchased a home in Pa came back with clean title with no easement for shared driveway the new owner of the house next door came over and told me that it is a shared driveway and I told her no that I own it now she want to file an easement to use my driveway what can I do to stop them from using it

Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko answered on Jul 16, 2020

This is a problem to be resolved through the title company you used when you bought the house. There are multiple possible answers:

1. Your title company made a mistake;

2. You made a mistake and mis-read your policy;

3. Your neighbor made a mistake;

4. The...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Business Law, Construction Law and Land Use & Zoning for Pennsylvania on
Q: How do I find an electrician's insurance company if he will not provide it? Damage was done and need to know next steps.

Electrician performed an electrical service upgrade to 200 Amps without pulling a permit. Also, when approached about damages that he caused to my hardwood floors since he refused to take shoes off or work with booties, he denied liability and just walked off the job, keeping my initial down... Read more »

Elizabeth Tarasi
Elizabeth Tarasi answered on Jun 23, 2020

Hire an attorney and file a lawsuit

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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Environmental for Pennsylvania on
Q: Looking to purchase land that has an old industrial dump and an old mine. Am I responsible for future problems ?

Or is original company that put the dump on the property still responsible? And what if they are no longer in existence? Just want it for grazing land for horses. It is being monitored by DEP. dump is closed and inactive and covered.

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Jun 5, 2020

You are technically responsible for what is on (and under) your land. So.....if leachate comes out and poisons drinking water, it is possible you could be liable.

When companies site dumps they have to provide insurance. However if this was long ago, that is unlikely to have happened....
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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Do I have to move a fence that has been up for over 25 years because the next door property owner had it surveyed?

I purchased the property 2 years ago and the fence existed before purchase. All the lots in town are the same size. The neighbors that have been here said the fence has been up for over 25 years. Now the new next door property owner wants it moved cause they had it surveyed and 3 foot of it the... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Jun 5, 2020

Have the property resurveyed. Here's the thing--it was possibly adversely possessed, but as to the previous owner.

If the lot sizes are the same you may be on the next person's lot.

So, you need to determine if the lot was sold to you with the dimensions you say, did you...
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2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: I have several questions about a land dispute and trespassing so I will do my best to be as clear as I can.

I have about 80 acres of land with a 2 acre pond in Mercer County PA. We own approx. 75% of the pond and the neighbor owns the other 25%. We have never had any trouble with that land owner.

However, he recently sold his land and the 25% of the lake to someone else and it has been trouble... Read more »

Nellie T Schulz
Nellie T Schulz answered on May 22, 2020

Your question gives no explanation of a number of facts which may prove decisive. A few of the facts needed: how the 75/25 split in ownership of the pond was initially created and when; whether the pond is man-made or of natural origin; how it is fed, such as by run-off, stream, an underground... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Property maintained solely for 30 years can someone just take it off me?

I maintained a small piece of land solely for over 30 years adjacent to my home i have proof ,pictures by the ton and borough letters etc Everyone including the d.o.c workers stopped right before this piece of property and never maintained it i did .Today the new president of council said i have... Read more »

Evan Charles Pappas
Evan Charles Pappas answered on May 14, 2020

There is a concept known as "adverse possession" which, under the right circumstances, grants title to real estate to those who have maintained it for 21+ years. However, the rules are very particular and would also need to be asserted in court. I also have questions about the nature of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: My neighbor has an outside light on the side of his house that lights up my whole yard and house. Anything I can do?

Neighbor has an actual streetlight mounted to the side of his house. I’ve told him it comes in my windows and makes doing anything after dark in our yard a nuisance. But he said we live in a dangerous neighborhood so he needs it. Which we don’t. My grandparents lived in this house since 1958.... Read more »

Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall answered on May 4, 2020

Yes, but it will likely be a huge and expensive hassle for you. The light spillage could be considered a "nuisance" in the law, and you could ask a court to make him take it down (or at least replace it with a light that isn't as bright). Such an action, however, must be brought in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Pennsylvania on
Q: We recently purchased a new home. We asked our neighbors about installing a fence on the property line and ....

They all gave us the go ahead. We checked the Lebanon County, PA rules and there were none. We had a company come out and start to install our fence (vinyl 6ft high) to be served with a cease and desist from developers who sold the land to the builder. The builder didn’t disclose the deed... Read more »

Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko answered on Jan 18, 2020

This, among other reasons, is why people should have lawyers when they buy houses. A competent lawyer would have asked the title company for copies of the restrictions, and you would have then known what they were. However, you may have a legitimate beef with your title company for not providing... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Pennsylvania on
Q: I am a performer, and I am able to set up a space in my home and sell tickets for shows that I write and perform?

I have a room in my house that I would like to turn into a parlor for small performances of 10 to 20 people to do an hour long mentalism show. We would like to do the show, offer canned sodas, sealed snacks, and popcorn to the guests. It would be in the form of a small house party and would take... Read more »

Elizabeth Tarasi
Elizabeth Tarasi answered on Dec 4, 2019

You need to check your local zoning code.

2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: I live in a school zone, directly across from a primary school. It is becoming a problem with people parking in my

Driveway. It’s fine if they are there 3-5 minutes, but I have a consistent woman who parks, leaves her car running and blocks the entire driveway for upwards of 10+ minutes. Even when there are spaces to park away from the driveway and no one is blocking her in; she chooses to block my driveway.... Read more »

Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko answered on Nov 20, 2019

Call the police and have them ticket her.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Is there a grandfather clause in pa on a parking lot that's been used by the community for 50+yrs to continue to use it?

The lot is the only parking area for most consumers/business owners in this area, and has been used by anyone for 50+yrs. The new owner wants to block it off. People also use this as a through way. Is there a grandfather clause for This? How do I find it? How do I prove the grandfather law?

Elizabeth Tarasi
Elizabeth Tarasi answered on Nov 2, 2019

Any restriction or reserved use would be cited in the deed

1 Answer | Asked in Energy, Oil and Gas, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: I have land with multiple rentals on it. The gas company wants to drill on my property or the one next to mine.

My question is if they buy out my property to set up a drill pad, should I try to negotiate for not only the replacement cost of the buildings, but the lost income of the property? The lots are only 100' wide, so any drilling will affect multiple plots. There are 5 rentals beside my home plus... Read more »

Elizabeth Tarasi
Elizabeth Tarasi answered on Sep 28, 2019

Yes you need to negotiate to get everything you will lose. I negotiate these purchases all the time.

1 Answer | Asked in Constitutional Law and Land Use & Zoning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Ordinance inspectors walking on private property. When asked to leave they return with local police escort, no warrant.

Peeking in buildings, campers, garages, they say they have a right on private property w/o your permission and w/o administrative warrant. Actual ordinance says they have a right to inspect all buildings on the property, if they want to. The ordinance inspector says it's legal and the 4th... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Sep 11, 2019

An interesting point. If he sees a violation in plain view---i.e. visible from the street--they can cite the owner. However if they need to get on the property they need to ask permission. They can and should get a warrant. That they didn't is something you should contact the Pennsylvania... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: My grandmother died and left her land to her children they have not paid land tax for 5 years do I have rights if I pay

The land was willed to her children who are not paying the land is still in my grandmothers name

Elizabeth Tarasi
Elizabeth Tarasi answered on Aug 12, 2019

No. If you are not one of her children you do not have any rights.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Do sidewalks in an HOA community, with main streets dedicated to the township, need to be ADA compliant?

I live in an HOA community where main streets are owned by the Township. I am responsible for maintaining the sidewalk in front of my property. Between the sidewalk and the street is a 4' strip of grass considered common area where the developer planted street trees. These trees are 15+ yrs... Read more »

Elizabeth Tarasi
Elizabeth Tarasi answered on Aug 3, 2019

Yes you need to comply with the ADA

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law, Constitutional Law, Environmental and Land Use & Zoning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Our development is flooding from heavy rains since a new massive development was added roughly 5 years ago. Any options?

Hello, our development rain water drainage is backing up and flooding our homes since a new development was added next to us down stream of our run off. Our township was told by an engineer that our catch basin would NEVER pass code today and that is overflowing into neighbors yards, pipes... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Jul 26, 2019

As you and your neighbors already realize, this is a very complex situation. It's the type of matter that if litigated, could drag on for years in court and easily accrue very high legal fees. It would very likely involve expert testimony from civil engineers, architects, urban planners, and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Arbitration / Mediation Law and Land Use & Zoning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Recently my Home Owners Association created a Resolution that limits my freedom of speech.

AND NOW BE IT RESOLVED, that only Board Members or the Board’s agents may use the names, addresses, phone numbers or email addresses of homeowners for correspondence activities. Should any unauthorized individual use the contact information of homeowners on his/her own, a $50.00 fine may be... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Oct 23, 2018

The HOA could make the argument that their resolution is in place for the protection of privacy, not the infringement of First Amendment rights.

Tim Akpinar

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning for Pennsylvania on
Q: Hello, a property was purchased adjacent to a boundaries (in stone) of a historic estate. our land ends before the

srtucture. Between a structure and a street, there is a seemingly abandoned triangle with stairs and other additions.

Municipality claims due to right of way we are responsible for upkeep the area, including structure and the land between structure and street. Our deed clearly states land... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Aug 21, 2018

You need to consult with an attorney who handles property issues in the County, for the reason that you may want to claim adverse possession if you can tack on the previous owner's use of it, and then get possession of the additional property. You have a defense to being compelled to take care... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning for Pennsylvania on
Q: An owner whose property abuts a public street or road owns to the center of the road, subject to an easement of public

does this mean they can stop and do any thing in one spot or is it just for people to travel on

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Jul 24, 2018

Means they can do what they need to do to maintain the roadway. Sidewalks tend to be more 50-50

2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Hello, looking to hire a lawyer concerning unique property issue. No easement, but township paved a road through lawn.

We have a corner lot deeded 1882. There's a main road in the front and a road on the side. Over time a small shortcut to the main road was created on the side road through our lawn (prior to our ownership). The shortcut makes the intersection a "Y junction" with the left side of the... Read more »

Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko answered on Jun 26, 2018

The questions you ask can only be addressed after consultation with a lawyer. The lawyer would need to take a history from you, view either the property itself or good pictures, and search the title. Additionally, communication with the township or its counsel would be necessary to try to... Read more »

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