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In re Condemnation of Land at Rear of 700 Summit Avenue Jenkintown Pennsylvania

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

July 7, 2014

In Re: Condemnation of Land At Rear of 700 Summit Avenue Jenkintown Pennsylvania Appeal of: Borough of Jenkintown

Argued June 20, 2014

Appealed from No. 1998-04153. Common Pleas Court of the County of Montgomery. Moore, J.

Sean P. Kilkenny, Jenkintown, for appellant.

David B. Snyder, Philadelphia, for appellee Salem Baptist Church of Jenkintown.

BEFORE: HONORABLE DAN PELLEGRINI, President Judge, HONORABLE P. KEVIN BROBSON, Judge, HONORABLE ANNE E. COVEY, Judge.

OPINION

Page 947

 PELLEGRINI, PRESIDENT JUDGE

The Borough of Jenkintown (Borough) appeals the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County (trial court) overruling the Borough's preliminary objections to the Salem Baptist Church of Jenkintown (Church)'s petition for appointment of a board of viewers (petition), holding that the petition was not barred bye the statute of limitations under the Eminent Domain Code (Code)[1] or by the doctrine of laches. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

I.

In February 1998, the Borough filed a Declaration of Taking (Declaration) in the trial court, condemning a portion of the property owned by the Church at 700 Summit Avenue, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, including a driveway which provided vehicular access to the rear of the Church's property. The Church filed preliminary objections to the Declaration [2] and the Borough subsequently took possession

Page 948

of the property. On June 7, 2000, the Borough tendered payment of estimated just compensation (EJC) in the amount of $38,340.00 based upon calculations performed by its certified appraiser. The cover letter accompanying the Borough's check stated:

Jenkintown Boroughs [sic] appraiser, Teresa Hoberg, has advised the borough that the estimated value of the land condemned is $38,340, and I enclose a borough check made payable to Salem Baptist Church in that amount. This price ...

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