The Reading Area Water Authority has sought out land in order to protect and make water available to one specific developer. This issue is a State by State issue. Many jurisdictions have different views of the compensation obligation once a private take like this occurs. The issue of excess condemnation may not be one for a court to review in most jurisdictions.
"While the availability of these utilities will undoubtedly make the homes built by Fortune more attractive to potential buyers, such an incidental benefit to Fortune does not strip the project of its public purpose," Commonwealth Court ruled.
In May 2010, the water authority filed the condemnation against the Schuylkill River Greenway Association, which owns a strip of land along the Schuylkill River in Bern Township.
The authority wanted to acquire a 50-foot-by-133-foot section of land to construct not only water lines, but also sanitary and storm sewer lines, all of which would cross under the Schuylkill River to Water's Edge on the Ontelaunee side.
The Greenway association sued in Berks court, claiming the size of the land to be taken was excessive since it accommodated sewer lines the association said the water board had no authority to build.