Piece of former Mayview property taken by eminent domain

Published Mar 31, 2014 at 9:04 am (Updated Mar 31, 2014 at 9:04 am)

Commissioners in South Fayette Township recently passed a resolution for the taking of a 69 acre portion of property located at 1601 Mayview Road. Commissioner Lisa Malosh was absent from the March 19 meeting. That property, adjacent to the township’s Fairview Park, is currently owned by Aloe Brothers, LLC.

The resolution states that the township is taking the property by eminent domain “for use as a park as authorized by sections 1901 and 3001 of the First Class Township Code.” According to Section 1901 of the code, which outlines the township’s right to exercise eminent domain, a township can take property for many reasons, including “the establishing of parks, playgrounds and recreation places.”

Eminent domain is defined as the right of a government to take private property for public use.

“The resolution has authorized the taking of that property for public use related to the park,” said South Fayette Township Manager Ryan Eggleston.

Section 3001 of the code states that a township may, “separately or jointly, by ordinance dedicate and set apart lands not dedicated to other public uses … for the purpose of making, enlarging and maintaining public parks, recreation areas and facilities.”

Prior to passing the resolution, the township had been in negotiations with Aloe Brothers for the property. According to minutes from the Sept. 2013 South Fayette Township Parks and Recreation Board meeting, the asking price for the property was $1.4 million. Aloe Brothers paid $505,505 in 2011 for the nearly 160 acre site of the former Mayview State Hospital along Mayview Road in South Fayette.

Eggleston said South Fayette has been in negotiation with Aloe Brothers for the property for “longer than a few months.”

The resolution states that the township “requires additional property adjoining Fairview Park to properly administer its governmental function of providing recreational facilities and programs to the residents of South Fayette in an efficient and proper manner.”

“We feel it’s necessary to have that property to enlarge Fairview Park to continue to meet the growing needs of the township,” Eggleston said. He said because South Fayette is a growing community, there is a need for more green space and recreational fields.

Eggleston said there will be “some type of remuneration” to Aloe Brothers for the property.

“There is payment involved,” Eggleston said.

Board of Commissioners President Joe Horowitz declined comment on the matter. Aloe Brothers could not be reached for comment.

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