- Agricultural Conservation Easements (Aug. 2004)
- Understanding Pennsylvania's Agricultural Area Security Law (July 2003)
- Condemnation of Agricultural Security Area Farmland (Sept. 1999)
- Researching and Recording Pennsylvania's Agricultural Conservation Easements
Agricultural Law Brief Articles:
- Lancaster County Court Orders Establishment of Agricultural Security Area (ASA) (July 2008)
(see page 2)
Pennsylvania statutes are accessible online through the Unofficial Purdon’s Pennsylvania Statutes website. Be aware that this information is subject to change as a result of subsequent amendments. Please consult an attorney if you are in need of the most up-to-date statutory information.
- Agricultural Area Security Law, 3 Pa. Cons. Stat. §§ 901-915
- Agricultural Security Area Program, 7 Pa. Code §§ 138l.1-138l.52
- Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program, 7 Pa. Code §§ 138e.1-138e.256
Some of these cases may be available at a law library or accessible online for those with LexisNexis, Westlaw, or other electronic database accounts.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court:
- Ephrata Area Sch. Dist. v. County of Lancaster, 938 A.2d 264 (Pa. 2007) (holding that when a non-public utility seeks a right-of-way over privately owned land that is subject to an open space conservation easement, the government unit that owns the easement must first approve of the grant of the right-of-way).
- In re: Forrester, 836 A.2d 102 (Pa. 2003) (finding that the opening of a private road did not constitute an exercise of eminent domain power because the public was not to be the primary beneficiary of the road; holding the opening of a private road did not constitute a taking subject to protections under the Pennsylvania Agricultural Area Security Law).
Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court:
- Corbett v. Richmond Twp., 2 A.3d 678 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2010) (holding that an ordinance requiring a 1500-foot setback for manure storage facilities and prohibiting “commercial composting and the exportation of compost for use elsewhere,” unreasonably restricts farm structures and farm practices in violation of section 911 of the AASL).
- In re: Agric. Sec. Area in E. Lampeter Twp., 974 A.2d 1213 (Pa. Commw. Ct. May 27, 2009) (upholding a decision that determination of the need for an ASA rests with landowners, not the Township).
- In re: Agric. Sec. Area in E. Lampeter Twp., No. CI-07-12367 (Lancaster Ct. Com. Pl. July 11, 2008) (holding that the need for an ASA is determined by the landowner, and is not within the discretion of the municipality).
- In re: Condemnation of Springboro Area Water Auth., 898 A.2d 6 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2006) (holding that “underground public utility facilities” in the context of AASL’s requirements for exclusion from pre-approval, means “regulated underground public utility facilities”; determining that such interpretation effectuates the intent of the legislature to have all proposed condemnations of land in an ASA subject to some form of agency review).
- 41 Valley Assocs. v. Bd. of Supervisors of London Grove Township, 882 A.2d 5 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2005) (determining that the purpose of the Agricultural Area Security Law is to preserve land for a broad class of agricultural uses not to enable a specific use).
- In re: Forrester, No. 1299 C.D. 2000 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2001) (holding that approval under the Pennsylvania Agriculture Area Security Law was not required because the Act was not an eminent domain procedure under the Pennsylvania Eminent Domain Code).
- White v. D.O.T., 738 A.2d 27 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 1999) (holding that approval of the Agricultural Lands Condemnation Approval Board (ALCAB) is required prior to the condemnation of agricultural land for highway purposes in an ASA, except for activities relating to existing highways that do not go beyond the existing roadbed).
- Md. & Pa. R.R. Preservation Auth. v. Agric. Lands Condemnation Approval Bd., 704 A.2d 1149 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 1998) (finding that an historical preservation statute does not give priority to historical preservation over agricultural lands for the purposes of condemnation; holding the petitioner must prove that the condemnation of land would not have a substantial adverse impact on the entire agricultural security area).
- In re: Laying Out & Opening A Private Rd. in Charleston Twp., 683 A.2d 947 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 1996) (holding that Agricultural Area Security Law does not apply when a private landowner desires to open a private road to gain access to landlocked property).
- Cook v. Pa. Dep't of Agric., 646 A.2d 598 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 1993) (finding that to subdivide property subject to a conservation easement, each easement grantee must first consent pursuant to the standard stated in the regulation).
- Lenzi v. Agric. Land Preservation Bd., 602 A.2d 396 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 1992) (holding that an owner of property neighboring a proposed agricultural security area is permitted to object to the approval of the proposal and/or the purchase of an agricultural conservation easement if they will be adversely affected).
- Nw. Lehigh Sch. Dist. v. Agric. Lands Condemnation Bd., 559 A.2d 978 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 1989) (finding that legislative policy requires evidentiary showing that the proposed condemnation would not have an adverse effect upon the preservation of agricultural services within the area nor upon environmental and comprehensive plans of the county, and that a reasonable alternative to proposed condemnation was not available; finding the requirement that a school district receive ASA board approval prior to an exercise of eminent domain was not an unconstitutional limitation on the district).
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture:
- Bureau of Farmland Preservation
- Agricultural Security Area Program (ASA) (Description)
- Agricultural Land Condemnation Approval Board (ALCAB) (Description)
- Farmland Preservation Annual Reports
- Easement Purchase Program (Description)
- Farmland Preservation County Administrators Contact List
County ASA Resources:
- Berks County (Application Procedures)
- Centre County (Centre County Planning and Community Development Office)
- Chester County
- Clinton County
- Cumberland County
- Erie County
- Greene County
- Huntingdon County, Warriors Mark Township
- Lancaster County
- Lehigh County
- Northampton County
- Pike County (Agricultural Land Preservation Program)
Some of these articles may be available at a law library or accessible online for those with LexisNexis, Westlaw, or other electronic database accounts. Some hyperlinks may only be available for those users with access to HeinOnline.
- Pennsylvania Legislator's Municipal Deskbook: Pennsylvania Statutory and Regulatory Measures to Protect Agricultural Land and Open Space (Third Edition, 2006)