Lancaster Farmland Trust Settles Lawsuit Against Atlantic Sunrise

Lancaster Farmland Trust, a leftist group that seeks to stop all development of land in and around Lancaster County, PA, sued a farmer and Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline after the Lancaster farmer signed an easement on a piddly 1.5 acres of land. The Trust claimed according to the terms of the deed the landowner didn’t have the right to sign the easement (see Atlantic Sunrise Files 13 Eminent Domain Cases in 4 Counties). The previous owners of the property “donated a conservation easement to the trust that specifically stated various man-made activities, and specifically listing pipelines, could not be built on the property.” We think that’s particularly sleazy (and should be illegal)–forever saddling future owners of the property with restrictions. No matter–it’s frequently done, and a lesson to landowners to beware, DON’T buy properties with such restrictions. If enough people refused to buy such properties, property owners would quit doing it because their property is no longer salable. But we digress. Transco Pipeline (of which Atlantic Sunrise is a part) tried to get the case tossed, but a Lancaster County judge refused. So Transco terminated the easement with the property owner, then turned around and filed a eminent domain lawsuit against the property owner and the Trust, which got the Trust’s attention. They’ve just settled the case, fearing (knowing) a judge would rule against them anyway. In the end, it seems to have come down to the Trust wanting money. They got $12,470 for the easement plus another $25,000 to cover their legal fees. The actual landowner got (as near as we can tell), nothing…

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