In a case of first impression, a deeply divided Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court panel has ruled that the Redevelopment Authority of Philadelphia cannot take private property marked as blighted and give it to a private, religious organization.

In In re 1839 North Eighth Street, the court reversed Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Matthew D. Carrafiello’s overruling of Mary Smith’s preliminary objections to the authority’s declaration of taking of her North Philadelphia property.

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