I own a 5-acre lot with 220 feet of road frontage in Pennsylvania. The property presently has no public water or sewer service, but rather a well and septic tank. I have lived there for over 26 years.
I recently received notice from the township that they will be installing water and sewer lines along my side of the street to service a new housing development that is under construction about a mile away. Public water and sewer service will be made available to me and all other existing property owners on my street in addition to the future homes in the new housing development.
Two years ago the township installed water and sewer lines elsewhere in the township and forced each property owner to pay $8000 to $10,000 to share the cost of the project, whether they wanted the services or not. If they did not pay, a lien was placed on their property. Obviously, no connection to the utilities could be provided until the fee was paid.
The notice I received indicates that the Township will handle this project the same way.
Am I entitled to some compensation for the easement the Township will need to cross my property with their lines? If so, how much? Is eminent domain law applicable here? The 5th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution? If I choose not to connect to the utilities how can they assess me with a fee? Shouldn't they be paying me? If I do choose to connect, who should pay whom? I would also be charged via a meter for all water used.