Ludwigs Corner Horse Show Association.

There are now more reader comments in the two newspaper articles I mentioned. There are now 37 comments in all.  Every single comment is against the proposal and well worth reading.



Here is the 'eminent domain' transcript of the meeting on Monday, November 28, 2011, taken from the video.

Ken Miller: Next item is Park land Acquisition.

Clare Quinn: Um, I have a statement to read.

As part of West Vincent Township’s ongoing effort to fulfill the vision of its Ludwigs Corner Strategic Vision and Community Design Plan for a compact, walkable, traditional village center containing a blend of municipal, commercial and residential uses, the Township will tonight commence condemnation proceedings to acquire the land owned by Ludwigs Corner Horse Show Association for a public park.

The property, which contains approximately 33.2 acres, is located at the western side of Pottstown Pike uh, (Pennsylvania Route 100), the southwestern side of Nantmeal Road, and the northeastern side of Conestoga Road (Pennsylvania Route 401).

West Vincent Township decided to proceed with condemnation proceedings after much deliberation and after being unable, following several years of discussion, to achieve a conventional real estate purchase from the Ludwig’s Corner Horseshow Association. The acquisition will enable the Township to permanently protect this open land from commercial and residential development and provide an easily accessible public center for sports, leisure, and community activities that will benefit all Township residents and the surrounding community.

The Township plans to use the land for both active and passive recreational purposes, including playing fields for local youth leagues. The Township will work with the Ludwigs Corner Horse Show Association to continue its annual horse show, a highly prized West Vincent tradition.

Funding for the purchase will come from cash reserves currently held by the Township as well as additional proceeds from a bond refinancing. The bond refinancing will result in an interest rate reduction that will largely offset the cost of the additional borrowing. The Township does not anticipate the need for a tax increase in order to fund the parkland acquisition.

Once the parkland is acquired, the Township will proceed with the creation of a master park plan. It will then seek matching grant funding to construct recreational facilities.

Ken Miller: I have a resolution to read here, Resolution number 20 of 2011.This is a resolution of the Board of Supervisors of West Vincent Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania. Selecting and appropriating through eminent domain, a tract of land situated in West Vincent Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, owned by the Ludwig's Corner Horse Show Association.

Whereas West Vincent Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, the Township is a political subdivision existing under and governed by the Pennsylvania Second Class Township Code

Whereas the Township has identified the needs to acquire additional lands for township public purposes including, but not limited to active recreation, park land and associated purposes,

Whereas the Ludwigs Corner Horseshow Association, a non-profit corporation, hereon-hereafter known as the owner, is the owner of a tract of land situated at the western side of Pottstown Pike, Pennsylvania Rt 100, southwe-southwest-soutwestern side of Nantmeal Rd and the northeastern side of Conestoga Rd, Pennsylvania Rt 401, containing 33.2 plus or minus acres of land. Identified as being a Chester County, as being Chester County uniform parcel identifier numbers 25-6-4 in its entirety and 25-6-5 in its entirety, collectively know as “the property”.

Whereas, pursuant to the Second Class Township Code, 53 P.S. Section 68401 and the Eminent Domain Code 26 P.S. Section 1401, the township is entitled to acquire fee simple title in property, such as the property, the Eminent Domain proceedings.

Whereas the Township has previously attempted to negotiate for the purchase of the property but was unable to acceptable terms with the owner, now therefore be it resolved that the Township, in accordance with the authority conferred by law, selects and appropriates by condemnation the property for public purposes, including but not limited to active recreation, parkland and associated purposes.

Title to be acquired to the property shall be fee simple. The Township Board of Supervisors, both individually and collectively, the Township manager, the Township Solicitor and other Township staff are hereby authorized to file a declaration of taking and institute, prosecute such other proceedings filed, filings and notices, including entry of a bond as may be necessary and desirable to carry out the purposes of this resolution.

Number four. The Township Board of Supervisors, both individually and collectively, the Township manager, the Township Solicitor and other Township staff shall be authorized to attempt to negotiate an agreement of sale, pursuant to terms acceptable to to the Township, but the purchase of the property in lieu of condemnation, prior to filing any documents required under the Second Class Township Code and Pennsylvania Eminent Domain Code and such representitives of the Township are authorized to offer to pay to the condemnees to obtain immediate ownership of the property by the fair and reasonable amount of damages for the purchase or condemnation of the same as estimated by the Township.

It bears emphasis that the Township representatives are not obligated to get to negotiate with the owner pursuant to this paragraph and nothing herein shall be construed to limit the authority or ability of the Township to otherwise proceed pursuant to this resolution. The cost of the institution of  such proceedings and any damages that may be awarded to the owner or  any costs to acquire the fee simple title shall be paid out of the funds of the Township.

Approved by the Board of Supervisors of West Vincent Township this twenty-eighth day of November, 2011.

Zoe: I make that motion.

Clare: I second.

Ken Miller: Any Comment?

Individual starts to talk.

Ken Miller: Arty's first.

Arthur Ewell: Yeah Ken. Is there a real nec-necessity to acquire this ground? I mean, to go into eminent domain, take somebody's property for the sake of the Township?

Ken Miller: We think there is.

Arthur Ewell: This isn't a school or anything like this, it's just...you want to take this. Now, when you want to do this, you want to put ball fields in there. That's not exactly a level area. It's going to cost an awful lot just to do that.

Ken Miller: We've considered all the possibilities and all the expenses that we might incur.

Arthur Ewell: And what's the amount of those expenses?

Ken Miller: The properties been in, been appraised and uhh, at this time we can't let out the, uh, number of the appraisal

Arthur Ewell: ok.

Ken Miller: Kit?

Katherine Trollier: Well, that was basically my question as far as what, uh the cost of it was going to be. Um, is-is the statement that Clare read said it wasn't expected that, you know, be more than at the borrowing 'cause the lower interest rate but, it's hard to, I was wondering how you determine that but, I guess your working with a number.

Clare Quinn: We-we are working with a number but we are not at liberty to disclose it 'til we have discussions with the Horse Show Grounds.

Katherine Trollier: And then, um, just to, a little further on, on Art's question. Um, he asked, you-you think this is uh, important enough that, that, it-it (indeterminable), is there more that you can say about that because, uh, like why? What the board sees that makes it that important?

Ken Miller: I think that if you uh, there's copies of the, of the statement that Clare just read, they'll be available. I guess they are available. If you read that, I think it'll, uh, and you se, you understand what we said in there, I think a lot of those concerns will be answered.

Katherine Trollier: Does anybody else want more answers on that tonight, or, or just well (indeterminable).

Ken Miller: We really, this time aren't at liberty to give out a whole lot more information right now. Barry had his hand up.

Barry DiLibero: Ah, the statement about cash reserves, how much do we have in cash reserves currently in the township?

Ken Miller: About $970,000

Barry DiLibero: And that's not Open Space Money, it's just cash, right?

Ken Miller: Correct.

Barry DiLibero: ok.

Ken Miller: correct. Uh, Debbie, first.

Debbie Westfall: I just wondered, you said that the Horse Show would continue-there, so whatever fields would be put in would be put in in areas...

Ken Miller: Yeah, it wouldn't affect....

Debbie Westfall: Corner areas, or....

Ken Miller: Yes.

Clare Quinn: there's lot's of room.

Sara Shick: There are already fields there.

Clare Quinn: Yeah, there are fields there.

Debbie Westfall: Yeah, ok.

Ken Miller: Chris Matthews.

Chris Matthews: What, what about um, the other shows, like the dog shows or in other events, would they still be able to continue?

Ken Miller: We're open to any of those events continuing.

Chris Matthews: And of course the fireworks.

Ken Miller: Actually, we'd like to bring the fireworks back.

Zoe Perkins: We'd like to get those back

Ken Miller: Yeah, we'd like to bring those back.

Chis Matthews: (indeterminable)


Zoe Perkins: And there's um,

Ken Miller: Sharon

Zoe Perkins: Sharon

Ken Miller: Oh, ok.

Sharon Davis: No, well, I'm gonna..my initial reaction is geez this doesn't sound fair because I don't like the words eminent domain. However, I do trust the judgment of the Board and so I'm calmly thinking there must be good reasons to do this.

Clare Quinn: May I elaborate on reasons? Is that a problem of anybody?

Ken Miller: No

Zoe Perkins: Not for me.

Clare Quinn: Um, when the Ludwig's Corner Master Plan was done, that area was designated as a public park. Um, we're basically trying to implement the Ludwig's Corner Master Plan, um while the market conditions are at their best, while we have the money here. Um, it is our belief that a good portion of the Horse Show Board may be on with us (voice trailing off). That's all I'll say (barely audible).

Ken Miller: OK, Arty.

Arthur Ewell: What about the gun club that there, that's there? Will that cont, be allowed to continue?

Ken Miller: We have thought about that, we haven't determined what we're going to do about that yet. Remember though, we've had several complaints from neighbors for several years now about that.

Arthur Ewell: Yeah, but precisely, it's been there, what, fifty years. Is there any reason to discontinue it?

Clare Quinn: Well...

Ken Miller: It's something we need to determine.

Clare Quinn: One reason to discontinue it would be that the purpose of this eminent domain taking is for a public park. So, to have shooting on a public park, they may not be compatible uses, so we'll have to examine that.

Ken Miller: Other Comments? Motion 's been made and seconded. All those in favor:

Zoe Perkins: Aye

Clare Quin: Aye

Ken Miller: Aye

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