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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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)
RANDOM CHATTER IN THE ROOM
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
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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