After weeks of protest over the condemnation of the grounds of a popular Chester County horse show, the West Vincent Township supervisors scheduled a vote Friday to reverse course.
Township Manager Jim Wendelgass said the vote on whether to rescind the condemnation of the 33-acre tract owned by the Ludwig's Corner Horse Show Association would be held at 10 a.m. in the township building.
According to a statement from the horse show, "The township representatives further indicated that each of the supervisors intended to vote in favor of rescinding the resolution." Wendelgass declined to say what the supervisors would do.
John Jacobs, president of the horse show organization, described the Wednesday meeting between representatives of the township and the horse show as cordial and said he could not comment on its specifics until after Friday's vote. "There's a big elephant in the room," he said of the seizure. "We need to get rid of it."
In the vote announcement, the township listed six topics for later discussion. They included a conservation easement, the elimination of skeet shooting on the property, an environmental site assessment, and storm water runoff issues.
The outcry over seizing the parcel owned by the volunteer-run nonprofit, which has hosted a popular Labor Day horse show and other events for 68 years, has resonated throughout the region. State Sen. Andrew E. Dinniman (D., Chester) and Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello attended one rally opposing the move, and the fallout even cost one of the supervisors her job.
On Monday, the board of the French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust said it ended its more-than-five-year relationship with Clare Quinn, who had been its executive director, calling her vote "a fundamental conflict with the trust's long-standing mission of voluntary land conservation."
The supervisors have said they wanted the land for a park and ball fields and planned to increase its equestrian use. Those affiliated with the show have questioned the efficacy of that arrangement as well as the need for action as extreme as eminent domain.