After several weeks of protest, the West Vincent Township supervisors voted this morning to rescind the Nov. 29 condemnation of the grounds of a popular horse show.
Township Manager Jim Wendelgass said the special meeting, held in the township building, did not last more than 10 minutes. He said a motion was introduced to rescind the condemnation of the 33-acre tract owned by the Ludwig's Corner Horse Show Association, seconded, and approved by all three supervisors.
John Jacobs, president of the Horse Show organization, said he "absolutely applauded" the supervisors' action. "It's rectifying a wrong," he said.
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 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 practicality of that arrangement as well as the need for action as extreme as eminent domain.
Earlier this week, the township identified six topics for later discussion with the horse-show officials. They included a conservation easement, the elimination of skeet shooting on the property, an environmental site assessment, and storm water runoff issues.
Wendelgass said this afternoon that a meeting would be scheduled at a later date.