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Country Discussion Topics
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Seizing Land for a golf course
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Phil    Posted 04-18-2003 at 06:57:34       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Something isn't right here, I heard this story on a Lancaster, PA radio station this morning and looked it up on their web page today. I've heard of eminent domain for building roads and highways but seizing land to build a golf course. Does anyone know anymore of the details? Below is the story from the webpage.

4/18/03 Fight For The Farm
(Coatesville-AP) -- A Chester County family fighting to save its 48-acre horse farm from being turned into a golf course is planning to appeal a court ruling that says city officials may seize the land by eminent domain. By a 2-to-1 vote, Commonwealth Court ruled this month that Coatesville can legally seize the property, even though it lies in a neighboring township. The court overturned a Chester County judge's decision that Coatesville would need to get zoning approval first from Valley Township, which has opposed the taking of the land. Dick and Nancy Saha, who have lived on the farm for 30 years, hope the decision can be reversed again by a higher court. Coatesville officials have been fighting for nearly three years to seize the property as part of their plan to develop a 60 million dollar recreational complex that would include a golf course, bowling alley and skating rinks.

Grace    Posted 05-01-2003 at 00:41:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
This is very sad but it happens a lot. I do not think this is what our founding fathers had in mind at all. I could see it if it were smack in the middle of a much needed expressway or something of the sort but not for a golf course.
It is odd that every golf course I have ever seen struck me as being a waste of a dynamite hunter jumper course.
This is what I have learned over the years.
The government tells us we have freedom.
The reality is that we have obligations and responsibilities and very few rights.
The government tells us that we own land.
The reality is that we lease it from the government. If you do not believe it you need to take your self down to the county courthouse and look at the list of siezed properties for sale every month.
The fact is that we can keep our land only until someone with more money or power wants it.
We have learned this the hard expensive way so now we adhear to an old rhyme I heard long ago.

Home is where the heart is.
The rest is only sticks and bricks.

Sell when the market is right.

screaminghollow    Posted 04-21-2003 at 12:57:37       [Reply]  [No Email]
Emnent Domain fer the recreation of the golfers. It goes on all the time here in PA.
The theory behind such Commie thinking is that the government has the right to provide for the health safety and welfare of the people. ie Build sewage treatment facilities, build schools, build water systems, build parks for recreation of the masses. Most folks will go along with these. Then it gets kinda liberal-you-don't-own-yer-property-if-we-say-so, These government dictators take land for private concerns allegedly because it will benefit the community as a whole. My local township is threatening to take a few acres from an acquaintance and give it to a small airport, because the airport needs more runway to stay open. THe airport is private and only a dozen or so folks even have planes there. The darn place needs several hundred thou in renovations or it will lose it's FAA license in Sept. and the owner doesn't have the bucks to do the work. I went to the twnshp meeting to oppose this crap. But I dare say, it only upset most of the folks there. These folks are all interrelated anyway and are just voting for their relative's interest. At least with a golf course a few thousand folks benefit. This airport only benefits about 12 families who have little four passenger planes.

Linda    Posted 04-18-2003 at 23:29:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yes, this kind of thing happens all too frequently, I'm sad to say.

My husband runs heavy equipment for the county. The city owns a golf course along a creek that tends to flood for about 3 weeks out of the year.

One year he was in the creek with a D10 CAT when a fellow from the city drove up in a hurry, parked his pickup where the creek borders the golf course, got out, ran down the creekbank and started trying to wave my husband over with the equipment to do something more to save the golf course.

Well, my husband wasn't very happy to begin with at having to do anything to help the city's golf course, but he was doing his job. He received a great deal of satisfaction when he watched the bank of the creek cave into the creek and it took the pickup truck with it.

JanO    Posted 04-18-2003 at 20:59:16       [Reply]  [Send Email]
It's a rip off, but unfortunatly it's legal if they can show that it's good for the community. Bottom line is the bottom dollar. With a complex like that going up, you can bet that the revenue going to the county and state is going to be the deciding factor.

Dave Smith    Posted 04-18-2003 at 19:55:04       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Laws written up by lawers, signed into law by lawers, for the benifit of lawers.
Uncostitunal puckle

DHunter n NOLa    Posted 04-18-2003 at 18:31:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
Had a similar thing happen to me. We hired a very reputable lawyer and contested the action but we lost. However, we were able to get much more money for the property than was first offered. It was well worth the effort on our part. It's been said that when r*** is enevitable, relax and enjoy it.

Ray    Posted 04-18-2003 at 14:17:48       [Reply]  [No Email]
Around here they just annex it into the city and
raise your taxes so high you have to sell.

Two problems    Posted 04-18-2003 at 10:21:51       [Reply]  [No Email]
One being is the development for the greater good of the community or the politicians?

Two, cities are allowed to provide services for their residents, this sounds more like a playground for outsiders.

Wouldn't surprise me if the law firm of Smith & Wesson wasn't retained before its over.

grace    Posted 05-01-2003 at 00:53:16       [Reply]  [No Email]
Such siezures are usually for the benifit of a person or group of persons who contribute to the funds of the polititians. These people often are lawyers/bankers with strong ties to real estate.
To these people a piece of land is defined not by the work and dedication lavished on it by the owners but by what they can put in their pockets by 'diverting' it to what they see as profitable.
Part of what makes it profitable is that they do not compensate the current owners properly.
Down here we call them carpetbaggers.
The people who will patronize the golf course are cut of no better cloth.

Jimbob    Posted 04-18-2003 at 08:35:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
Our 'forefathers' of this country would be 'rolling in their graves'. This is exactly what they did not want- the rights of people violated.
No brainer to see where we have gone & headed in the future. Perhaps a highway or electrical tower is another item, but to lose ones farm over a lousy golf course?
I also bet they get about 'dirt for cash' for the property- prices are very depressed in PA right now- and the buyers KNOW IT!

Tom A    Posted 04-18-2003 at 07:31:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
You're right, something wrong with it, although I vaguely remember a similar case years ago. It must have been around my area (People's Republic of Maryland) or else I wouldn't have heard about it. Anyway, I'm pretty sure the ultimate court ruling--they appealed several levels up--was that the government successfully argued that the golf course was "for the good of the many" (guess it was cuz of tax revenues, but I'm not sure) then individual rights take a back seat and those folks lost.

Personally I think it is a bunch of horse dookey.


Duke Black    Posted 04-18-2003 at 07:49:06       [Reply]  [No Email]
Good mornin.

This kinda thing goes on in all states. Sad but true, and very little can be done about it. The sad thing, they don't even need a good reason to take our land. Someone just has to want it with some power. Very scary indeed.



Ron/PA    Posted 04-18-2003 at 07:26:28       [Reply]  [No Email]
Part of the problem is that Coatsville has become a retreat for the folks from Philadelphia. That includes the members of the court.
I sure hope that these folks can take it to a higher court, It still sounds like a rip off to me.

Pilgrim    Posted 04-18-2003 at 07:23:12       [Reply]  [Send Email]
About 25 years ago the town of Plymouth Ma. decided that a big hotel would benefit the town and took several houses near the waterfront by eminent domain and let a private company build a hotel there. So they aren't the only ones getting ripped off.

Honeybee    Posted 04-18-2003 at 07:11:01       [Reply]  [Send Email]
That's down right evil!

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