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Posted: 12/15/2003 2:52:37 PM EDT


www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/7492772.htm

Pa. high court refuses to hear case to save Saha family's Chesco farm

Officials say the 48-acre parcel is key to revitalizing Coatesville.

The family has now run out of legal options.

Associated Press


The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has refused to hear the case of a Chester County family fighting to save its 48-acre horse farm from being turned into a golf course.

Dick and Nancy Saha of Valley Township have been battling for more than four years to prevent the city of Coatesville from seizing their land for a recreation complex.

"It's devastating," Rick Saha, the couple's son, said of the Supreme Court's refusal to take the case. The decision exhausted the Sahas' legal options.

Coatesville city officials said they hoped the one-sentence order handed down by the state's highest court on Tuesday would allow the two sides to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement.

"I'm hoping this will open up the door so we can at least sit down and talk," Coatesville City Councilwoman Carmen Green said.

Coatesville wants to seize the Sahas' property as part of plans for a $60 million recreation complex that would include a golf course, bowling alley and skating rinks. City Manager Paul Janssen has said the park is a key part of efforts to revitalize Coatesville, an old steel town that lost thousands of jobs in the 1970s and 1980s.

The legal fight has revolved around a Pennsylvania law that allows cities, even small ones such as Coatesville, which has a population of 11,000, to seize property in adjoining municipalities if it serves a public interest. In April, a Commonwealth Court judge ruled that Coatesville could legally take the property, even though it is in neighboring Valley Township.

City officials have said the plan would allow the Sahas to retain the small corner of the property that contains their home, a 250-year-old farmhouse that they rebuilt. The Sahas have lived on the farm with their children for 30 years.

Though his parents are apparently out of legal options, Rick Saha said there were "other avenues" that could help the family's fight.

In November, Coatesville voters approved three amendments to the city's charter that require the city to get voter approval before condemning any land, including the Sahas'. The amendments were retroactive.

Also, owners of area golf courses, bowling alleys and ice rinks filed suit against the city in September seeking to halt construction of the recreation center.

Janssen said the city would have no immediate comment on the pending legal actions. "City Council will be meeting shortly to discuss these matters," he said.

However, Janssen said he hoped that the Sahas and the city would be able to negotiate. "We are hoping to reach a settlement that is agreeable to them and still allows for the project to proceed forward," he said.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 3:12:26 PM EDT
That is messed Up! Doesn't seem right at all.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 3:13:10 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 3:21:36 PM EDT
Huh! It really IS time........
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 3:27:59 PM EDT
it would be really sad if all that stuff burned down after they built it
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 3:32:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/15/2003 3:33:19 PM EDT by glimmerman68]
Do it for the [s]recreation center[/s] childern.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 3:36:11 PM EDT
WTF, a golf course?
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 3:37:50 PM EDT
They were probably greedy farmers trying to demand 10 times the amount that the land was worth. It's interesting to note that it's usually the farmers that don't need the money that are the biggest pains to deal with. Their land isn't going to be taken without compensation. They just held out too long and had their bluff called and now they are whinning about it. As someone who grew up on a farm it sucks to see another farm turned into a development. But when you border a city, that's what happens.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 3:38:07 PM EDT
Time to feed the hogs.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 3:38:31 PM EDT
Eminent domain is something new? Also, I don't know about other states but I believe in Indiana that a town has zoning control within a two-mile radius of the city limits. So land doesn't have to be seized to be controlled. [devil]
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 3:42:46 PM EDT
Gonna have to go [puke] again.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 3:45:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By FanoftheBlackRifle: Gonna have to go [puke] again.
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Yeah, they say that flu that's going around is nasty. [:D] [devil]
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 3:49:08 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Airwolf: Though his parents are apparently out of legal options, Rick Saha said there were "other avenues" that could help the family's fight. .
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Spade's got an SAR-1 you can borrow. Seriously, they want to take this land for a fucking GOLF COURSE! Okay, a road the semi pro-ED people could defend, but GOLF. Fuck that, and if they take the land anyway, nothing says "go to hell" like a molotov.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 3:51:46 PM EDT
Time for some shooting! Line up a few bodies. It's Time!
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 3:54:40 PM EDT
Wow. What a fucking nightmare.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 3:57:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/15/2003 3:58:22 PM EDT by SNorman]
You knuckleheads! Don't you know this country was founded on the principle of Eminent Domain! If taking this individual's property is good for the rest of society, then so be it. I'm sure he will be reimbursed fairly by the kind and honest members of the city government. He should not go to arms over this, it is for the courts to decide. I know everything!!
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 3:59:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By NAM: Time to feed the hogs.
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[img]http://www.zapix.com/laurel/rydertruck.gif[/img]
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 4:01:44 PM EDT
Five gallons of radium paint (you can still find it, if you know where to look). Dump into septic tank. Call DES/EPA, and watch the sparks fly. The developer will go broke cleaning up the mess. A 250 gallon tank full of waste oil also works. They want the land, make them pay for it. Scorched Earth, 200 million Russians can't be wrong. By the way, what useful purpose does a golf course serve? Why not make it a toxic waste dump? It's what you are doing anyway. Ever see some of the crap used to treat the greens at a golf course? I wouldn't walk through one in my bare feet, I'd wind up with bloody stumps. G
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 4:06:49 PM EDT
My town is going bezerk with emminent domain too. They are bulldozing local shops and using the land for national chains who can move in and don't have to pay property taxes for years. One project is bulldozing a wetlands to make parking for a new Wal-Mart. Hopefully DU and the Feds win the battle on that one.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 4:07:24 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SWIRE: They were probably greedy farmers trying to demand 10 times the amount that the land was worth.
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This city is likely lowballing them on their "farm land" which is about to be rezoned for high $$$ commercail use. The cities plan will be buy the farmland dirt cheap. Build the golf course, then sell 1 acre plots bordering the golf course, each for more than they paid for the entire farm.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 4:13:21 PM EDT
Maybe they do not wish to sell.... It's not always about money. Personally I'd make them pay more just because the problems they are causing by finding new land at possibly at a much higher price then what they paid for their current land. I wouldn't agree to a price until the new spot has been found and they cover the purchase price plus the financial costs from the move including the building of a new home and barns if necessary. And until they do that the answer would be NO. As I've said before ED is complete BS. It's legalized theft. A complete disreguard for the owners rights and financial losses that would be incurred by an uprooting.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 4:37:24 PM EDT
Eminent Domain. Bad policy, but perfectly constitutional. See U.S. Const., amend. 5 & 14.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 4:56:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/15/2003 6:35:38 PM EDT by sharky30]
Roundup then spread a ton of salt to prevent grass from growing edit: the other chemicals or oil might get you arrested by the EPA, but I don't think they can arrest you for salt. If so I'm going to make a citizen's arrest against the state of NY for dumping tons of teh crap all over the roads and making a slushy mess that freezes into ice instead of just plowing the snow
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 5:04:48 PM EDT
I like the radium paint idea. A LOT! The family should: Post extremely vivid and very explicit warning signs all around their property, warning that this property will be aggressively defended against any attempt to take it by any means. Go about their daily business...WELL ARMED at all times. As long as they continue their vigilance and armed posture, nothing is likely to happen. No bulldozers will come and no attorney or city flunkie is likely to make a visit. They need to get the word out all over the internet, and before long they'll have help...lots of it. CJ
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 5:11:58 PM EDT
If the town needs revitalized, there must be plenty of available land within it's borders. If this land (in the town)is not available then the town is booming. Some developer is trying to make some big bucks.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 5:15:01 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AR15fan: This city is likely lowballing them on their "farm land" which is about to be rezoned for high $$$ commercail use. The cities plan will be buy the farmland dirt cheap. Build the golf course, then sell 1 acre plots bordering the golf course, each for more than they paid for the entire farm.
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Ding, Ding, Ding!!! Seen it numerous times in this area over the past 6-8 years. It attracts a bunch of nobodies trying to act like a bunch of somebodies. At least here anyway. In some cases your talking about many, many years of a family’s memories and hard work gone in a matter of days. I’d rather be a broke-dick mo-fo living on a nice chunk of land, rather than a well off businessman that can piss on his neighbor’s house standing in his bedroom window. Just my 2¢.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 5:18:55 PM EDT
I'm from this general area and there is no need for a golf course there. The majority of Coatsville is a real shit hole (although there are exceptions)...the farm land outside of the town is all they have. There aer also a ton of courses in this area already. I can almost understand using ED to improve roadways, but to build a golf course is bullshit. I wouldn't be surprised if in the end these folks take up arms to protect their land. Good luck to this family...I'd seriously be considering this option as a last resort if I were them.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 5:20:38 PM EDT
Originally Posted By cmjohnson: The family should: Post extremely vivid and very explicit warning signs all around their property, warning that this property will be aggressively defended against any attempt to take it by any means.
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[img]http://home.nc.rr.com/blueshockey77/no_trespassing2.jpg[/img]
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 5:30:02 PM EDT
I like the roundup and salting idea. Never thought of that one. I always thought of mercury contamination, lead contamination, or seeding with copius amounts of nails, metal, glass, etc. The thought of taking your land totally against your will for a worthless reason such as this is evil. You could also report the sighting of an endangered flea and make the govt do a multi year search and study to see if there is one there. Volunteer your land as a dump site for pig or chicken waste. jd1
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 5:51:46 PM EDT
...or they could simply write a letter to the editor explaining the situation and wrapping it up with a warning: This is our land and we will fight, and if need be, die for it. Next to the right to life, the right to property is the most important a free people have.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 6:56:41 PM EDT
here's another thing about compensation compensating for a house to build a road is easy. just figure the assessed value and a little extra for the hassle. But a farm is worth more than the price of the land, you also have to figure the amount of income the crops or animals bring in every year
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 7:01:52 PM EDT
Lock'n Load!!!!!!! I mean, i thought only my country wa stupid enough to try and take land from farmers... Armed farmers at that, but it happens down there as well? I am sick of farms being co-opted for land developement My prayers are that this family fights, and the bodies of their enemies strike fear into other communist bastards all over North America
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 7:08:07 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SWIRE: They were probably greedy farmers trying to demand 10 times the amount that the land was worth. It's interesting to note that it's usually the farmers that don't need the money that are the biggest pains to deal with. Their land isn't going to be taken without compensation. They just held out too long and had their bluff called and now they are whinning about it. As someone who grew up on a farm it sucks to see another farm turned into a development. But when you border a city, that's what happens.
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Bullshit. I support the [b]restrained[/b] use of Eminent Domain for projects essential to the public good, but a [b]golf course[/b]? Again, I say bullshit. Salting the land doesn't sound like a bad idea. They probably have all the farm machinery necessary to get the job done. Try to grow some Kentucky bluegrass then.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 7:13:24 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SWIRE: They were probably greedy farmers trying to demand 10 times the amount that the land was worth. It's interesting to note that it's usually the farmers that don't need the money that are the biggest pains to deal with. Their land isn't going to be taken without compensation. They just held out too long and had their bluff called and now they are whinning about it. As someone who grew up on a farm it sucks to see another farm turned into a development. But when you border a city, that's what happens.
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It's their property to do with as they legally please. IMO, kicking them off their land to build a golf course is an abuse of ED since it is only being used to duplicate existing RECREATION facilities. If my property was being taken to build a high end recreation center, I'd want a piece of the action too. If it were some Senator's or big political contributors property, you can bet they'd get a 100 year lease.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 7:16:03 PM EDT
The day after they paid me for that land they'd discover it's worth about 4 cents since nothing would grow on the existing soil and all the haz-mat cleanup. All that assuming I didn't decide people needed to die to get it from me. My uncle was the victim of eminent domain about 18 years ago. Shafted him on the price of course (Eminent shaft would be another name for eminent domain)and they have yet to build anything on it. They're still trying to clean it up. Somehow his land got just plain lousy with all kinds of weird dangerous toxic chemicals. Whoda thunk it! The cost to clean it up is so far about triple what they paid for it. Damnded shame. That's what it's going to take for people to start realizing that eminent domain is in practice if not in fact theft. Fair market value my ass. Cpt. Redleg
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 7:37:12 PM EDT
Three letters that mean a lot to my family: TVA. Tennessee Valley Authority. Years and years back, they ED'd (STOLE) a great deal of my family's ancestrally held homelands in Alabama and other places. The TVA was allegedly planning to build a nuclear power plant on the site. They never did, but they DID level and clear thousands of acres including those stolen family farmlands. It grinds our asses to the bone on a daily basis to this day. The part that pisses us all off the most is that they in fact didn't do ANYTHING with the STOLEN lands. It wouldn't have been so bad if they'd actually done something with it. Other lands of ours that they stole are now under Lake Guntersville, thanks to the dam that they put in. You can well imagine what I think of ED! CJ
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 8:15:06 PM EDT
Originally Posted By sharky30: Roundup then spread a ton of salt to prevent grass from growing edit: the other chemicals or oil might get you arrested by the EPA, but I don't think they can arrest you for salt. If so I'm going to make a citizen's arrest against the state of NY for dumping tons of teh crap all over the roads and making a slushy mess that freezes into ice instead of just plowing the snow
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BTW - Even "sand" is classified as a toxic waste. And if they can prove you did the dumping after the court order to vacate was issued then they would likely bill you for all the cleanup (and some of the construction) costs.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 8:43:26 PM EDT
Start buying junked cars. Open your own junkyard. The older and crappier the cars, the better. Before long you've got a really UGLY privacy fence and people will just assume that the ground is seriously contaminated, and interest in the property will drop very rapidly. GOT IT!!! Arrange for someone...ANYONE...to be buried on the property. Designated gravesite. Untouchable. Plant a few people on the property at appropriate spots and the whole place is useless because each home sized parcel is occupied. Where to get them? Simple enough...funerals are expensive, but if you offer FREE burials on the property, (of course you have to deal with some legal requirements), you will get some business. That sounds like a pretty near perfect solution. You even get free fertilizer out of the deal! CJ
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 8:59:37 PM EDT
These revitalization projects are usually a way to do 2 things. 1. Somebody stands to make a lot of money from a revitalization project that is doomed to failure from the outset. 2. The politicians pushing the project are desperate to attract revenue. That means the liberals are in charge and will stop at nothing to look good, pat themselves on the back as they rape the society. What make this property so special? After a number of years you would think they might try and find another suitable place. Something easier.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 9:21:38 PM EDT
Somebody should write a letter to Rush or Savage. I just shot one off to my PA senator about this BS
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 9:37:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/15/2003 9:40:12 PM EDT by The_Macallan]
That's just not right. What's legal and what's constitutional is not always what's [u]right[/u]. [pissed] Damn! Where's a snail-darter or a spotted owl nest when you need one? [;D] They should really try to get the Sierra Club on their side. [size=1]or ELF [/size=1] [peep] [flame]
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 9:59:31 PM EDT
Are 15'ers all farkers as well? Yowsa.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 10:18:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ProfGAB101:
Originally Posted By sharky30: Roundup then spread a ton of salt to prevent grass from growing edit: the other chemicals or oil might get you arrested by the EPA, but I don't think they can arrest you for salt. If so I'm going to make a citizen's arrest against the state of NY for dumping tons of teh crap all over the roads and making a slushy mess that freezes into ice instead of just plowing the snow
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BTW - Even "sand" is classified as a toxic waste. And if they can prove you did the dumping after the court order to vacate was issued then they would likely bill you for all the cleanup (and some of the construction) costs.
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There is no way a private citizen that is not exceptionally wealthy could afford to clean up a toxic land spill. When they declare bankruptcy the cost falls in the lap of the nut grabbers that stole the property. Bankruptcy would be fine by me after someshit like this. Man this makes me hot.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 4:28:08 AM EDT
btt
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 6:56:16 AM EDT
About 2 years ago when this all started, the owner yelled at the council member that is leading the charge " I will kill you , you fat motherfucker". They jailed him for it. That is such bullshit that they can take your land because some fucking politian is going to make millions off of this. They reassessed peoples property , here in Montgomery County Pa , and raised taxes and forced people to sell to the Developers who were greasing the County Commisioners. I love our right to own property!
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