Eminent Domain in Chesco will displace people, pets and jobs

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SaveArdmoreCoalition's picture
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Shame, shame, shame. Who'll help these people? And the homesless pets about to be homeless AGAIN? Apparently, not their local township. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and East Whiteland Township should be ashamed of themselves. But are they? Apparently NOT:

Woman copes with losing property to turnpike group
JOHN ROSSOMANDO, Staff Writer www.dailylocal.com 03/20/2006

Excerpt:
"EAST WHITELAND -- When Dolores "D" Solitario and her late husband first purchased their early 19th-century farmhouse in the 1950s, it was a hollowed-out shell where the floors were missing and an outhouse was the only form of sanitation.

The Solitarios spent the next several years restoring the house and their 1700-vintage barn into livable and workable condition, founding a boarding kennel in 1968 that remained in operation until last September.

But all her dreams and everything she has spent her life building for the past 50 years is about to literally be bulldozed away.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has decided to condemn the house and barn where her daughter Deb Bevilaqua operates her hair salon and where Solitario now provides space for Main Line Animal Rescue’s animals.

Solitario, 73, said she had tried to get her home listed as historic under state rules, which could have prevented the turnpike commission from condemning her home. However, the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission that oversees historical preservations statewide ruled that too many changes had been made to the property for it to qualify.

She and her daughter were supposed to have left the home this past Wednesday; however, Solitario’s inability to find another place to live where she would be permitted to operate both a kennel and a beauty shop and a boarding kennel on the same premises has delayed the inevitable.

"Other townships’ (zoning ordinances) are different, and they won’t allow me to have the boarding kennel," Solitario said Thursday as she sat in her rustic kitchen. "If I go out toward Downingtown or out toward Kennett Square or around that area in any of those other townships, I can, but that’s too far away."

She said her daughter’s clients generally are older and would not be willing to travel further than her Malvern home.

Rumors that the slip ramp was coming through flew around in 1999, but after they failed to materialize, Solitario invested large sums of money into renovating her home and barn.

She said now the slip ramp definitely will happen this time because Atwater, a company located across the street from her Yellow Springs Road home, has given several acres of land to the turnpike commission for the ramp.

"I was born and raised in this homestead, and it has really disrupted our finances," Bevilaqua said. "I can understand eminent domain, although I don’t want to, but the real issue is that they don’t want to give us what our land is worth."

...."There are two businesses here -- we are not just losing our homes," she said.

One of Solitario’s neighbors/clients voiced her support and disbelief with the turnpike commission on Thursday.

"They are not being respectful of their needs, and this is not fair after 50 years, for it all to be bulldozed," said JoAnne DiFillipo, a neighbor on the other side of the turnpike whose land is also being seized by the state, as she entered Bevilaqua’s beauty parlor.

DiFillipo also said she was concerned about what will happen with the animals housed in Solitario’s barn once the turnpike commission executes its decision to seize the land, because Main Line Animal Rescue will have to find a new place for its animals.

Solitario and her daughter are especially frustrated with the township because it has not made efforts to help them with the turnpike commission."

full text: http://www.dailylocal.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=16336635&BRD=1671&PAG=461&dept_id=17782&rfi=6

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