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Chester County Press

New Garden to pull plug on farm purchase, if no action by May 15

04/18/2017 01:26PM ● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
Staff Writer

By a vote of 4-1, the New Garden Township Board of Supervisors agreed at its April 17 meeting that if there is no progress made in the on-going negotiations to purchase the 178-ace Green Valley Farm in the township by its next meeting on May 15, the township will pull out of the deal. 
On Feb. 23, 2015, the New Garden Township Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to enter into negotiations to purchase the property for $2.3 million, for the purpose of placing a conservation easement on it. The property, eight contiguous parcels, is located north of Route 41 and is bordered by Penn Green Road on its western edge, Old Baltimore Pike on its northern border, and the area behind the commercial and residential development along Newark Road, on its eastern edge.
The acreage is currently owned in part by former New Garden Township supervisor Warren Reynolds and his brother John, who is incapacitated and incapable of managing his own affairs.
For the past two years, the negotiations have been a hodgepodge of delays, likely exacerbated by John's condition – which has forced the negotiations into the Orphan's Court in Philadelphia, a division of the Philadelphia Judicial System which serves to protect the personal and property rights of all persons and entities who are otherwise incapable of managing their own affairs.
“We discussed this and we're ready to pull the chord because we're getting messed around with on them agreeing to get everything ready for Orphan's Court,” said board chairman Pat Little, who put forth the motion. “This was supposed to have happened 18 months ago, and they have promised that it would be done by March (of last year), and here we are a year later and nothing's happened. We're ready to withdraw our offer, if they don't get it to Orphan's Court by May 15.”
At the board's meeting on Feb. 16, 2016, township Solicitor Vince Pompo said that Tom Johnson and George Elser, attorneys for the Reynolds family -- the owners of the property -- said that the negotiations between family members was expected to be finalized by early April 2016.
This projected finish date to the agreement contradicted what Johnson told the supervisors on Jan. 19, 2016, when he said that a final agreement between family members would be completed by the end of February 2016, and that anticipated final negotiations would begin in March 2016.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail [email protected]

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