In June 2017 the Pa Supreme Court ruled in favor of Kardon Park, but there was one sticky detail that the Commonwealth Court needed to fix. There’s a whole backstory to that, but it’s convoluted and confusing. Suffice it to say that the re-visit to Commonwealth Court never happened, and now it’s over once and for all. The final verdict is: THE BOROUGH CANNOT SELL OR LEASE ANY PORTION OF KARDON PARK. Period.
The entire park is protected by the Donated and Dedicated Property Act, the Public Trust Doctrine, and our own Pa Constitution Article I, Section 27 (thank you to Peter Talbot for that).
What will Borough Council do from here, you ask?
Well, so far Borough Council has refused to start mowing the open fields, they’ve refused to remove the bogus “contamination” signs, and it certainly doesn’t look like they’re on board with accepting the Supreme Court’s decision and moving forward with restoring the PUBLIC’s park. Instead, it appears that the Borough is continuing to purposefully neglect the park.
Did you know that the Borough and the developer played a major role in helping Pa Fish & Boat, DEP, and PennDOT…
demolish the dam (in the Brandywine Creek)
that diverted water into the historic mill race,
which was the primary source of water to the ponds?
That’s right. The historic millrace had been operational since before Downingtown was incorporated as a town. Think about it…the family that built it in the early 1700s were British, because America wasn’t founded, yet. Now it’s gone. Destroyed. And now the ponds have no fresh water. Will the ponds fail? Perhaps that’s what the Borough is hoping for.
Was destroying the dam legal? Nope. Not by a long shot. So how could that happen??! Collusion, perhaps? Conspiracy? Fraud? If you knew the details, you’d probably come up with a few other descriptive words. Can the mill race and dam be restored? Sure, but it would probably take another lawsuit. Raise your hand if you’re game! There are other administrative things that need to be done, too (like deleting the “Kardon Park Redevelopment District” from the Borough Code), but don’t hold your breath.
We need a borough council that wants to move forward and serve the citizens by embracing Kardon Park and restoring the park to its prior beauty. It’s probably too much to hope for a council that would restore the water source to the ponds again, but that’s what the people deserve.