- Terry Rumsey
BLCC Chooses Litigation Over Negotiation
Club files lawsuit against the Borough over rezoning proposal
At the May 18, 2018 Borough Council meeting, Council President Brian Hall confirmed that Broomall’s Lake Country Club (BLCC) had filed a legal complaint against Media Borough, all the individual members of Borough Council, and Mayor Bob McMahon. BLCC filed a lawsuit in federal Court in response to the Council’s consideration of an ordinance to preserve 12 acres of open, green space by rezoning the BLCC property from Residential (R-2, R-3) to MERC (Municipal, Educational, Recreational, and Community).
President Hall stated that he was not at liberty to discuss the details of the legal case, although he did express his opinion that BLCC’s complaint “was without merit.”
President Hall also shared that he was “surprised and disappointed” by the legal attack since representatives from Media Borough Council and representatives of BLCC had been engaged in negotiations on how to ensure the preservation of the open space while simultaneously ensuring the financial stability of the Club.
Hall explained that the Borough had offered to “make a financial payment” to BLCC in exchange for preserving the open space (AKA conservation easement purchase) and that the Borough was preparing to assess the value of the property to determine the payment offer when they found about the lawsuit.
The Club’s filing of stealth legal complaint while good-faith negotiations were in process is an astonishing breach of trust. The community deserves an explanation from BLCC leaders.
A member of BLCC spoke at the Council meeting last night to share that the Club’s members had never been informed of the decision to file the legal complaint and that she believed the litigation was NOT in the interests of dues-paying members of BLCC.
A review of the legal complaint reveals that the Club has accused the Borough of considering rezoning the 12 acres of green space from Residential to MERC as “retaliation” for previous BLCC litigation against the Borough, which they contend is a violation of their First Amendment rights.
BLCC’s plan to construct 16 housing units, which would destroy one of the last tracts of significant open space left in Media Borough, is reason enough for Media Borough Council to consider rezoning the 12 acres from Residential to MERC. The overwhelming majority of Media residents support preservation of open space and oppose any more high-density development in our town.
The supporters of Keep Media Green intend to practice OUR First Amendment Rights to advocate for the MERC rezoning and to protect the remaining green space in Media.