Update on Rezoning Proposal
Borough Council negotiating with BLCC - Keep Media Green still supports MERC
We attended Media Borough Council Workshop meeting last night (Thursday, February 1st) and asked Borough Council to provide updates on two related matters of concern to the residents of Western media, open space advocates from throughout the town, and Keep Media Green.
1. Since Council met on September 26, 2017 and approved a resolution to rezone the 12-acre wooded tract of land on which Broomall’s Lake Country Club is situated on from Residential (R-2 and R-3) to Municipal, Educational, Recreational, and Community (MERC), what steps have been taken to move the rezoning process forward?*
*Two smaller properties located at 5th and Broomall and Manchester and Baltimore Avenue were also included in the resolution and were targeted to be rezoned as MERC.
2. On December 7, 2017, the attorney for Broomall’s Lake Country Club submitted a plan to build 16 housing units to the Media Zoning Hearing Board and requested a special exception from the Borough’s Steep Slope Disturbance Ordinance. A hearing on the building plan was scheduled before the Zoning Hearing Board for January 25th but was then cancelled. What is the status of the plan to build and request for exemption from the environmental protection ordinance?
Brian Hall, Borough Council President, reported that a contingent from Media Borough Council had met with representatives of Broomall’s Lake Country Club recently to explore potential “creative solutions” that address the Club’s concerns while preserving the tract as open space. President Hall also stated that the two sides had agreed to hold more talks in the future. President Hall assured us that the Borough has made no commitment to abandon the MERC rezoning plan. Robert Scott, the Borough Solicitor, affirmed that the tract is currently zoned MERC under the Pennsylvania Pending Ordinance Doctrine.
Solicitor Scott responded to the question about the status of the Club’s plan to build and their request for an environmental protection exception. The Club had requested a one-month extension from the Zoning Hearing Board in January and then the Borough requested a further postponement, which the Club has agreed to verbally, but not yet in writing. Mr. Scott said there “will not be a hearing at the February Zoning Hearing Board meeting” and the extension could “extend past March, or even April.”
As the Co-Coordinators of the Keep Media Green campaign, we understand and support the Council’s decision to sit down with the representatives of Broomall’s Lake Country Club. It’s always prudent to listen to concerns, dialogue, and seek “creative solutions.”
However, Keep Media Green continues to support Council’s current plan to rezone the 12-acre tract from Residential (R-2 and R-3) to MERC, to oppose any plan to build housing or borrow funds based on a plan to build housing on the Broomall’s tract, and to reject any special exception from the Borough’s Steep Slope Disturbance ordinance, which is a critical environmental protection measure.
Terry Rumsey and Robin Lasersohn, Co-Coordinators of Keep Media Green