PHOENIXVILLE — With a legal challenge filed, the Phoenixville Area School District’s acquisition of Meadow Brook Golf Course is on hold until a Chester County Judge can review the case.
According to the school district’s executive director of operations, Stan Johnson, Meadow Brook filed preliminary objections against the acquisition Friday. The Chester County Office of the Prothonotary, a “legal custodian” for the county’s court of common pleas, contacted the district Monday to alert them of the objections.
Although the district originally believed it would take control of the property last Sunday, the ownership was actually supposed to transition at the end of the business day Thursday, according to a district spokesperson.
That will have to wait now for the decision from Judge Jacqueline Carroll Cody.
“It’s up to her and her staff to evaluate the objections and if she feels necessary to explore further have a hearing,” Johnson told The Mercury Friday.
Meadow Brook’s supervisor owner, Bruce Campbell, was not available for comment this weekend.
Johnson said the district’s lawyers are now writing up a response to the golf club’s objections.
“(Cody) can rule in district’s favor between now and then,” Johnson said. “Either party can contact the other and engage in conversation in what (the ownership) transition might look like.”
Johnson said the discussions on the transition could include price negotiations.
Meadow Brook stays in its current ownership until an agreement is reached or Cody rules on the objections.
If she rules that the objections do not have a merit, a board of viewers will be appointed to decide what a fair market value is for the Meadow Brook property, which the district will have to pay.
The Phoenixville Area School Board voted 7-2 Nov. 14 to use eminent domain to acquire the property. Citing the club’s past discussions with the district and other entities, the board stated its reluctance to use eminent domain but said the golf course was a willing seller.
Within the community, there has been some outcry to the decision.
Follow Frank Otto on Twitter @fottojourno.