Phoenixville school district's eminent domain acquisition delayed

Meadowbrook Golf Course adjacent to the Phoenixville Middle School.
Photo by Kevin Hoffman, The Mercury
Meadowbrook Golf Course adjacent to the Phoenixville Middle School. Photo by Kevin Hoffman, The Mercury

PHOENIXVILLE ó With a legal challenge filed, the Phoenixville Area School Districtís acquisition of Meadow Brook Golf Course is on hold until a Chester County Judge can review the case.

According to the school districtís executive director of operations, Stan Johnson, Meadow Brook filed preliminary objections against the acquisition Friday. The Chester County Office of the Prothonotary, a ďlegal custodianĒ for the countyís 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.


ďItís up to her and her staff to evaluate the objections and if she feels necessary to explore further have a hearing,Ē Johnson told The Mercury Friday.

Meadow Brookís supervisor owner, Bruce Campbell, was not available for comment this weekend.

Johnson said the districtís lawyers are now writing up a response to the golf clubís objections.

ď(Cody) can rule in districtís favor between now and then,Ē Johnson said. ďEither party can contact the other and engage in conversation in what (the ownership) transition might look like.Ē

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 clubís 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.