Released: March 3, 2023
During Delaware County Council’s March 1, 2023 public meeting, County Solicitor William Martin announced the successful conclusion of the County’s negotiations with Broomall’s Lake Country Club and Media Borough.
The successful outcome comes after a decades-long issue related to a dispute between the County, the Borough of Media, and the Broomall’s Lake County Club over the appropriate usage of property adjacent to the sensitive Glen Providence Park and the possible rebuilding of a long-condemned dam that had once served as a bridge for vehicular traffic on 3rd Street between Media and Upper Providence.
“This is an issue that has been near and dear to many Media residents for decades,” said Delaware County Councilman Kevin Madden, who has worked on this project during his five years on Council. “As a Media native, it’s tremendously gratifying to finally be ending a 40-year quagmire that protects Glen Providence Park and reconnects these two communities.”
Pursuant to approvals which were granted by County Council in 2022, the County, the Borough of Media and the Country Club have entered into a series of agreements which will result in the County’s purchase of a Conservation Easement over a portion of the Club’s property, resolution of long-standing litigation related to the breaching of a dam which had previously been on the edge of the Club’s property, and extension of an agreement for the County’s utilization of a parking lot owned by the Club.
The negotiated agreement will facilitate the dissolution of the 2011 legal stipulation that required the reconstruction of the dam. Approximately one acre of the woods and wetlands of Glen Providence Park would have been permanently destroyed by the reconstruction of the dam. The agreement includes a conservation easement on the four acres of Broomall’s Lake Country Club’s property that abuts the Park and requires that Broomall’s Run (stream) continue to flow freely into the Park, as environmental best practice dictates. In addition to preserving the land and ending the possible construction of the dam, the agreement also extends the County’s parking arrangement with the Club, which provides overflow parking for jurors and County employees. The new agreement states that Media Borough (with consultation with PennDOT) will have control over the future of a planned bridge on Third Street that will reconnect Media Borough and Upper Providence.
“The County is thrilled that this long-standing litigation has been resolved, and that the County, the Borough of Media, and the Club have reached an agreement after decades,” said Council Vice Chair Elaine Paul Schaefer. “This agreement allows for the continued stability of the Club, preservation of important green space, and for the community to plan, without the cloud of litigation, for the appropriate future of 3rd Street.”
Members of grassroots organizations Keep Media Green and the Friends of Glen Providence Park attended the meeting and expressed their enthusiasm for the long-awaited resolution and commended Council for their efforts.
"Conservationists and park lovers in Media Borough are celebrating the agreement between Delaware County, Media Borough, and Broomall's Lake Country Club that puts to rest a nearly 12-year old plan to reconstruct a high-hazard dam at Third Street in Media,” said Terry Rumsey, Co-Founder of Keep Media Green. Rebuilding the dam would have damaged wetlands, woodlands, and wildlife habitat in Glen Providence Park and posed a perpetual threat to park's stream valley. Delaware County Council deserves an enormous amount of credit for taking decisive action to protect our County park, as well as grassroots advocates from Friends of Glen Providence Park and Keep Media Green who persevered for more than a decade. They are truly the green heroes of our community!”
Marc Manfre, Director of Delaware County’s Department of Parks and Recreation was also commended for his efforts leading to the agreement.
The dam, built in 1883 to create a small lake for local residents to harvest ice for produce, later became the centerpiece for The Media Swimming and Rowing Club (created in 1919 and re-named the Broomall’s Lake Country Club in 1967), was declared unsafe by the US Army Corps of Engineers in 1980 and closed to traffic in 1996 by the Borough of Media.
Over the years that followed, a number of actions taken by Media Borough, the County, Broomall’s Lake County Club, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and several local civic organizations resulted in an impasse that affected the viability of the club, the sustainability of Glen Providence Park, and threatened to absorb millions of taxpayer dollars in litigation and contested actions.