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Former Buffalo Valley Golf Course clubhouse may become restaurant

| Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, 12:41 a.m.
Eric Felack | Valley News Dispatch
The clubhouse and pro shop area sit atop the 18th hole of The Phoenix at Buffalo Valley golf course in Freeport.

A father-son team from Fawn wants to purchase the former Phoenix at Buffalo Valley golf club in Freeport and open a restaurant there.

Bruce Meyer and his son Greg Meyer, who owns a business in Freeport, have an option to purchase about 215 acres of the property off of Route 128.

The sale is contingent upon the borough's approval of a zoning change for about 25 acres that surround and include the former clubhouse, Bruce Meyer told council on Monday.

They would like the area rezoned from Suburban Residential to Highway Commercial.

“We just want to be able to use the building,” Bruce Meyer said. “It's a nice piece of property.”

Their first priority would be opening a restaurant inside the former clubhouse.

The Meyers are unsure what type of restaurant they would operate.

It would be at least a year before they open.

They're unsure what they'll do with the rest of the property, which includes the entire golf course.

They do not plan to reopen the course, Greg Meyer told council.

The Phoenix was closed for this golfing season. It operated for about two years.

Bruce Meyer said future development could include businesses, adding that his wife and other children operate companies that could potentially relocate there.

Businesses that are permitted to operate in a highway commercial zone range from animal grooming, appliance repair and sales to a department store, gas station and state liquor store.

Any future development would need to be approved by the borough planning commission and council.

Additionally, any development beyond the former clubhouse would require that public sewerage be brought to the area. The clubhouse has a septic tank, officials said.

Borough council expressed some concern about the rezoning request due to the wide range of businesses permitted in a highway commercial zone.

“That's a pretty significant change for that area,” council vice president John Mazurowski said.

However, council seemed willing to work with the Meyers to encourage development in the borough.

“The guys are pretty responsible and good to deal with,” Mazurowski said. “But they still have to go through the formal process.”

Freeport must hold a public hearing on the rezoning request, which won't be scheduled until late October or early November. The Meyers will present more detailed information on their plans.

“I think it will be good for the community,” Bruce Meyer said. “You need to do something with the building; otherwise, it's just going to sit there.”

Golf course owner Gary Nese would retain about 130 acres near the end of Mill Street that is slated for strip mining. Nese is president of Trilogy Golf Development, which had proposed 150 homes for that area.

Nese previously told Freeport Council that the strip mining was a necessary precursor to development because of multiple subsurface mine voids that need to be filled prior to development.

Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or jweigand@tribweb.com.

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