The Crofton Civic Association wants to take owners of Crofton Country Club to court, to stop them from building chain-link fences where golf course greens and fairways abut public roads.
In a unanimous vote at a closed-door meeting Monday night, civic association members decided legal action may be the only way to stop the club from going ahead with its plans.
"We decided to give it to the attorney for whatever action is necessary to keep the fences from being erected," said board president Ed Dosek. "We're not happy with the fact that we couldn't settle this thing, but a chain-link fence is not compatible with the community."
Crofton's lawyer, Frederick Sussman, said yesterday that he plans to file a lawsuit within the next few days seeking an injunction halting the Crofton Country Club from building the fences.
The club wants to build five pairs of 6-foot-high fences around the course to prevent vandalism.
The course, surrounded by the circular Crofton Parkway, is intermixed with communities and public roads. Fences would be built where greens or fairways abut roads.
Two pairs of fences would be located on Eton Way, and one each on Crofton Parkway, SpringGreene Avenue and Swinburne Avenue. Each location would have two fences, one on each side of the road. Their lengths would vary from 263 to 495 feet.
"The Crofton golf course has traditionally been subject to vandalism," said Anthony Christhilf, a lawyer representing the club. "It intertwines with the community. It is so open and vulnerable."
Dosek said board members have been told the country club plansto proceed with building the fences, despite not having approval from the community's Architectural Review Board.
Sussman said the civic association and the country club have a signed agreement saying the Architectural Review Committee must sign off on plans for fences.
"It is our contention that the required approval has not been obtained," Sussman said.
But Christhilf said the review committee has given its approval. He said plans were submitted, deemed incomplete, resubmitted and given conditional approval.
He said the conditions were that the fences have a vinyl covering and be screened with bushes and hedges.
"We contend that is the definitive approval," Christhilf said. "What has happened since is the (civic association) board has intervened. They do not accept the recommendation of the committee."
Members of the review committee could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Christhilf said he did not know when construction isto begin. The country club's owner, Bill Berkshire, is on vacation and was unavailable for comment.
"Mr. Berkshire has no desire to antagonize the community," Christhilf said. "He has indicated his willingness to work with the community."
Both Sussman and Dosek said they hope to continue negotiations -- which already have lasted nine months -- with Berkshire, despite the legal action.
"We are very sympathetic with the country club's desire to take whatever steps are necessary to reduce vandalism," Dosek said. "We have made repeated offers to increase our police surveillance, which has yet to be accepted."