Developer Donald R. Reuwer Jr. is planning a third golf course community in the county, but he expects this latest project to be much less contentious than Waverly Woods, his planned village in Marriottsville.
The first word of plans for the 426-acre West Friendship Estates surfaced at a county Zoning Board hearing Tuesday. The property isalong Route 32 between Pfefferkorn Road and the Middle Patuxent River.
Reuwer spoke in favor of allowing clustered residential development, which will allow the group of owners he represents to develop nearly 80 one-acre lots. The area is zoned for three-acre lots now.
He also asked the board to rezone eight acres at the corner of Route 32 and Pfefferkorn Road for retail use. He said his group planned to develop a small shopping center and gasoline station on the site.
The project will include a 27-hole daily fee golf course, which will include a golf learning center where children will have three practiceholes. The homes will probably sell in the $400,000 to $600,000 range, Reuwer said.
If the Department of Planning and Zoning plan for the rural conservation district for that area and Reuwer's request for the shopping center are approved, Reuwer said, all the project willneed before development is a special exception for the golf course from the county Board of Appeals.
Bought in 1989, the land consistsof three parcels -- the Ivory Hill and Harliss farms and a parcel already subdivided into three-acre lots called Indian's Gun.
Reuwer said the lots would be subdivided in two to three years and then sold, primarily to small, county-based builders. "I don't want a community where all the houses look the same," he said. Growth-control advocate John W. Taylor said he might like the project.
"It sounds like it may be a nice idea," he said, adding that Reuwer should call a community meeting to describe the project.
"Every new increased-density project that comes down the pike in Howard County recently seems to have a golf course associated with it," Taylor said. "Is this just another one of those?"
He said he would reserve judgment on the project until he found out what sort of assurances were made that the golf course would not be closed and subdivided, as was the old AllviewGolf Course by the Rouse Co.
The project's effects on traffic andground water also should be studied, he said.
Unlike the Waverly project, which has drawn sharp opposition from neighboring homeowners, Reuwer said neighboring residents have favored the concept.
County Councilman Charles C. Feaga, who represents the western county, applauded the idea.
"There's a big demand out there for golf. If it can pay its way . . . I think we should promote golf."
Reuwer's Land Design & Development Inc. put together the Cattail Creek Country Club down Route 32 in Glenwood, which already has 200 member-owners and has less than half of its 40 lots left.