Golfing center proposed for 32-acre Pasadena site Parcel is at Route 100 and Mountain Road

May 22, 1992|By John A. Morris | John A. Morris,Staff Writer

The owners of a Brooklyn Park carwash have proposed a golf driving range and pro shop at Route 100 and Mountain Road in Pasadena.

Richard A. Fine, whose family owns the Ritchie Car Wash, is seeking a special exception to allow a "commercial recreational" facility on 32 acres zoned for low-density residential development.

The facility would include 40 permanent tees, an 18-hole miniature golf course, batting cage and pro shop, county records show. The owners would provide 138 parking spaces, four more than required by county law.

Residents in the small Bell Forest community may oppose the project, said Buck Tucker, a past president of the Bell Forest Homeowners Association. Tucker said he and his neighbors are worried about light and noise from the driving range disturbing their neighborhood, which includes 14 homes.

The residents also fear the golf park could become a nuisance at the heavily traveled intersection of Route 100 and Mountain Road.

"If you were to see Mountain Road at certain times of the day, you would think you were in the largest parking lot in the world," Tucker said. "It's bumper-to- bumper."

Finally, the residents wonder if the county approves a driving range in a residential area, will it later approve other commercial uses, Tucker said.

Under county zoning law, animal hospitals, child-care centers, campgrounds, kennels and heliports are also permitted with a special exception in a "Residential Low Density District."

An administrative hearing officer is scheduled to listen to the request at 10:30 a.m. June 9 in the Arundel Center in Annapolis.

Fine said his father, Morris Fine, purchased the heavily wooded property -- about 30 percent of which would be cleared for construction -- about 20 years ago.

Developer Michael T. Rose had considered using the property as the gateway to a 900-acre subdivision four years ago, but Rose never pursued the project, Fine said. His father then came up with the idea for the driving range, he said.

"He spends his winters in Florida, and a lot of his friends are golfers," Fine said. "They said this area needed a driving range."

A national survey of golf facilities in 1990 also found North County wanting, Fine said. County officials are considering building a golf course on an old horse farm on Fort Smallwood Road.

To protect the Bell Forest residents, the driving range would use lighting that sits only 4 feet off the ground, Fine said.

At least 275 feet of woods would buffer the community from the facility, he said.

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