Builder may back sports facility on B&A Trail


November 05, 1992|By Lorraine Mirabella | Lorraine Mirabella,Staff Writer

A Glen Burnie businessman said this week the developer of an upscale condominium project may help him make his dream of a sports complex on the Baltimore & Annapolis Trail become a reality.

Robert G. Rodriguez, owner of Home World remodeling on Crain Highway, said F.J.S. Management Co. -- which manages Cromwell Fountain in Glen Burnie -- has expressed interest in developing the site as a combination health spa, cafe and bicycle shop.

James Scott, Jr., vice president of F.J.S., did not return repeated telephone calls yesterday. An employee answering phones said only that the "firm has looked at the project and met with the owner of the land."

Administrative Hearing Officer Robert C. Wilcox granted Mr. Rodriguez a special exception several months ago for the project, planned for a 2.5-acre wooded lot across from the intersection of Ritchie Highway and Route 10.

Mr. Rodriguez said Mr. Scott is conducting feasibility studies and considering signing an agreement to lease the property. Mr. Rodriguez is sole owner.

He said he approached Mr. Scott because he believed the developer's company is financially sound and would do quality work.

Mr. Rodriguez envisions a "destination for hikers and bikers" traveling the 14-mile trail between Glen Burnie and Arnold. The trail would wind behind the complex, which would front on Ritchie Highway for 456 feet.

He plans a 20,000-square-foot building with skylights that would include a Nautilus health spa, an outdoor cafe leading to the trail and a shop for bicycle rentals and repairs and roller blade rentals.

The cafe would sell pizza, ice cream and soda but no alcohol, he said. It would have restrooms and telephone.

"Besides public restrooms, there's nothing like this type of complex anywhere on the trail," he said. "There are not adequate facilities."

The county's Office of Planning and Zoning and Department of Recreation and Parks agreed with him, backing the project at a public hearing last summer. At that time, no neighbors opposed it.

In his opinion granting the special exception late last summer, Mr. Wilcox wrote, "Evidently, the addition of a bike shop and small cafe would be welcomed along this portion of the B&A Trail because of the lack of any refreshment facilities at the present time."

Mr. Wilcox said the B&A Sportsplex should not generate excessive light or noise because all activity will be located indoors, with the exception of the patio.

The Department of Recreation and Parks opened the trail two years ago on the old railroad bed of the Baltimore and Annapolis Short Line.

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