Developer, community dig up an unusual plan to share quarry profits Gould and Ridgelys Run may close deal by Monday

November 17, 1995|By Ivan Penn | Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF

The president of a Jessup community association says he is ready to sign an agreement to support plans for a quarry in his neighborhood -- an unusual pact, filled with promises from developer Kingdon Gould Jr. to residents near the proposed quarry site.

Gary Prestianni, president of the Ridgelys Run Community Association, met this week with Mr. Gould and his attorney and hopes to sign a revised agreement by Monday -- the day before Mr. Gould goes before the Howard County Planning Board for permission to dig the quarry.

"Kingdon was very easy to get along with," said Mr. Prestianni, who had resisted signing the agreement because of differences over the wording of some sections. "He was willing to work with us any way possible."

Mr. Gould wants to quarry crystalline rock, which is most often used for road construction, on his "Chase Property" -- a 600-acre wooded site east of Interstate 95, west of U.S. 1 and south of Route 175. If all the regulatory hurdles are cleared, mining could begin in two to three years.

By winning the community's support before entering the county's zoning and permit process, Mr. Gould is more likely to gain approval for the project.

Toward that end, he has spent 3 1/2 years negotiating a deal with Jessup's residents that would include a 5,000-square-foot community center and parkland with a lake. The community association also would receive 5 cents a ton of whatever is mined at the site, with a minimum of $50,000 a year.

Until this week, Mr. Prestianni had refused to sign the agreement, despite a vote by the Ridgelys Run Community Association in June to support the quarry.

Mr. Prestianni objected because he said, for example, that the original agreement was not clear when monetary compensation to the community would begin.

He wanted it to start as soon as digging began. He also said the original agreement did not specify the size of the community center.

Those differences were ironed out at Monday's meeting of Mr. Gould and his lawyer with Mr. Prestianni and other members of the Ridgelys Run Board of Directors.

Mr. Prestianni's decision to sign the revised agreement was welcomed by Mr. Gould's attorney, Richard Talkin.

Mr. Gould "is very interested in doing the right thing for the county," the lawyer said.

The quarry is expected to bring millions of dollars to Mr. Gould, a North Laurel resident and former U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands, who is a Washington parking magnate and


About seven years ago, the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) advised Mr. Gould that crystalline rock had been identified on the Chase Property. DNR officials said the site might be one of the last in the state where the diabase rock -- known as Baltimore Gabbro -- could be found. They asked Mr. Gould to consider mining it.

Officials said that the rock is important to the construction industry and that such minerals help the economic well-being of the state.

The permit process that begins next week could take two to three years at the local, state and federal levels.

"This is only the beginning of the process," Mr. Talkin said. "It really does demonstrate how business can get into a community and make something work for both of them."

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