Golf course community OK sought in Carroll Would include 50 homes near the Howard line

March 20, 1996|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,SUN STAFF

A Woodbine family, who for years ran one of the Carroll County's largest dairies, is seeking county approval for an upscale golf course community with 50 $300,000 homes on 360 acres near the Howard County line.

The Rash brothers, Claude, Edwin and Glenn, who have been trying for 10 years to develop their land just west of Route 97, presented their proposal yesterday to the Carroll County Planning Commission. The family wants to rezone the property from agricultural to residential to allow development at a higher density.

If their plan is approved, it would be the fourth golf course residential community built in Carroll in the last decade.

The brothers' original proposal, to build a golf course community with 100 homes, was turned down in 1991. Since then, the Rashes say they've been trapped in a zoning limbo as the county drafted a land-use study of the southwest Carroll area. Although some elements of the plan have been adopted, the study was shelved last November by the Planning Commission.

"We've been held up since we retired from farming," said Claude Rash, 57, who now holds three part-time jobs. "We haven't been able to retire because this has been all tied up."

The Rash family has been farming in the county since 1928. The three brothers took over the family dairy operation in the 1960s. Toughened environmental regulations led the brothers to close their dairy business and begin crop farming. Economics and other factors, including the inability to move their farm equipment on congested county roads, forced the Rashes to quit farming in the mid-1980s.

Chuck Hollman, the family's attorney, told the Planning Commission yesterday that the brothers' envision a golf course community similar to the Oakmont Green golf course community in Hampstead.

"We think the golf course is an attractive type of project in this area and 50 homes is a number far less than what would ordinarily be contemplated in a project of this nature," Mr. Holman said.

The Rashes have chosen a project engineer and are talking with at least two companies that are interested in owning and operating the golf course, he said. A developer for the residential portion of the project hasn't been selected.

Plans call for a public golf course that would generate between $70,000 and $90,000 in annual revenue for the county from amusement and sales taxes, Mr. Holman said.

The Rashes are seeking a zoning change that would allow them to develop one house an acre. It would not be economically feasible to go forward with the project under the current agricultural zoning, which restricts development to one unit for each 20 acres, Mr. Holman said.

Pub Date: 3/20/96

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