Columbia soccer group may have found new home Organization negotiating for use of Brown farm site

July 19, 1996|By Alex Gordon | Alex Gordon,SUN STAFF

The Soccer Association of Columbia soon may have a new home down on the farm -- the historic Brown farm at Old Frederick Road (Route 99) and Woodstock Road in Woodstock.

SAC President Jim Carlan says his organization is negotiating with the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks to lease enough land for seven full-size soccer fields on the county-owned farmland.

The talks come on the heels of an impasse between SAC and Howard Community College this year over the proposed construction of a seven-field, $1 million complex on the campus. The two sides failed to reach agreement on the length of the lease.

"This gives us seven fields that we concentrate on strictly soccer and not have to have multipurpose fields -- it would be our own home," he said. "The seven fields are exactly what we would have gotten out of HCC."

SAC began negotiations with the parks department over use of the Brown farm after talks with the community college fell through in February.

This month, the parks department sent a sketch plan of the proposal to the county's land conservation program and the state, Carlan said.

The county expects a response on the environmental impact of the plan by July 31, he said.

Carlan said that SAC hopes to break ground on the site this fall and begin play in spring 1998.

Because the farmland is rolling and not flat, Carlan says, SAC will have to move earth on the site -- the only significant work that will be required.

"The site is appealing from a construction perspective because there's not a tree on the property."

SAC would use the new fields for the championship games of its annual Columbia Invitational tournament, played over the Memorial Day weekend.

The 26-year-old organization has about 5,000 players ages 5 to 19.

Pub Date: 7/19/96

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