Country club does U-turn on road closing Mays Chapel proposal met opposition from homeowners

Option 'no longer viable'

Ways of slowing traffic, such as speed bumps, to be explored

November 08, 1996|By Ronnie Greene | Ronnie Greene,SUN STAFF

After its suggestion to close a public road through its vaunted RTC golf course upset homeowners and politicians, the Baltimore Country Club made a quick detour.

During a community forum yesterday afternoon, officials of the private club along the rolling hills west of Timonium announced that they had dropped any notion of trying to shut Mays Chapel Road to traffic.

Instead, the club will talk with area residents about looking into speed bumps or other measures to slow traffic.

"The one option that is no longer a viable option is closing the road," club member George Beall told about 70 residents gathered at the Five Farms clubhouse.

His words, which brought a smattering of applause from homeowners, followed a week of resistance to the proposed closing from neighbors and public officials.

The idea was broached in a letter sent to homeowners by F. Pierce Linaweaver, president of the 2,800-member club, which is home to a highly rated golf course. He said there was concern for the safety of members and workers who must cross sections of the road, which is bordered on both sides by fairways and greens of the club's golf course.

The club was host to the 1988 U.S. Women's Open tournament.

Linaweaver also pitched closing the road as an advantage for the neighborhood, saying it would help preserve the area's rural charm and property values.

His letter said: "As the anchor landowner in the area, and understanding that the Club provides an actual demarcation line between the very obvious high and low density housing in and around Mays Chapel, we have been exploring options related to the potential closing of Mays Chapel Road to traffic through the Club property.

"We believe that, while this action might cause some re-routing of your own travel habits, it may result in many benefits to you, including preserving your land values, and increasing security to your homes."

During the club's first community forum Monday, many speakers questioned the need to close the road.

One homeowner calculated that he would face an additional 2.5 miles and six stop signs for every round trip if forced to take another route. Safety concerns also came up over the proposed closing of one of two routes into the community.

Later, County Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger offered no hope of closing the road.

Yesterday, Republican County Councilman T. Bryan McIntire added his voice to the negative chorus. "We're agreed that we're not going to close the county road," said McIntire, who represents the area. "Maybe they could tunnel under it or bridge over it, but there's no way the county road is going to be closed."

Later yesterday afternoon, club officials huddled with homeowners for their second forum. The meeting was generally cordial, as club officials made clear from the start that closing the road no longer topped their agenda.

Beall told the crowd, "To the extent that people were misled by the letter, mea culpa."

Pub Date: 11/08/96

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