Bonnie View Country Club considering relocation

January 08, 1997|By Melody Simmons | Melody Simmons,SUN STAFF

Saying they want to ensure a future for Bonnie View Country Club's next generation of golfers, club leaders are exploring a move north into Baltimore County's scenic countryside.

The top choice for the new course is a farm near Dover Road and Knox Avenue, where representatives of Bonnie View have initiated talks with property owners, said Bonnie View President William L. Kirk, a Towson lawyer.

"Most of our kids are moving out and away from where we are," said Kirk. "We believe it's for the future of our club -- for the kids."

But Kirk said any move would have to be approved by the club's membership of 330 families and could take up to three years. A sale of the current 18-hole golf course on 180 acres in the city and county would help finance the new club and an expanded 27-hole course, he added.

The site eyed by the club is just north of Worthington Valley Country Club and the exclusive Caves Valley Golf Club -- and near Hayfields, the golf community proposed on a historic Civil War farm site by the family of developer Nicholas Mangione.

"We're very much in the infancy and exploratory stage," Kirk said. "We have not even talked price yet. We're finding out if they're interested in selling."

The Dover Road site contains restrictive zoning that would require special exceptions for golf course construction, said John C. Bernstein, executive director of Valleys Planning Council, a nonprofit land preservation watchdog group. Such a zoning request -- and a relocation of Bonnie View to Dover Road -- would most likely be opposed by the group.

"The valleys don't need any more golf courses," Bernstein said.

But Kirk said his 22-member board is optimistic about a move to a rural setting -- far from the traffic and congestion of its site on Smith Avenue.

"We want the suburbs, a quiet place where you could shake the cobwebs out of your head," he said. "We don't want to build a retail establishment -- we want a country club. It's not a tremendous overpowering use of the land."

Pub Date: 1/08/97

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