A county zoning official approved yesterday an investment group's plan for a $7 million indoor sports arena on a 59-acre site at Lake Shore Athletic Complex in Pasadena.
Robert C. Wilcox, the county's administrative hearing officer, granted Lake Shore Arena Limited Partnership a special exception to build the complex, which would include an indoor soccer field and two ice skating rinks -- one the size of a National Hockey League rink and the other Olympic-size.
"Obviously, we're very satisfied and pleased with the decision he made," said James Renner, general partner of the Lake Shore Investment Group. "The ultimate winners are going to be the kids."
The investment group will supply the money to build the sports center, which will be operated by the limited partnership.
The special exception is required because the land, at the park between Woods Road and Route 100, is zoned for residential low-density use. It is owned by the county.
The decision drew applause from local soccer league representatives and some community leaders.
"Glad to hear that it's gone through," said Ken Abey, secretary of Pasadena Soccer Club, to which 500 children belong. "We've been pushing for it very hard. This is icing on the cake."
"An arena coming to our neighborhood can only be a benefit," said Nancy Schrum, commissioner of Mountain Road Soccer, which has 750 players. "It is something that is needed in the area."
"It's good news," said County Councilman Thomas W. Redmond, who represents Pasadena. "The benefits far outweigh the negatives, and the more we can keep the youths involved, the better off we are."
Carolyn Roeding, president of the Greater Pasadena Council, said she was still concerned about the number of motorists the complex would attract, despite Renner's assurances that the arena would not be open to major activities by organizations between 4 p.m. and 6: 15 p.m. weekdays.
"This is a business proposition and I wonder if they will be satisfied with those limitations," Roeding said. "Or will they try to get them lifted? There are a lot of questions left up in the air."
Renner said the site plan includes an access road south of the Route 100-Mountain Road interchange and would not connect the ice rinks to the outdoor athletic facility on the site, which has playing fields and basketball courts.
"It is not our objective to create more traffic and create more problems," he said. "Our objective is to create a facility that all children, parents and organizations can enjoy."
In his decision, Wilcox expressed concern about area roads. He agreed that the roads would be adequate if all major activities began after the evening rush hour but reminded the investors that he retained the authority "to impose additional conditions and restrictions."
He also wrote that he granted the special exception because of the public need for the center and the investment group's intention to turn over ownership to the county after it recoups its investment. The investment group is negotiating the terms of the agreement with the county.
Renner said the sports center should benefit parents who often have to drive their children to Myers Soccer Pavilion in Brooklyn or Du Burns Soccer Facility in East Baltimore for games.
The investors still need building and grading permits from the county, Renner said.
Renner said he would like to open the arena by fall.
Pub Date: 1/10/97