Despite election debate, golf course languishing Numerous hurdles remain for 36-hole Pasadena club before it becomes reality

October 11, 1998|By Laura Sullivan | Laura Sullivan,SUN STAFF

Despite the unexpected appearance of the long-promised, 36-hole Pasadena dream golf course as an issue in this fall's political campaigning, residents probably will be waiting a little longer for work to begin on the course.

Anne Arundel County officials hope the project will be under way by next summer, but they expect that needed grading permits won't be requested until late spring.

Meanwhile, two neighboring developers who have agreed to donate land for the course in exchange for higher density zoning are negotiating over details and have yet to sign on to the subdivision plats, the final indication of commitment to the project.

At a campaign debate last week, several candidates called for completion of the golf course, which has been on and off the books for nearly a decade.

County Executive John G. Gary dismissed those calls, saying the project was a done deal.

Many people are hoping that the debate would breathe new life into the project that has lain dormant for so long.

"It has been time-consuming, and some people have been frustrated," said Tom Domlin, deputy director of recreation and parks. "Frankly, so am I. It's just that these things take time."

The idea of building a public golf course greenway in crowded Pasadena came when 150 acres were purchased on the peninsula during the administration of O. James Lighthizer, who was county executive from 1982 to 1990.

But the project quickly ran into trouble when it was determined that the property, an old horse farm, wasn't big enough for more than a nine-hole course.

Robert R. Neall, Lighthizer's successor as county executive, promised to find a way to get the golf course going. He didn't.

It wasn't until 1995, when Gary, who succeeded Neall in 1994, negotiated the density zoning-for-land deal that things began moving, reaching agreement for enough additional acres to expand the course to 36 holes.

That still left many residents dissatisfied because they had liked Neall's idea of a golf course without adding extra development.

"We've been through a number of county executives," said Andy Mosier, president of the neighboring Chandler Point Community Association. "At this point, people really want to see something happening there, and we've been locked into the golf course for some time. It's at least a low-density use that doesn't take a lot of paving."

To make his plan work, Gary had to agree to the addition of 174 homes off Fort Smallwood Road built by developers Michael T. Rose and Gary Koch.

Rose and Koch are designing homes in two subdivisions to fit around the course and some county school administration buildings in what county planners call the "doughnut hole" of the project. Gary wants the buildings moved.

Pub Date: 10/11/98

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