State board OKs purchase of land near Blackwater

April 19, 2007

The state Board of Public Works agreed yesterday to spend $10.3 million to purchase 728 acres near the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge to preserve forests and farmland that had been threatened by a proposed golf resort.

With Comptroller Peter Franchot absent, Gov. Martin O'Malley and state Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp approved the deal, ending a battle of more than year between developer Duane Zentgraf and environmental groups.

The decision means that Zentgraf can build 675 homes for senior citizens on 328 acres along Egypt Road. But that's less than a quarter the 3,200 homes he had originally proposed on 1,072 acres along the Little Blackwater River.

"This is a very good day for not only the Little Blackwater River, but also the Chesapeake Bay," O'Malley said.

Tom Pelton

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