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By Dana Hedgpeth and Dana Hedgpeth,SUN STAFF | October 21, 1997
A question about of the future of the Smith Farm appeared over the weekend along Route 175, which bisects the 300-acre tract.Five staggered signs in the median read, "Just ahead 300 acres. Will build to suit. Suit to whom? Friends of Smith Park and Wildlife Sanctuary."Who is responsible for these signs and others like them, which have appeared in the last several weeks, is not known.Since Elizabeth C. "Nancy" Smith, the property's owner, died in February, dozens of politicians, area residents and preservationists have proposed turning her property -- estimated to be worth $7.7 million -- into a park.
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NEWS
April 29, 2007
Environmental focus urged for Blandair Howard County could make a major statement of its commitment to environmental wellness by scrapping its design for a regional park at the Smith farm (Blandair Park), instead designating the site for a nature park and center for environmental education. Wellness is a concept, I believe, that applies to society as well as individuals and challenges us to consider many facets of our lives, including how well we are emotionally, intellectually, socially, spiritually, vocationally, multiculturally, environmentally, as well as physically.
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NEWS
By Erika Niedowski and Erika Niedowski,SUN STAFF | December 17, 1998
Howard County Recreation and Parks officials unveiled last night their annual fiscal wish list, which includes more than $8.2 million over the next three years to convert the 300-acre Smith farm in Columbia into a regional park.Kenneth M. Alban Jr., a Recreation and Parks administrative services officer, told about two dozen residents at a public hearing that the department is requesting $597,000 for design and master plan work and $100,000 for restoration of a tenant house, which will be used as a caretaker's residence, for the Smith farm project.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,SUN STAFF | September 5, 2004
Byron C. Hall Jr. is no quitter. The retired Ohio physics professor and friend to the late Elizabeth C. "Nancy" Smith lost a three-year court battle and multiple other attempts to gain control over her 300-acre Blandair farm in east Columbia. But he hasn't given up his struggle. Far from it. Hall has written a book, To Save Her Dream, about Smith and her decades-long effort to fend off the Rouse Co., Howard County and everyone else Smith felt threatened her beloved home. And he is to speak to the local Sierra Club chapter Sept.
NEWS
By Dan Morse and Dan Morse,SUN STAFF | August 19, 1997
The Columbia Association's governing board has formed j jTC small task force aimed at turning the coveted Smith farm in east Columbia into a large regional park.Made up of Wanda Hurt of Owen Brown village, Cecilia Januszkiewicz of Long Reach village and Alex Hekimian of Oakland Mills village, the task force will try to figure out how to turn the undeveloped tract into a park.The farm of Elizabeth C. "Nancy" Smith -- almost 300 acres in the middle of Columbia along Route 175 -- is worth almost $8 million, according to a recent appraisal.
NEWS
By Del Quentin Wilber and Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF Sun staff writer Dana Hedgpeth contributed to this article | July 2, 1998
Though the chances of winning may be slim, a private foundation has filed a lawsuit to halt the sale of the 300-acre Smith farm, the last swath of rural land in Columbia.The suit, filed Monday in Howard Circuit Court, states that Elizabeth C. "Nancy" Smith, an eccentric who died in 1997, wanted to "preserve her land" forever and had no intention to sell the property to private developers or Howard County.County officials, who have been negotiating with Smith's heirs to buy the farm, have expressed interest in creating an athletic complex there.
NEWS
By Harold Jackson | August 16, 1998
THE NAMES are familiar. You see them whenever you drive around Columbia -- Brunners Run Court, Sewells Orchard Drive, Vollmerhausen Road, Dasher Green Elementary School.These names weren't picked out of thin air, the way some street monikers in Columbia seem to have been. They recognize the farms that were sold to make way for Jim Rouse's planned city.The Vollmerhausen family owned a 140-acre farm on what is now commercial property on Gerwig Lane and Berger Road. Brothers George and Irving Dasher had a 680-acre cattle and grain farm off Oakland Mills Road.
NEWS
By Craig Timberg and Edward Lee and Craig Timberg and Edward Lee,SUN STAFF | February 7, 1998
Gov. Parris N. Glendening has decided to help Howard County officials buy the 300-acre Smith Farm in Columbia, a key development in efforts to turn the coveted property into a park.Glendening plans an announcement when he tours the farm Monday, said a spokeswoman. Howard officials have been seeking $4 million in state aid to match $4 million that County Executive Charles I. Ecker has committed to buying the farm on Route 175.The owners of the property -- relatives of Elizabeth C. "Nancy" Smith, who died a year ago -- could reject an offer of up to $8 million and sell the land to private developers.
NEWS
September 24, 1997
WITH NARY A BLINK, the Ecker administration agreed to spend $7.5 million to prevent AlliedSignal Technical Services Corp., one of Howard County's largest and most prestigious employers, from leaving town. At the same time, county government is torn by whether to shell out millions to preserve the last big farm in central Columbia.The two properties are not related, except that they carry roughly the same price tag and both present uniquely critical opportunities.AlliedSignal is one of the crown jewels in Howard's business portfolio.
NEWS
By Dana Hedgpeth and Dana Hedgpeth,SUN STAFF | October 29, 1997
A Columbia soccer official last night made the first commitment of funds to help buy the $7.7 million Smith Farm in east Columbia.Bob Landolt, who is vice president of the Soccer Association of Columbia, said his group would donate $1 million to help buy the 300-acre farm along Route 175 in exchange for using 30 to 40 acres of the property for much-needed soccer fields.Landolt was among some 60 residents who met with elected and other county officials last night to discuss the future of the undeveloped farmland near the center of Columbia.
NEWS
By Childs Walker and Childs Walker,SUN STAFF | March 25, 2004
Three years of controversy surrounding a 12-acre horse farm on the Broadneck Peninsula ended yesterday when Anne Arundel County officials and the former owner of the farm reached a settlement under which the county will build one, instead of two, ball fields at the property. Former owner Elizabeth Smith Gleaves sued the county to prevent construction of ball fields at the farm. She said county leaders had promised her the property would be used only for equestrian activities when she sold it to them in 1998.
NEWS
By Childs Walker and Childs Walker,SUN STAFF | March 11, 2004
In his latest criticism of a controversial Anne Arundel park project, Comptroller William Donald Schaefer said yesterday that he remains disgusted with the county's decision to build ball fields at a horse farm on the Broadneck Peninsula. Schaefer, who has accused the county of reneging on an agreement with the former owner of the property, said in his opening remarks at a Board of Public Works meeting, "That's why people distrust government." Elizabeth Gleaves, the former owner, has said that when she sold the property - known as the Smith farm - to the county in 1998, she was promised the land would be used only for equestrian activities.
NEWS
By Childs Walker and Childs Walker,SUN STAFF | March 4, 2004
Construction is beginning on ball fields at the former Smith farm on the Broadneck Peninsula despite continuing objections from neighbors and activists who say the land was intended solely for an equestrian center. Work started this week on the $2 million project, which was delayed last month when the state Board of Public Works voted not to give Anne Arundel County $250,000 in bond money for the ball fields. County parks officials said that the loss of that money means the fields will not have lights or underground irrigation, but that they never considered abandoning the project.
NEWS
By Lynn Anderson and Lynn Anderson,SUN STAFF | March 8, 2002
Residents who want to see a farm on the Broadneck Peninsula used only for a public equestrian center suffered a setback yesterday when state lawmakers rejected a bill that supported their cause. Members of the House Commerce and Government Matters Committee voted down legislation co-sponsored by Republican Dels. James E. Rzepkowski of Glen Burnie and Robert C. Baldwin of Crownsville late Wednesday. The vote was unanimous, with one member absent. "It was a bold piece of legislation, but I think what is important is that the residents of the Broadneck community, who felt underrepresented, had an opportunity to bring this travesty to the light of day," Rzepkowski said.
NEWS
By Lynn Anderson and Lynn Anderson,SUN STAFF | March 1, 2002
Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens' land-use policies were challenged yesterday at the General Assembly - for the second year in a row. At a hearing on a bill that would prohibit county governments from buying land for one purpose and then changing their minds, Owens' predecessor joined a group that criticized the way she is handling a land deal on the Broadneck Peninsula. "The government created this problem," said former County Executive John G. Gary, referring to the Owens administration's plans to use part of a 12-acre horse farm for ball fields - although the former owner says she sold it with the understanding that it would be used as an equestrian center.
NEWS
By Dan Morse and Dan Morse,SUN STAFF | June 27, 1997
The Columbia Association's governing body voted last night to send Howard County officials a letter imploring them to acquire the coveted Smith Farm for use as a county park.Also last night, the 10-member Columbia Council briefly debated the costs of a community center planned for River Hill village and discussed whether council Chairman Joe Merke should travel to Cergy-Pontoise, France, at association expense for a conference "sister cities" for planned communities.The council made it clear that it wants Howard County to obtain Smith Farm before builders do."
NEWS
August 21, 1997
NANCY SMITH was not the most cooperative person in the world. Stories abound about her aloofness, once refusing to let even Howard County Executive Chuck Ecker beyond her screen door to talk. A different spirit must be evoked if all the parties involved are to agree on the future of 300 acres of prime real estate Ms. Smith left behind when she died without a will in February.It is clear that Ms. Smith did not want the farmland developed for residences or businesses. She never forgave the state and county governments for taking part of the property to build Route 175. And she once told neighbors that the land would never be developed.
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