Residents question Gary about golf course plan


County Executive John G. Gary was grilled last night by residents who live near the proposed Fort Smallwood golf course about how the new housing developments, and where the golf course would be built, would affect the area.

About 180 residents from the nearby Chandler Point, Water Oak Point and Poplar Ridge areas attended the meeting. Some questioned what would happen to Tar Cove Park if the 18-hole golf course was moved across Fort Smallwood Road.

"If we do not get a golf course over there, what are we going to get?" asked Margie Bellman. "Are we going to have any say? We do not need any more ballparks or places over there for teen-agers to hang out and get drunk and do their thing."

Several other residents echoed Ms. Bellman's concerns, adding that they want the 157-acre Tar Cove Park to be included in Mr. Gary's golf course plan.

"We had a bird in the hand," said Andy Mosier, president of the Chandler Point Improvement Association, in an interview before the meeting. "Why should we risk that for some unknown development?"

Mr. Gary announced last month at a Greater Pasadena Council meeting that he wants to develop a 27-hole golf course on donated land from two developers across Fort Smallwood Road from Tar Cove Park, a former horse farm. Under the plan, the developers would be allowed to build approximately 27 additional homes that would not usually be allowed under the zoning.

Mr. Gary told residents last night that the former horse farm can be developed any way that residents want. "This area is in dire need of recreational areas," he said. "But it doesn't have to be the horse farm."

Mr. Gary explained that Legg Mason, the company that was originally chosen to develop Tar Cove Park into a golf course, told the county it was having difficulty attracting investors and therefore proposed that the county pay $250,000 a year to ensure the profitability of the golf course. Mr. Gary rejected that proposal. Soon after that, Mr. Gary began negotiations with developers to acquire the land across Fort Smallwood Road for the golf course.

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