A North Shore resident for 23 years, Dee Feehley gazed out her living room's glass door at Park Creek, one of several waterways off the Magothy River that nearly surround the peninsular neighborhood.
"Everyone should have such a window onto the water," said Feehley, whose husband, Jack, built the house. "I already envy the people who will live here after us."
Waterfront vistas are one of the main reasons people choose North Shore -- one of a number of Pasadena communities along the meandering shoreline of the Magothy and its tributaries.
Privacy is another, what with homes there and in neighboring Eagle Hill located at least two miles south of busy Mountain Road -- and reached by what seems a relaxing drive through the woods along two-lane North Shore Road.
A visitor spotted two deer crossing winding, tree-lined Valley Road during an afternoon tour of the neighborhood.
"It's a hidden gem, and we cherish that," said Sarah Ann Parsons, a resident and real estate agent with Prudential Carruthers. "A lot of people who were raised here are now raising their families here."
One example is the Nash family, which moved to North Shore in 1955 and now has four generations living in the community.
"I grew up here, got married, moved away for one year and came back," said Glenn Nash, 51.
"We like that it's off the beaten track."
Of the 178 homes in North Shore, six are up for sale, said Charlene Wroten, a real estate agent with Castle Harbor Realty Inc.
Those homes are listed from $157,000 to $549,000. "Prices jump all around because waterfront homes cost big dollars, while the ones without views cost less," Wroten said. "It's a prestigious neighborhood, and turnover is very low."
A $3 million home?
Most homes are valued at $150,000 to $1 million, though real estate agents estimate that one home off Broad Creek and overlooking the Magothy River is worth as much as $3 million.
The most pressing issue today for North Shore and nearby neighborhoods is traffic congestion on Mountain Road, which ends about three miles eastward at the causeway to exclusive Gibson Island.
For many of the estimated 27,000 drivers who use Mountain Road daily, it is the only way in or out of Pasadena.
"It's been a big to-do and, right now, we're sort of in limbo on what the right answer is," said Parsons, who represents North Shore on the Greater Pasadena Council of neighborhood associations.
Building a $12 million bypass linking Mountain Road and Magothy Bridge Road or spending $7 million to widen Mountain Road between Route 100 and Lake Shore Drive are among the solutions being debated by state and county officials.
North Shore's history dates to 1932, when Charles Koch and Gilbert Wehr bought 170 acres to build vacation homes for their families.
They hired the Roland Park Co. to develop the land.
The North Shore Community Association was incorporated in 1947 with 40 members.
By the 1950s, North Shore had evolved into more of a year-round residence than a neighborhood of summer homes.
The order of things
The beach was built around 1958, followed by the tennis court, a boardwalk and bulkhead. Kenneth R. Nash Memorial Park was established in 1969 -- named after Glenn Nash's father, who founded a social group for the neighborhood's kids called the Junior Council. Kenneth Nash died in 1973.
Most of the homes were built by Koch Associates, whose current president is the grandson of founder Charles Koch. Both the grandson, Gary Koch, and his father, Ross Koch, live in North Shore.
"We love all the benefits of living on the water," Ross Koch said.
North Shore hosts several annual events, including a dance, Easter egg hunt, Fourth of July parade, crab feast, and Christmas tree lighting.
"A community like this," Parsons said, "gives you that small-town feel."
Population: 178 households
Commute to Baltimore: 35-40 minutes
Commute to Washington: 50-60 minutes
Public schools: Bodkin Elementary, Chesapeake Bay Middle, Chesapeake High
Shopping: Lake Shore Plaza, Marley Station Mall
ZIP code: 21122
Average sales price of single-family home: $335,700*
Based on 5 sales through Mid-Atlantic Real Estate Information Technologies' multiple listing service during the past 12 months.
Pub Date: 11/10/96