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Dozens of angry Crownsville residents attend hearing to oppose island club

THE BALTIMORE SUN

More than 40 angry Crownsville residents showed up at an Anne Arundel County hearing yesterday to rail against an Annapolis businessman's plan to turn part of a secluded island in Little Round Bay into a private club for weddings and parties.

The residents, and Annapolis Alderman Louise Hammond and Gregory C. Pinkard, a Baltimore businessman whose family owns a third of St. Helena Island, which lies just off the Severn River, voiced their opposition during a three-hour hearing before Stephen M. LeGendre, the county administrative hearing officer.

LeGendre will decide whether to grant a variance needed to operate the club on the 15-acre island.

Keith Osborne, owner of Fantasy Island Management Inc. of Annapolis, wants to establish the Private Club at St. Helena on the 6 acres on the island he bought four years ago for $1.2 million. The island is zoned residential, but a private club would be allowed as long as it was not for profit.

Osborne needs the variance to obtain a county certificate of use to operate as a private club. Last summer, without the certificate, he held eight or nine weddings on his property.

"These events cause a devastating effect on the tranquillity and the privacy of our neighborhoods," said Kathleen Winter of Palisades on the Severn, whose back yard faces the island. "One must take into account that sound travels over water at greater distances. I am sitting on my screened porch, a favorite summer hangout for family and friends, and we are unable to escape the music."

LeGendre has 30 days to decide on the variance. Both sides then have 30 days to appeal the decision.

Pub Date: 2/12/99

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