Tear down that fence

Casey Anderson writes in a July 9 Gazette letter:

“Why doesn’t County Executive Ike Leggett take steps to remove the fences that allow the country club and its members the exclusive use of this public property free of charge. Alternatively, I would like to see Mr. Leggett start charging the club rent for the use of the right-of-way. The money generated from renting the land could be used to extend the trail to Silver Spring, where we have waited 20 years for it as part of the Purple Line project.”

The public owns a 100′ wide right-of-way
but fences pinch the trail into a 16′ wide cage.

This could be a win situation for the trail and the public. If the fence is taken down, then the trail could be widened for a safer, more pleasant trail. If, alternatively, the Columbia Country Club pays a fair price to use the public land it is now encrouching upon, then the money could be used to maintain and extend the trail.

The trail section through the Club is approx. 1/4 mile long.

We’re talking about approx. 120,000 square feet, or nearly 3 acres, of prime public land that the Country Club is now using for free. Fair market value rent for this land would be more than pocket change for a County that is facing tight budgets for maintaining trails. Has this idea never occured to our County Executive or Council?

Since the Club President can take time to write County Officials to tell them how much he loves the trail, maybe he will take time to write another letter to announce that his Club will start to compensate the public fairly for using the trail right-of-way for golf.


One Response to “Tear down that fence”

  1. Dave Murphy says:

    I get more and more furious every time I see that photo of the fenced-in trail. I fail to realize why the residents of the county are yet to sue Columbia Country Club.