The developer of a proposed retirement community with more than 2,600 homes in Odenton will not be required to build a golf course.
County administrative hearing officer Douglas Clark-Holiman agreed to amend a special exception for the Two Rivers project, over the objection of nearby residents who insisted that the course be part of the development.
Developer Koch Homes had agreed to build the golf course as part of a special exception allowing the overall project to move forward. It also had covenant agreements with the Forks of the Patuxent Improvement Association calling for the golf course and clubhouse to be built.
But the company said that current economic conditions would not allow the course to be financially viable.
Holiman sided with Koch.
"Sufficient evidence has been presented to show that the project will have difficulty proceeding if the Golf Course and clubhouse are retained as part of the Two Rivers subdivision," Holiman wrote in his decision released Friday.
Holiman also said Two Rivers will not be required to build a gated entrance to the development.
In place of the golf course, developers said they would maintain an agricultural and environmental park.
The Two Rivers project is slated to be for people aged 55 and over, per covenant agreements with FOTPIA. Koch Homes previously sought to have the age restriction lifted, but FOTPIA voted against the proposal.
FOTPIA members testified last month that it was concerned that the removal of a golf course was a precursor to more efforts to lift the age restriction.
In addition to ruling on the golf course plan, Holiman said that any future design changes on the Two Rivers project could be submitted directly to the Office of Planning and Zoning, rather than be subject to an administrative hearing.
FOTPIA had objected to that request as well, on the grounds that it would restrict the ability of the public to weigh in on the project.
The Two Rivers project is under construction, with side reclamation and roadwork having begun this summer.