Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Leopold Stands Fast on Gambrills Site

While we wait anxiously for Executive-Elect John Leopold to round out the appointments to his cabinet, we can speculate as to where he's going to take the County over the next four years. One place he apparently isn't going to take the County is in the direction of putting a horse stadium at the Naval Academy's organic farm in Gambrills.

I think this is the right decision. As I have said repeatedly here in the past, I think it's an exceedingly bad idea to pave the largest organic farm in the County (and perhaps the largest in the state). I think it's an even worse idea for the State to subsidize it. Though Governor-Elect O'Malley apparently supports the stadium, Leopold's opposition, combined with the opposition of Councilman-Elect, Jamie Benoit, who represents the Gambrills area, should be sufficient to keep the site protected.

Leopold is open to supporting a horse park elsewhere in the County, which seems like a wise compromise (though I still question the burning desire of the Stadium Authority to spend millions of taxpayer dollars for a horse park in Anne Arundel when there is a perfectly good facility in Upper Marlboro). Possible locations? How about some of the recreational space at the closed Crownsville hospital, with the opportunity for low impact trails in the wooded areas? How about Davidsonville, which is already home to many of the equestrian operations in the County?

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