Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2008

Study: Changes would improve Sligo Creek Golf Course

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Studies looking at the environmental, lighting and traffic impacts of plans to renovate the Sligo Creek Golf Course show that with adjustments, the changes, which would add a driving range and miniature golf, would improve the site and increase demand.

Keith Miller, executive director of the Montgomery County Revenue Authority, which runs the county’s golf courses, and the study’s consultants will meet with community members 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. today at the Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center to discuss the results. The center is located at 1000 Forest Glen Road in Silver Spring.

The 84-page report by consultants hired by the Revenue Authority was put together to address residents’ concerns about increased traffic and noise and the effects on nature in the surrounding park. The changes, which would cost about $4.98 million, would also include an expanded clubhouse and would significantly improve revenue, according to the report.

‘‘What the results show is that the concept can be worked with, and that it really can address the community’s concerns,” Miller said. ‘‘Hopefully we can start working together toward a final plan.”

The report said trees would need to be planted to replace those removed during the renovation and engineers would need to come up with a drainage system to control water runoff from Sligo Creek Parkway to meet environmental standards set by the county. Otherwise, the wildlife and overall quality of life surrounding the course would be improved, according to the report.

The effect on traffic would be negligible, according to the report, but it was noted that traffic at the U.S. 29 and Sligo Creek Parkway intersection was already too heavy at peak hours. The firm that would provide the lighting required to illuminate the plan’s driving range has provided two alternatives to minimize the effect on neighbors, according to the report.

The report is available at www.montgomerycountygolf.com. Click on ‘‘MCRA Report on Partnering to Enhance Sligo Creek” to download the studies.