A Fairfax County Circuit Court judge, charging that the county's Park Authority violated Virginia law when it negotiated the contract for the construction of a nine-hole county golf course, has ordered work stopped and the project rebid.
Judge Johanna L. Fitzpatrick, in a ruling signed earlier this month, said the Park Authority did not comply with the requirements of Virginia's Public Procurement Act when it selected E.H. Glover, Inc., as the builder of the county's new Pinecrest Golf Course.
John F. Herrity, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, said the opinion could force a closer look at how the Park Authority awards bids. "Obviously, we're going to have to review the whole bidding process . . . ," he said. "We've got to tighten up the procedure."
Fairfax County Park Authority Director Joseph Downs said this week he was still trying to "weigh" the meaning of the court-ordered injunction against the Annandale area golf course, which is already 20 percent finished. "Obviously, we want to get about building a park system and this delays that."
At issue is a controversy that began last summer, when Moore Golf, Inc. of Culpepper, which calls itself the world's largest builder of golf courses, was the lower of two bidders for the Pinecrest project.
The Pinecrest course -- Fairfax's fifth public golf course -- was to be built on county land, part of which was once a private golf course. The site of approximately 50 acres is hilly and sparsely wooded and designers planned for a 2,600-yard, 33-par course with a solar-heated clubhouse and indoor driving range, said Mark Lewis, a landscape architect for Mortensen Associates.
Glover had submitted a base bid of $3,076,800, $44,887 more than Moore Golf's bid. But the Park Authority, which had worked previously with Moore, determined that Moore Golf was was a "non-responsible" bidder.
"We did have some contract difficulties and the disputes took so much time and we didn't think the jobs were being done in a timely fashion, or up to the specifications we had set," said James Wild, chairman of the Fairfax County Park Authority Board.
On July 3, the Park Authority voted 5 to 2 to award the Pinecrest contract to Glover. In subsequent negotiations, the Park Authority changed some items asked for in the original contract, according to court papers. A final contract with Glover was signed Oct. 16.
Less than a month later, Moore Golf Inc. and one of its subcontractors, W. Bradley Tyree, Inc. of Falls Church, filed a motion, asking for a preliminary injunction pending a ruling by the court on whether the Park Authority violated the Virginia Public Procurement Act.
Moore and Tyree's lawyers argued that such "radical changes" as those negotiated between the Park Authority and Glover after the original awarding of the contracts necessitated new bids.
Wild said yesterday that his board didn't realize it was violating the law when it adjusted the Glover contract. "We have done this kind of thing before, and there's never been a question," he said. "Nobody ever read the statute that closely."
Wild also said the board met this week in executive session to consider taking legal action to restore the Glover contract. He said the matter is now in the hands of Park Authority lawyers.
The Pinecrest course -- which is situated along Braddock and Elmdale Roads, the Little River Turnpike and Old Columbia Pike -- is scheduled to open in late 1985 or 1986, Downs said.