Because of an editing error, an article in yesterday's early editions incorrectly reported the price of land purchased by Anne Arundel County for a park. The 340-acre parcel at Beverly-Triton Beach cost $3.25 million.
Anne Arundel County agreed to pay $3.25 million today for Beverly-Triton Beach, a 340-acre parcel once considered for a 2,000-unit residential development. It will be used as a county park.
The property, which lies at the tip of the Mayo Peninsula south of Annapolis, has been held for three years by Chase-Manhattan Bank, which took it over when the owner defaulted.
Beverly-Triton Beach was described by county officials yesterday as the most beautiful stretch of shoreline on the western side of the Chesapeake Bay and one of few bayfront properties left undeveloped.
That is largely due to the refusal of former County Executive Robert A. Pascal to approve sewage lines to the beaches. Chesapeake Bay Village Inc., a firm that wanted to build a marina and residences on the land, sued Pascal and the county for $115 million, charging that the sewerage was unfairly withheld, but it lost last year.
The park will be bought with $850,000 from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, $1.5 million from the state, and the rest from county funds, subject to approval by the County Council.
The county has now doubled the amount of waterfront property it owns to six miles, part of an aggressive waterfront acquisition program of County Executive James Lighthizer. His administration is trying to provide increased public access to some of this county's 430 miles of shoreline, most of which is private.
Only three of the county's 84 parks have direct access to the bay. Beverly-Triton would be the first to permit swimming.
"I've made a concerted effort to buy as much waterfront land as possible," Lighthizer said. "It's just a beautiful piece of land. It will make a great recreational facility."
Residents of the nearby residential, resort and farming community, who have opposed development of the tract, said they were elated by the purchase.
"I just think it's just absolutely wonderful that he could pull it off," said Edna Schmitt, president of the Mayo Civic Association. "I am just so pleased that it's a reality."
Joseph McCann, county director of recreation and parks, said he will now work with community representatives to devise a master plan for Beverly-Triton and South River Farms, a 175-acre tract lying along the South River the county has also purchased. Both are expected to be "passive-use" parks with hiking trails and picnic areas rather than playing fields and tennis courts, he said.
McCann, who headed negotiations for the county on the park's purchase, said he had also considered a recommendation made by some residents to make the park, which has expansive sandy beaches, a national monument to the Chesapeake Bay.