Foreclosure Continues Decline of Maryland Golf Course

Foreclosure Continues Decline of Maryland Golf Course

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UPPER MARLBOROUGH, Maryland—Villages of Marlborough (VOM) residents were informed that Marlborough Country Club was foreclosed on last week in a continuing and frustrating saga.

At a February meeting with community residents, Hercules Pitts, the owner of Marlborough and Lake Arbor Gold Course, said a group of investors would help keep the golf courses in his possession.That evening Pitts said he would have a clear plan for both courses by June. However, that clearly wasn't the case in this situation.

In a letter sent to Prince George’s County Councilwoman Leslie Johnson, D.-Dist. 6, VOM homeowner association member Robert Bowers expressed his frustration. “As you know we were informed at the Villages of Marlborough Annual Meeting that the Marlboro Golf Course has been foreclosed on. Mr. Pitts is no longer the owner,” Bowers said. “It was my hope that he would pull it out but on some level I knew it was a long shot. So, now all the fears we had about the future deterioration of the course and the possible development of the land is back on the table.”

Several state and county officials reached out to Pitts to prevent the course from going into foreclosure. Sen. Douglas J.J. Peters, D.-Dist. 23, said an agreement similar to the one keeping Rosecroft Raceway open could have worked until a more viable solution was found. Howevr, Pitts wasn’t willing to reach out, Peters said.

“We really can’t do anything until or if he wants to sell or enter into some kind of public-private partnership so that we can be a partner in the continuation of the Lake Arbor and Marlborough Golf Course,” said Peters at the February meeting. “We’re ready to go, but we don’t own the property.”

Bowers, admittedly, had been a supporter of Pitts in the past, but knew things could go south quickly. Many of the other residents in his community were not as amiable towards Pitts as they watched the condition of the course deteriorate causing their home values to do the same.

“If my property becomes unsightly in the community then the people in that community have a right to go to the government and say, ‘Let’s do something about it.’ Mr. Morris either has to fix up that property or he has to sell it,’” Donald Morris, a resident who lives near the course said. “The golf course is basically a crack house right now.”

Now attention turns to what will happen to the course. Residents feared Pitts always had the intention to develop on the grounds. The land, now in the bank’s possession, is zoned for development.

“If we don't want homes, townhouses, single family homes, condos or apartment buildings built on what is now golf course land and the overcrowding that comes with it, we need to start working now with our Councilwoman to rezone those grounds as open space,” Bowers said.