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Mason Dixon Country Club
taking longer than expected

Brendan Weeks
Special to the Dispatch

(11/3) Construction on the Mason Dixon Country Club development in Freedom Township remains halted. The developers requested a special exceptions permit and a conditional use permit at the beginning of the year and are still in discussion with the township over stipulations.

"It's kind of been on a treadmill lately," said Carroll "Duke" Martin, a project manager for MDCC. "We are still negotiating with the supervisors."

The special exceptions permit was granted for a 150-room hotel, proposed water storage and treatment facility, and wells to be built on the commercial section of the development. Several conditions were attached to the permit and the development company took issue with some of their wording.

"There were a couple of statements in there that we took exception to but it was more in the way that they were worded," said MDCC attorney Timothy Weston. According to Weston, the two parties are pretty much in concurrence at this point.

The biggest setback for the developers has been coming to an agreement with the township on the conditional use permit that would allow a golf course to be built in a mixed-use zone. The permit had 74 conditions attached, 25 of which MDCC appealed. "We've narrowed it down to 5 right now," said Martin.

Although Weston could not comment on the specific details of the appeals, he said the "predominant issues" were "timing issues of when certain improvements would go in" and who would fund them.

Weston believes that the concerns dealing with the permits will be resolved shortly. "We're hopeful to get it wrapped up in this month," said Weston.

Freedom Township supervisor, Sam Brewer, feels that they have come a long way with the project and resolution is drawing near. "They are starting to come together," said Brewer, "It's a matter of agreeing on three or four things that have not been settled. There was 70 something, now we're down to three or four."

"I feel it will be coming around in the near future, but sometimes the near future might be six months or a year from now," said Brewer.

Following the resolution of these issues, MDCC will request another special exceptions permit for a water transmission line from Marsh Creek to the Natural Dam Road treatment center.

Before Phase I construction can begin, a land development plan and state permits must be approved. "It's awhile off," said Weston, "a year to 18 months at the earliest." The size of the development still remains at over 1,160 homes on 867 acres of land.

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