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The campaign to block a new tract of development on the University of Maryland golf course has gained a prominent new ally: Maryland Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Doug Gansler.
Four months ago, real estate megadeveloper Brian Gibbons sent a letter to University of Maryland President Wallace Loh. Gibbons proposed carving 50 acres from the University's 150 acre golf course and building an upscale shopping center, faculty housing, as well as a new entrance and roadway to the school on that land.
That plan has been attacked by alumni, students, environmentalists and local politicians.
"Reckless and ill-conceived developments concepts must be stopped and must be stopped now," says Norm Starsky, who heads the group called Save UMD Golf Course.
It's garnered support from the city of College Park and pretty much all of Prince George's County Council members and the county's state delegates. The group says the new scheme would conflict with redevelopment plans already underway on the east side of the campus along US 1.
"You're literally taking a paradise and putting up a highway," says Gansler.
On Tuesday, Gansler lent his support to those standing against the plan.
"What we ought to be doing is modeling Route 1 after Chapel Hill, Ann Arbor and some of the other great state universities around the country and having a beautiful gateway into the school from the Beltway on Route 1, which already exists," Gansler says.
President Loh has not said if and when he will make a decision or recommendation on the proposal.