County planners see the real estate slowdown as an opportunity to play catch-up on growth controls, but there are clouds in this silver lining. Consider the tense drama being played out between Anne Arundel County and Warren E. Halle, the developer of major residential and commercial projects in Odenton.
On Monday night, impervious to Mr. Halle's threats and heavy-handed lobbying, the county council unanimously voted in a raft of development controls for Odenton town center, the last slice of the county not subject to some growth management mechanism.
Now Mr. Halle says he won't provide $14 million for road upgrades, won't donate land for a train station and may well abandon plans for a residential/commercial project on a 218-acre parcel at the junction of Routes 175 and 32. The builder also has filed an $18 million lawsuit against the county, claiming that he should be exempted from county adequate public facilities regulations covering Seven Oaks, his huge residential development.