MOUNT AIRY - Frall Developers Inc. has agreed to sell or relocate businesses operating in violation of zoning laws on property the company's president owns on the Montgomery-Frederick line, a Montgomery assistant county attorney says.
The agreement, reached Nov. 9, spared Frall from having to appear in District Court last week and convince the judge that the builder is not violating a stop-work order issued last summer, said Alan Wright, Montgomery's senior assistant county attorney.
A court hearing set for Wednesday was canceled when Frall, a Mount Airy-based development company, agreed to sell a septic service business and relocate a development office that had operated in violation of the property's agriculture zoning, said Wright.
The dispute over activities on the property began more than two years ago, said James Mongelluzzo, of the Montgomery Department of Planning and Zoning. Several residents who live near the 280-acre property complained about operations at the site, where Frall's president, James M. Frey, has run several businesses and is completing construction of his new home.
During testimony in 1989, Frey countered by saying that the main business operated at the site is his sod farm, an activity permissible on property zoned for agriculture.
But residents complained of continuous truck traffic to the location and the presence of several portable toilets related to septic service and development businesses also operating there, Mongelluzzo said.
In August 1989, a District Court judge issued the stop-work order for those activities, after county administrators observed operations at the site and charged that the company was violating zoning ordinances.
Frall filed an appeal to the order, but later dropped it, Wright said.
However, complaints from residents continued, and the county attorney's office filed a petition last summer claiming Frall was in contempt of court. Frey received notice of hearing in October.
William Fallon, Frall's attorney, declined to discuss the terms of the agreement reached last week.
Despite the agreement, Mongelluzzo said he still was receiving reports from residents last week of truck traffic to the site.
"We have reason to believe Frey's not living up to his agreement," he said. "I expect Frey to clean up his act. We don't want to give him the impression that we've backed off (because of the agreement)."
Also included in the agreement is a provision allowing the county to inspect the site, Mongelluzzo said, adding that an inspection may be arranged as early as this week.
"All we want to do is get the zoning violation cleaned up," he said. "If we can do that without a hearing, fine. If not, we can very easily get this back on the (District Court) docket."