State Suit Adds To Hankins' Legal Woes

June 02, 1991|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Staff writer

Beleaguered Harford developer Steven R. Hankins is in another fix.

This time, the state is suing the Bel Air-based developer in Harford Circuit Court for building a barn and a road on his 283-acre estatein the 1200 block of Fountain Green Road.

The complaint, filed by the state, is one of at least 45 civil suits filed against Hankins, his wife and his companies since 1989, according to court records. He also has criminal charges pending in Circuit Court.

The Maryland Historical Trust and the Maryland EnvironmentalTrust filed suit Tuesday, claiming that Hankins is building the barn and road without proper approvals.

Circuit Judge William O. Carr signed an order Tuesday instructing Hankins to stop work on the barn and road. Hankins also was ordered to submit building plans for areview by the two trusts.

The trusts are state agencies that protect significant historical and environmental areas by issuing easements to limit construction at such sites.

They want the barn and road removed if plans show they do not meet state standards, the suit says.

Hankins and his wife, Susan, started building the barn and road in March at the estate without submitting construction plans for review by the trusts, the state contends in the complaint.

The trusts, represented by the state Attorney General's Office, filed a three-page complaint in Circuit Court claiming that the barn and road violate an easement protecting the estate.

The estate, called Christopher's Camp, has been covered by an easement since 1979, according to county land records. The easement was issued to the farm's previous owner, Martha G. Michael.

The estate has "historically and culturally significant buildings in an agriculturally and historically valuable open space setting," according to the state's complaint.

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