Developer, County Officials End 15-month Legal Battle

January 22, 1992|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff writer

Residents of an Odenton development will get their swimming pool, and the county will collect further payments on a new elementary schoolas the result of an out-of-court settlement between the developer and county officials.

The settlement ends a 15-month legal battle that included charges and counter-charges of broken promises involving construction of the Seven Oaks community.

"The citizens will be very happy," said Stephen N. Fleischman, vice president of The Halle Cos., a Silver Spring-based company building the 4,700-unit development. He said construction of the Seven Oaks recreation facility will begin this spring.

Warren E. Halle filed an $18 million suit against the county in October 1990, saying it hadnot held up its part of an agreement to expand the Patuxent Wastewater Treatment Plant. Without the plant expansion, Halle said he could build only a portion of the homes in Seven Oaks, eliminating the needfor a new elementary school, which he had promised to pay for.

Halle's suit sought the money his company had invested in roads and parks and the first $500,000 school payment, made in 1989, when the company signed the contract with the county.

In July 1990, Halle withheld the second payment of $2.1 million on the $4.7 million school, but a letter of credit from Sovran Bank covered the amount.

Halle withheld the third and final payment of $2.1 million on the school in July 1991, and because he had not signed a letter of credit, no payment was made to the county.

The county counter-sued six months ago and threatened to pull the permits for the recreation facilities.

The settlement calls for Halle to pay the county $1.2 million now, andthen an additional $900,000 when and if the plant expands. The agreement also means that Halle will deed the 16-acre school site in SevenOaks to the county.

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