Developer Sues Council For Delaying Water/sewer

April 26, 1992|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Staff writer

A Baltimore development company has filed suit against the County Council, contending that it improperly delayed water and sewer service to a development site where the company wants to build 1,600 homes.

Security Management Corp. is asking the county Circuit Court to strike the council's approval of a plan that downgrades its development site.

Security Management, operated by Victor Posner, is planning to build single-family houses and multifamily units at a 315-acre site offRoute 7, west of Aberdeen.

The subdivision, to be called Greenleaf, was approved by the county in 1981 but never constructed. The subdivision was formally known as Hollywoods.

Council President Jeffrey Wilson defended the council's actions, saying, "Obviously, we thinkMr. Posner and Security Management are wrong and what we did was appropriate."

The 21-page, five-count suit filed Tuesday by Bel Air attorneys Albert J.A. Young and Harold D. Norton states that the developer was expecting the site to be given "immediate priority status" to receive water and sewer services in the county's new master plan for such facilities.

When the council approved the master plan earlier this month, it downgraded the site's status, scheduling it to receive water and sewer services in six to 10 years.

At the time of the vote, the council expressed concern over the site's proximity to a closed illegal dump that operated from the 1940s to 1967. Greenleaf would be about 300 feet from the dump.

The dump, owned by the Lieske family, is being investigated by the state Department of the Environment.

Security Management says that the council has singled out its development, contending that at least three other sites near the dump were given priority status in the master plan.

The company also argues that the council exceeded its authority by downgrading the Greenleaf site because it had already met all state requirements to proceed, the suit says.

"The County Council's action in downgrading the property . . . effectively prohibits present development of the property," says the suit.

l Security Management contends in the suit that it proceeded with plans for the development, believing that the entire site would be given priority status for water and sewer services.

About four-fifths of the site has has priority status since the 1984 county master plan was approved, the company contends.

The suit states that the company has spent "considerable time, expense and resources" in engineering and planning the development.

Security Management also is challenging an amendment that requires the county to consider the capacity of the water and sewer system when determining a subdivision's ranking in the master plan.

The company saysthat the requirement is an attempt to halt previously approved subdivisions, such as Greenleaf, by including adequate-public- facilities language in the master plan.

The county is considering legislationfor adequate public facilities that would prevent growth in areas where public services would be overburdened by further development. A hearing in the case has been scheduled for May 8.

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