Club condo owners make payments for structural repairs

September 16, 1992|By Meredith Schlow | Meredith Schlow,Staff Writer

They're not all happy about it, but condominium owners at The Club at McDonogh Township yesterday put up thousands of dollars in the first of three payments for structural repairs on eight Club buildings with deficiencies that have been the subject of controversy for years.

The community's board of directors ordered the payments so that repairs will continue while it negotiates with a defunct developer, a homeowner's warranty company and Baltimore County over who ultimately must foot the bill.

Owners are required to pay fees of $3,600 to nearly $7,000, depending on the size of their units. Problems among the 125 units range from deteriorating balconies to water damage, which tenants blame on faulty construction.

William S. Wolf, president of the community board, said the board estimates the repairs will cost more than $650,000.

He declined to discuss McDonogh or to speculate on whether negotiations with the community's developers and its warranty company -- Residential Warranty Corp. of Harrisburg, Pa. -- might result in reimbursements of the condominium owners' payments for repairs.

But he said the county "has a responsibility to the members of this community."

"It was their people who OK'd these buildings. We have many, many [of] what we believe are code violations that should not have occurred," he said.

John R. Reisinger, buildings engineer for the county, denied that the county is responsible for the structural problems at McDonogh and said the negotiations are really among the board, the warranty company and the developer.

But condominium owners at The Club, which is part of the 1,000-unit McDonogh Township development, are angry about having to pay for repairs they say shouldn't be needed on buildings that are only 5 years old.

Some owners don't trust the direction of the board, saying that the refusal to discuss the condominium's problems publicly misses an opportunity to put pressure on the warranty or developing companies.

Residential Realty Group, The Club's property manager, declined to comment on the damage or repairs.

Officials at Residential Warranty also would not comment.

Terry Rubenstein, a former officer of Bancroft Homes of Greenspring Valley, the now-defunct developer of McDonogh, was reluctant to discuss McDonogh in detail, but she said she does not agree "with the board's assessment of the problems and their remedies."

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