Developer of 4,700-home Seven Oaks is bankrupt

October 24, 1992|By Staff Report

Halle Development Inc., developer of the 4,700-home Seven Oaks community in Odenton, filed for bankruptcy protection yesterday after failing to reach agreement with Anne Arundel County officials on water and sewer fee payments.

Lawrence A. Katz, a lawyer for the developer, said the company hopes the Chapter 11 filing will not hamper work on the project or delay its completion.

A statement released by the Silver Spring-based company said that "all commitments to homeowners and builders will be honored."

Mr. Katz said the move in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Rockville resulted from a long-standing disagreement with Anne Arundel County over money owed the county for water and sewer fees, and for construction of an elementary school. As of last month, Halle still owed more than $420,000 under an out-of-court settlement reached with the county in January.

The county claimed last month that Halle had reneged during the summer on three monthly payments of $50,000 each for the elementary school.

Mr. Katz said the two sides met to discuss the payments yesterday, but could not agree on terms. He said he did not attend the session and could not specify how much money Halle owes, but said the dispute centers both on the amount owed and the method used to calculate the charges.

Halle Vice President Stephen N. Fleischman said in September that the company was having trouble making some of the payments because of sluggish housing sales in the recession.

Reached at his office late yesterday afternoon, Mr. Fleischman said he would have "absolutely no comment" on the bankruptcy filing.

Louise Hayman, a spokeswoman for County Executive Robert R. Neall, said yesterday that "we have continually worked with the company to try to resolve the situation in the best interests of both the company and the county. It became apparent recently that we were not able to reach an agreement. It's unfortunate, but we feel that we have been within the law."

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