Repairs ordered at Hawk Ridge Corrections required before other work

April 21, 1993|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

The mayor and town manager of Sykesville said yesterday that Powers Homes must correct problems at its Hawk Ridge Farm development before starting any other work.

"I went over a list of problems with the developer April 13 and issued a verbal stop-work order on Phases 3 and 4 of Hawk Ridge Farm," said Town Manager James L. Schumacher. "He has to correct those problems before he can proceed."

Mr. Schumacher said he would put the order in writing today after an on-site meeting with county inspectors and Jeff Powers, vice president of the building company.

Mayor Lloyd Helt Jr. said he supports the stop-work order.

"I can't go along with a builder when there are so many problems with what he has done already," said the mayor. "The town will confront him with the homeowners' complaints. We want relief for them before signing any more permits."

The mayor said he has heard so many complaints that "any reasonable person would want to know what is going on."

He said he will not sign any further public works agreements on the development, which will include several hundred homes at its completion, until the builder addresses homeowners' concerns.

"These complaints seem to be more than the usual new house problems," he said. "I think there is just cause for concern."

Mr. Powers said he will do whatever it takes to get the development back on track, but he expects no delay from the stop-work order.

"I am planning to get grading permits [today] from Sykesville," he said. "I have completed all the items on the original list and have sent the town a letter to that effect."

Chief among those problems are several 25-foot mounds of dirt behind homes on Caracara Court, which Mr. Schumacher said must be removed.

"Developers are allowed to stockpile dirt for short periods of time," he said. "But now he has waited too long and Mother Nature is catching up."

Rain is washing dirt into neighboring yards and, in some cases, basements.

"Mr. Powers must relocate those piles," he said. "The builder will have so many days to complete the work or we will pull the surety bond and do the work ourselves."

He said he would like to see work completed in "as little as three days, providing we have perfect weather."

Mr. Helt found himself in the middle of those problems Friday when a heavy downpour broke down a dirt pile on Hawk Ridge Lane. The mud clogged storm drains and spread across streets. Irate homeowners called the town for help.

"I went up to look and got our public works crew there," said the mayor.

He said he plans to bill Mr. Powers for the cleanup, which Mr. Schumacher estimates at $1,000.

Mr. Powers said the berm, or dirt pile, broke from water pressure and company crews rebuilt it Monday.

Residents of Caracara Court said the dirt piles, the largest item on their list of complaints, are still standing along their back yards.

"They haven't moved a thing," said George Fischer, who has been looking at a mound of dirt out his back window since he moved to his $247,000 Hawk Ridge Farm home in November.

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