Owners of closed swim club file suit in effort to build 4 houses on site CENTRAL -- Union Mills * Westminster * Sandymount * Finksburg

September 14, 1993|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

The owners of the closed Middlebrooke Swim Club have taken the Westminster City Council to court to fight for their plan to build houses on the property.

George and Tim Grogan said in a civil suit that they want the city to buy the pool site for $141,320, the current assessment, or amend the development plan to allow construction of houses on the site.

The council denied the Grogans' construction request in July. The suit was filed in Carroll County Circuit Court Thursday.

The civil suit is the latest chapter in the saga of Macro Management Inc., the Grogans' family-run business, and their dealings with the city government on the issue over the past two years.

George Grogan requested a demolition permit in August 1991 to reduce his liability for the pool.

In June 1992, he complained to the city that officials were not moving quickly enough to decide on his proposal to build the houses. The supervisor of the city's development review department said the preliminary plan for the project was so confusing that she had to ask for a clearer plan.

When the City Council denied the Grogans' plan to raze the club and build four homes, George Grogan said he would file a lawsuit as soon as he received the official written decision from Westminster's city attorney.

The word arrived Aug. 10, according to the suit.

The Grogans closed the swimming pool in 1991, saying they could not run it at a profit. They had bought it three years earlier for $25,000.

In the suit, filed by Baltimore lawyer John C. Murphy, the Grogans allege that the city incorrectly asserted that houses built on the swim club land would decrease open space designated for the development.

"The Grogans' property is not 'common open space.' It was never 'designated for the common use of all the occupants of the planned unit development,' " the suit says.

The suit also alleges that when the open space agreement for the development was reached on June 4, 1973, the land where the swim club was built four years later was not included.

"The swimming pool site comprising 1.2434 acres, now owned by the Grogans, was specifically excluded from the Deed and Agreement," the suit says.

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