Crofton * Odenton * Fort Meade * Gambrills

WEST COUNTY --

September 24, 1993

Md. reportedly won't act against homebuilder

The state attorney general's office has decided not to take action against a builder who is accused of deceiving new homeowners about how much woods would remain in back of their houses, a former state delegate who is helping the residents said yesterday.

Meanwhile, the builder has offered to plant a double row of trees in back of the homes in the Seven Oaks development in Odenton, but wants written assurances that the homeowners won't sue, said John R. Leopold, former 31st District Republican.

"I know the homeowners won't accept that," Mr. Leopold said. "They are strongly considering seeking legal action. They feel they are owed actual damages."

Twenty-one homeowners in the community have signed a petition demanding that Crestwood Homes, the builder, give them new houses or $50,000 each, saying the company's advertisements touted backyard woods that later were cut down.

Crestwood, based in Greenbelt, claimed in advertising fliers that the woods behind the homes would be a "lovely" backdrop, according to the petition.

The residents are seeking help from the attorney general's office under the Consumer Protection Act. Representatives from Crestwood met yesterday with Assistant Attorney General Becky Bowman.

Ms. Bowman would not comment on the meeting. But Mr. Leopold said Ms. Bowman told him yesterday afternoon about the company's officer and her office's reluctance to pursue the matter in court.

The lawyer representing Crestwood, Richard Zeiman, would not comment yesterday, referring questions to company officials who also would not comment.

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