Developers agree to pay Westminster $135,000

August 12, 1994|By Joe Mathews | Joe Mathews,Sun Staff Writer

The developers of The Greens of Westminster will pay $135,000 to the city to settle a year-old lawsuit over a host of unfinished public works projects there, an attorney for the developer said yesterday.

Richard C. Murray, a Westminster attorney who represents Peer Construction Co. of Reisterstown and its owners, said the $135,000 will be paid over five years.

The suit, filed by Westminster in April 1993, alleged that Peer failed to repair sidewalks, install curbs, correct drainage problems and complete street lighting at The Greens, a large development of single-family houses and townhouses.

Peer has said that it has fulfilled all obligations to the city. Efforts to reach officials at the company yesterday were unsuccessful.

"Obviously, there was a dispute between the parties about the value of the work required," Mr. Murray said yesterday. "But we reached a figure that was acceptable to both the city of Westminster and the developers."

The settlement was reached Tuesday during a conference before retired Carroll County Circuit Judge Edward O. Weant Jr., court records indicate.

If Westminster plans to use the settlement money to complete unfinished work at The Greens, it probably will have to kick in a significant amount of its own money. The city's suit against Peer said it would cost $350,000 to make the repairs.

Thomas B. Beyard, Westminster's director of planning and public works, declined to comment on how far the settlement money would go toward fixing problems at The Greens.

He said some repair work had been completed at city expense but that Westminster is still determining which projects are most in need of attention.

John Walsh, an attorney who represented Westminster in the case, was out of town yesterday and could not be reached for comment.

Westminster could have finished the incomplete work and then billed Peer for it, but the city lost that option when a letter of credit that the company had used as a performance bond expired in March 1989.

Residents of The Greens first complained to the council about the unfinished work in 1991. No action was taken, and Dennis Frazier, the former president of The Greens Homeowners Association, renewed his complaint in June 1992.

At that point, the city asked Mr. Walsh to study its legal options. That study culminated in the April 1993 suit.

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