Hotel opponents sue again to stop Wyndham construction

January 17, 1998|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Opponents of the proposed 41-story Wyndham Hotel filed another suit in Baltimore Circuit Court yesterday to block its construction, alleging that the City Council violated its development plan when it approved the project.

The suit alleges that the council failed to adhere to its Urban Renewal Plan, which limits the height of any waterfront building on the 20-acre Inner Harbor East tract to 120 feet.

The 19-member council amended the plan Dec. 18 to allow H&S Properties Development Corp. to build a 430-foot-high hotel.

The suit filed by the Waterfront Coalition -- an umbrella group of nine homeowner and business groups -- asks that the amendment be ruled invalid.

"The amendment to the plan is so drastic that you can't even say that a plan exists anymore," said John C. Murphy, a lawyer for the coalition. "It's a demolition of the plan."

The suit follows one filed Dec. 30 on behalf of the coalition and the Scarlett Place Residential Condominium Association.

City Solicitor Otho M. Thomp- son and Michael S. Beatty, development director for H&S Properties, which proposed the hotel, did not return phone calls last night.

Hotel developers, led by local bakery executive John Paterakis Sr., told the city in July that they would need about $50 million in public subsidies. That amount could change because the financial package is being negotiated with the city, the developers say.

When the City Council returns from holiday recess Jan. 26, it is expected to receive Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke's proposal outlining how much public money will be needed for the hotel.

Pub Date: 1/17/98

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