Officials want cottage torn down

Car dealer Donahoo built it illegally in Pasadena, they say

January 12, 2007|By ANDREA F. SIEGEL | ANDREA F. SIEGEL,Sun Reporter

Anne Arundel County officials say they will ask a judge to order a Baltimore car dealer to demolish the cottage he illegally built for his mother in Pasadena.

On Jan. 5, the Court of Special Appeals upheld the denials of permits sought retroactively by Scott Donahoo, known for his outlandish television ads for his Ford, Kia and Suzuki dealerships. He built the cottage next to his summer home more than three years ago despite stop-work orders, a lack of necessary permits and fines.

Before the end of the month, inspectors will determine whether Donahoo has complied with a Circuit Court order issued in November to disconnect the house from the septic system and move his 92-year-old mother out. They will then ask the court to order the house torn down, said Pam Jordan, a county land-se spokeswoman.

County Attorney Jonathan A. Hodgson said he is moving toward having Donahoo raze the house "unless he finds some other way to make it legal, and I don't know what that other way might be. We will not be waiting very long for him to find an answer."

Donahoo's lawyer, Sara H. Arthur, said she has asked the Circuit Court to reconsider its decision. Donahoo, who has acknowledged that he acted illegally, might seek a variance from septic requirements from the Maryland Department of the Environment, she said. The county Health Department had said that the system was inadequate for a second home. Arthur said Donahoo was caught in the "backlash of anger" against county officials who allowed a home that developer Daryl Wagner built illegally on an island in the Magothy River to stay up.

Donahoo, she said, could be seen as having more justification because he was moving his recently widowed mother, whose eyesight is failing, closer to her family. "Yet no accommodation was made," she said.

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