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Undoing A Costly Mistake

Land Swap With Baltimore To Allow Sale Of House Built In The Wrong Place

City Officials Blame Faulty Land Survey

July 17, 2009|By Annie Linskey | Annie Linskey,annie.linskey@baltsun.com

"From our point of view the extra acre of watershed land is more valuable," she said.

Garliss will also pay $65,000 for three years of "renting" the land. Wilson determined the amount assessing rental costs for similar nearby property. The city decided to charge for three years because that is the statute of limitations that the law gives the city to sue.

Now with City Council legislation pending, the house is back on the market. An enthusiastic real estate advertisement describes the house as having "exquisite flooring, handcrafted ceilings, oversized drop dead gorgous [sic] kit/fam room, magnificent den ... and so much more!"

Photos online show a stone house with a pitched roof and glass picture windows. Interior shots show a wood-paneled library, high ceilings, wood floors, a sunny kitchen, a fireplace and a master bedroom with a walk-in closet and a fireplace.

There is one offer on the house.

Sun researcher Paul McCardell contributed to this article.

The $1.3 million house near the Loch Raven Reservoir was built with an eye toward details - handcrafted ceilings, a wood-paneled library - but missed a critical one: It sits on land owned not by the homeowner but the City of Baltimore. After years of negotiation and pending final approval, the city and the homeowner, Todd B. Garliss Jr., will swap their adjacent parcels of land: Garliss will give the city his 4-acre property and the city will give him the three acres on which his house and private road sits. He'll also pay the city back rent for having lived on its property. Below are details of the properties:

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