BRANDYWINE — One local company is suing the county alleging the Department of Public Works prevented the company from developing a residential subdivision. Holly and Billy Seay of North Keys, LLC are suing Prince George’s County, claiming the Department of Public Works and Transportation neglected to have work done on a piece of property they […]
BRANDYWINE — One local company is suing the county alleging the Department of Public Works prevented the company from developing a residential subdivision.
Holly and Billy Seay of North Keys, LLC are suing Prince George’s County, claiming the Department of Public Works and Transportation neglected to have work done on a piece of property they intended to develop as a residential subdivision. The developers also claim the Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement failed to allow the work to be done by not issuing permits.
“Whenever you do a residential subdivision, you have to build the roads to access all the lots,” Steve Preller, the lawyer representing North Keys, LLC, said. “You need a road, which in this case is going to be Turner’s Court Landing, to access these lots.”
Preller said the county has neglected to place stop signs, street lights, storm water management systems and other improvements in the subdivision development. The Department of Public Works and Transportation, Preller said, is responsible for making sure these improvements are made and failed to use a bond posted by a previous developer to complete the project.
“In case the developer goes bankrupt, DPW&T calls the bond and gets the money and has the work completed,” Preller said.
However, the county, knowing the Seays had purchased eight of 10 lots in the subdivision, held the bond without having any of the work done on the subdivision, according to Preller.
The performance bond is worth $567,600, according to the court complaint filed by the Seays, but the county settled with Development Guaranty Group of Southern Maryland Inc., the bond company, for about $100,000, after the previous developer, Pinnacle, went out of business.
Billy Seay said the bond was a completion bond that should have assured the work got done even in cases like this where the previous developer went out of business.
“We told (the county) they need to call the bond due,” Seay said. “They said ‘Oh, well. We didn’t know the company went out of business.’ And I can understand that. But we’re telling you now.”
The county finally responded and told the Seays it was not in the county’s best interest to call the bond due.
Seay said the county told him they would help develop the roads with the $100,000 settlement, but North Keys will have to pay for the rest of the development themselves.
“You, the county, are there to protect me the, the public,” Seay said. “You are going to tell me that it is not worth your time? That it will take too long, and cost the county too much money to make the bond company stand up?”
Preller said what the county is doing is ridiculous, and it is their duty to develop the road bed in the subdivision.
“They’re acting like it’s no big deal,” Preller said. “My guys have lots in the middle of a field they can’t access. The county’s duty is to make sure these things get improved.”
County officials would not comment on this story. Susan Hubbard, a spokesperson for DPIE referred questions to the county attorney’s office. The county attorney’s office referred questions to county executive spokesman Scott Peterson, who said the county will not comment on pending legislation. The county does not want to say anything to the media, Peterson said, that could potentially damage its case in court.
Preller said the Seays cannot make the road improvements themselves because they own the property lots, not the roadbeds, which are owned by the county.
“They essentially own these lot out in the middle of nowhere that they’re paying all these taxes out to the county on,” Preller said. “They’re paying the county mortgage, paying taxes on a piece of land in the middle of nowhere.”