- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
After failure to comply with a 2005 settlement agreement, and several attempts to remedy the situation, the Calvert County Planning Commission filed a lawsuit against the owner and developer of the unconstructed Prince Frederick Crossing subdivision.
On Feb. 21, the planning commission filed the suit in Calvert County Circuit Court against Kris-Lei LLC for failure and refusal to construct Prince Frederick Boulevard as agreed in a 2005 settlement agreement between the planning commission, Kris-Lei LLC and Thomas Builders Inc.
Phone calls to Kris-Lei LLC were not returned before time of press.
The original planning commission approval in 2001 was for a total of 185 units on land south of Route 231 in Prince Frederick for mixed development of single-family homes and townhomes known as Prince Frederick Woods, now known as Prince Frederick Crossing.
By 2003, the lawsuit states, “as a consequence of certain actions by the defendant,” the planning commission scheduled hearings to determine whether the approval should be “rescinded or revoked upon the ground that they were obtained by ‘fraud, mistake, inadvertence or other irregularity.’”
After the hearings, the commission “revoked and rescinded the aforesaid approvals” on Sept. 17, 2003, and then the developer applied for judicial review in circuit court.
While judicial review was pending, the lawsuit states that the commission, Kris-Lei LLC and Thomas Builders Inc. entered negotiations and entered into a settlement agreement Jan. 26, 2005.
“Each of the parties undertook certain obligations to the other relating to development of the project,” the lawsuit explains. The planning commission agreed to reinstate the approvals that were rescinded and revoked and Kris-Lei LLC agreed to build Prince Frederick Boulevard.
“In exchange,” the lawsuit said of the agreement, “Kris-Lei LLC agreed to perform certain additional work on the development, some of which was necessary to remediate destroyed wetlands and clearing beyond that allowed by approvals, and some of which was in addition to the work required under the original approvals, in particular the complete design and construction of a road known as Prince Frederick Boulevard, together with guard rails, lighting, sidewalks, and other requirements, located on the property of the defendant and on certain additional properties, since acquired, between the property of [Kris-Lei LLC] and [Route 231].”
After a few years, John A. Yacovelle, planning commission attorney, said Thomas Builders became a “non-player” and thus are not involved in the lawsuit.
According to the 2005 agreement, the work was supposed to be completed by Jan. 26, 2011, but both parties agreed to extend the deadline to Feb. 26, 2012.
The planning commission “has performed all of its obligations,” the lawsuit states. “The defendant [Kris-Lei LLC] has failed and refused to construct Prince Frederick Boulevard as agreed.”
The lawsuit states that the “harm” to the planning commission is “irreparable, involving as it does, construction of a road on lands surrounded by lands controlled by [Kris-Lei LLC], said road being an essential section of the Prince Frederick Loop Road, construction of which is required in the public interest.”
The planning commission is requesting in the lawsuit that the 2005 agreement be enforced by the court and Kris-Lei LLC be “ordered” to submit plans to the Calvert County Public Works Department, obtain bond financing for the project and construct Prince Frederick Boulevard.
Yacovelle said this type of action by the court is usually associated with the sale of property. However, he said that if the court finds that the enforcement is not appropriate, then the commission is asking the court to instruct Kris-Lei LLC to pay $1.3 million to the county.
Yacovelle explained that the amount could go up by the time a decision is made, but it could also decrease if it is the court’s decision.
No court date has been filed yet.