Cumberland Times-News

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April 21, 2014

State: County not handcuffed on Terrapin Run

Department of Planning takes issue with comment by Allegany commissioner

CUMBERLAND — An attorney with the state Department of Planning said that Allegany County is under no legal obligation to keep the Terrapin Run development in the county’s comprehensive plan. The plan is under consideration by the county planning commission.



The general counsel to the DOP said “unequivocally” that court agreements signed by the county, state and developer include no such provisions, according to Valerie Berton, director of communications
and education for the DOP. State officials slammed proposed revisions to the plan in a recent series of comments and letters, mainly because of the inclusion of the Terrapin Run development.



The DOP takes issue with a comment by Allegany County Commissioner Bill Valentine, who said an agreement signed by the county to end litigation over Terrapin Run mandates the project be included in the county’s comprehensive plan until a sale of the property is negotiated. The state was also a
party to the court case, which has been dismissed without prejudice, meaning the case could be reopened. It isn’t clear if the developer of Terrapin Run might be able to file suit against the county on other grounds should the county remove the development from the plan.

A review of court documents shows no specific wording regarding the inclusion or removal of Terrapin Run from the comprehensive plan. The documents allow the developer, the county and state agencies to maintain certain legal rights should the matter return to court.The county is allied with the developer against the state in the case. The latest amended agreements in the case were filed March 28. An order dismissing the case was issued the same day.

Agreements in the court file contain no direct prohibition on the county removing Terrapin Run from the county’s comprehensive plan. The documents do preserve certain rights for the developer in regard to the issues involved in the litigation.

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