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Township Wins $20,000 In Developer Lawsuit

The “extra shoulder” on Rupert Road (at top left), earlier left unpaved by a developer, was later completed by Lower Pottsgrove Township

SANATOGA PA – The general fund bank account in Lower Pottsgrove is growing by $20,000, thanks to money the township will receive from a settlement in a developer lawsuit, approved 10 days ago by the Board of Commissioners.

Board acceptance of the deal ends several years of litigation that both Lower Pottsgrove and Limerick townships brought against the developer of the Raven’s Claw housing community and golf club, a portion of which lies on the east side of Rupert Road.

Lower Pottsgrove had hoped to claim more cash, Solicitor Robert Brant admitted, but he added that “in a lawsuit like this no one gets exactly every dime they expected.”

Back in June 2012, commissioners voted to sue developer DHLP LLC and its bonding company after DHLP failed to finish paving a portion of Rupert that now retired Manager Rodney Hawthorne called an “extra shoulder” on the roadway. The paving was to have run for about 200 yards from north of Shire Drive to north of Putter Lane.

DHLP ran into financial troubles and left the work undone. It also failed to complete substantially more improvements in the larger portion of Raven’s Claw on Limerick’s side. Both townships separately declared DHLP had defaulted on terms of its subdivision and land development agreements, and went to court to get money from security bonds it had purchased for the purpose.

Both finished some of the defaulted projects themselves. Limerick had higher expenses in its effort, and is scheduled to receive $120,000 under the settlement, Brant noted. The litigation was handled for Lower Pottsgrove by attorney Michael Furey of the Furey & Baldassari P.C. law firm in Audubon.

The legal and settlement paperwork is littered with former and current names of the developer and other principals involved, as the financial turmoil was accompanied by organizational changes. During the board’s Sept. 8 meeting, the community was variously referred to as “DHLP Limerick Golf Community,” the “Heritage Hills Golf Club subdivision,” and “Raven’s Claw.”

Furey is no stranger to the DHLP saga. He also represented Lower Pottsgrove in an earlier case when the developer failed to build a replacement for the Rupert Road bridge. The township victory in that case yielded about $375,000, which it combined with Montgomery County money to ensure a new bridge will be installed late next summer (2016).

Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ Sept. 8 meeting):

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