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Arundel delegation backs protections for homebuyers


The Anne Arundel County delegation is supporting legislation to help homebuyers who fail to ask enough questions about the neighborhood into which they will be moving. Anne Arundel delegates and senators have been deluged with calls from frantic neighbors who never expected a megamall in North County, an auto racetrack on the Solley Peninsula, or expansions at Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Officials say it's time homebuyers became more careful and developers more forthcoming.

"If you're buying a new house and there's a road planned or a landfill being built or a pending zoning change, those things should be disclosed," said state Sen. Philip C. Jimeno. "People have a right to know things that will affect their quality of life or their real estate purchase."

Under current law, developers are required to disclose information about the home and the land on which it sits, including the water system, the structural components and HTC whether hazardous wastes have been deposited on the property. The proposed law, which is similar to legislation recently passed in Virginia, would require developers to provide information about proposed zone changes, new roads, plans for nearby developments and county projects.

Del. John R. Leopold has written a draft of the proposed legislation with Dels. Joan Cadden, Mary Rosso and Virginia P. Clagett. Jimeno is considering introducing similar legislation in the Senate.

In the past 10 years Maryland legislators have unsuccessfully tried to amend residential property disclosure laws. Those efforts would have forced sellers to reveal things such as whether a mass murderer lived in a home for sale or whether a crime had been commited on the premises.

Jimeno said the proposed legislation requiring developers to disclose certain information stands a much better chance.

Pub Date: 12/28/98

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