May 16, 2022


Anything but ordinary

Baltimore County inspection official waived project fees, received favors: IG report

The former director of the Department of Permits, Approvals, and Inspections in Baltimore County, Maryland, improperly waived millions of bucks in charges on a massive mixed-use progress involving 2011 and 2018, with the exercise continuing right after he still left, in accordance to a new report by the county’s inspector basic.

The 109-website page report information how Arnold Jablon, in his capacity as director of the inspections division for Baltimore County, allegedly waived at the very least $3 million in securities and costs for the $220 million Metro Centre at Owings Mills undertaking, in violation of Baltimore County code and opposite to all authorized agreements pertaining to the venture, in accordance to an OIG push release shared with Building Dive.

The report promises that Jablon, who retired in 2018, been given incorrect positive aspects from the project’s developer, David S. Brown Enterprises, these as access to basketball tickets to NCAA Huge 10 Conference online games and a free of charge parking place at 1 of the company’s household developments for an extended period.

Prior to his tenure as permits director starting up in 2011, Jablon labored as a lawyer at Venable LLP in 2003, the exact same business that represents David S. Brown Enterprises in its Metro Centre work, in accordance to the Baltimore Solar.

The two Jablon and David S. Brown Enterprises declined to comment when contacted by Construction Dive.

The Metro Centre at Owings Mills (pictured above) is made up of household models, business and retail room, a lodge, parking garages, a branch of the Baltimore County Public Library and a setting up for the Group Higher education of Baltimore County. Construction started off on the challenge in 2011, and it is predicted to be entirely constructed out by 2028. 

The job has benefited from condition legislation to incentivize design, these kinds of as the creation of a exclusive tax district and designating the Centre as a transit-oriented development, which skilled it for tax-increment financing, according to the report.

Hunting ahead

The OIG report estimates that because of to the dimensions and scope of the challenge, the amount of the waived costs climbed into the millions. While Jablon’s successor objected, the fee waivers ongoing even soon after Jablon had left place of work.

In September, the county instructed the developer that it meant to honor Jablon’s waiver. On the other hand, the OIG identified no proof that the Baltimore County Council was ever notified of this final decision, according to the report.

The county has considering the fact that agreed to uphold the charge waiver, and reported that it intended to fulfill all past agreements produced by the previous administration.