An article in the Metro section May 30 about the planned Cheverly Oaks real estate subdivision referred to the role of William A. Martin and Theodore Webersinn in connection with Prospect Hills, an earlier real estate development in Cheverly. Webersinn was a vice president and landscape architect for the engineering firm that the town hired to review plans for the Prospect Hills development. Martin was president of a company that owned the land site for Prospect Hills when certain preliminary plans for the development were approved by Prince George's County. A spokesman for Martin said he sold the company, together with the land, in 1979, before the construction of houses in the development. Martin repurchased an interest in the Prospect Hills land site in 1985.
The Prince George's County Planning Board gave preliminary approval yesterday to controversial plans for a 15-acre subdivision in Cheverly that was an issue in the defeat this month of a Town Council member married to one of the developers.
The plans for the 57-unit Cheverly Oaks development were opposed by the Cheverly Town Council and by some town residents, 534 of whom signed a petition.
Opponents said they were concerned about traffic and noise that may be generated by the development and about the stability of the soil at the site. The planned subdivision, which would be located in one of the last undeveloped areas of the 55-year-old, 6,000-resident town, is bounded by Jason Street, 64th Avenue and Hillside Avenue.
One of the developers, Theodore Webersinn, is married to former Town Council member Susan Sokol, who lost her Ward 2 seat to write-in candidate Larry Beyna. Beyna had waged a last-minute campaign based primarily on opposition to the project.
Although Sokol had pledged to abstain from voting on the project, Beyna said that it was a conflict of interest for Sokol's husband to be building in the town while she was on the council.
Webersinn said he was "very pleased" with the board's unanimous decision, adding that he was "sad" that so many residents were "unnecessarily fearful" of the project.
"I think there are certain people that you cannot persuade, no matter what you say. I think they got the upper hand for a while, like when they voted my wife out of office," he said.
Webersinn said that he and his partner, William A. Martin, had no objection to a condition imposed by the Planning Board that soil tests be conducted at each lot before the project's site plan can be approved.
Planning Board Chairman John W. Rhoads said he thought the extraordinary opposition to what he described as a relatively small project was "based on another Cheverly subdivision that failed," at least in part because of soil problems.
That project, the Prospect Hills subdivision less than a mile away, also was developed by Martin and Webersinn. Only 13 of about 60 houses planned for Prospect Hills have been built, although Webersinn said yesterday that the remaining ones will be built this year.
Voting for the proposal were Rhoads, Vice Chairman Roy I. Dabney Jr. and Samuel Y. Botts. Members Burton Keller and Margaret Yewell were absent.
Site plan approval by the Planning Board and issuance of a building permit must precede construction.