MorningStar sues York County over old Heritage tower

news@fortmilltimes.comJanuary 25, 2013 

— The on-going wrangling between MorningStar Fellowship Church and York County over the former Heritage USA tower took another turn after the church announced Thursday that it is suing the county.

MorningStar’s suit "claims York County erroneously asserted that MorningStar is in default under its development agreement connected to the Tower, and that has caused significant financial harm." according to a MorningStar press release. The church contends the county "failed to act in good faith."

The 21-story tower, one of the last projects at the Heritage USA theme park run by Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker before the infamous PTL televangelist became engulfed in scandal in the 1980s, is included in the 54 acres acquired by MorningStar after the property changed hands several times. The Bakkers erected the tower but, never finished it and county officials were concerned it was unsafe.

Some residents in nearby subdivisions, including Baden Village and Regent Park, have complained about the tower, calling it an eyesore. Other residents have expressed support for MorningStar.

MorningStar initially siad it was going to create affordable senior housing in the tower, but changed those plans several times. The latest plans called for high-end age-restricted apartments and a community center for seniors.

The ministry says a default notice issued by the county after the two sides reached an agreement on the tower's development has “caused significant financial harm,” making it almost impossible to renovate, according to MorningStar's statement.

County officials said they have yet to see proof that MorningStar secured the financing the ministry says it has to complete the tower.

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