As the future of Belward Farm hangs in the balance of a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge's ruling on Johns Hopkins University's motion to dismiss a breach of donor intent lawsuit, Tim Newell, the lead plaintiff on behalf of the heirs of the former Belward Farm owner, issued an exclusive official statement to Patch:
"Hopkins’ seeks to have the family’s case dismissed at the outset on its claim that, on its face, the wording of the 1989 contract between the family and Hopkins unequivocally permits the development of a huge office park. Maryland law provides otherwise. The court should consider the character of the contract, its purpose, the donor intent and the facts and circumstances of the parties in 1989.
"With these considerations properly taken into account, what emerges is this: not only did the family understand that its $49 million donation of the family farm to Hopkins was completely contrary to the plans the new regime at Hopkins has been moving forward on, but also that the top officials at Hopkins who were instrumental in securing this donation back in ’89 understood the donative intent as well.
"At the time, all involved understood that my Aunt Liz would never allow her beloved farm to be subjected to any commercial development, even if it was done by Johns Hopkins. I think anyone in Montgomery county who knew her or knew of her would agree that she would have not allowed this, she was famous for her anti-development stance and her protection of Belward Farm. We await the court’s decision on the Hopkins’ motion, optimistic that the court will apply the law correctly and provide us with the opportunity to present our evidence at trial."