LAND USE & ZONING PRACTICE

Since the mid-1990’s, the Law Office of G. Macy Nelson, LLC has represented citizens in land use and zoning cases throughout Maryland including Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Carroll, Cecil, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, and Washington counties.

 

Land Use and Zoning Practice Areas

 

  • Special Exceptions
  • Variances
  • Master Plan conflicts
  • Development Plans
  • Critical Areas
  • Wetlands
  • Contract Zoning
  • Spot Zoning
  • Water and Sewer Plan Amendments
  • Rezoning

Land Use and Zoning Victories

 

  • Prince George’s County, March 24, 2015 - District Council affirmed the Zoning Hearing Examiner’s disapproval of special exception for Super Walmart in Oxon Hill, Maryland. SE/VSE-4738 Potomac Business Park. Walmart elected not to appeal and walked away from the project.

  • Prince George’s County, January 21, 2015 - Zoning Hearing Examiner disapproved of special exception for Super Walmart in Bowie, Maryland. SE/ 4734 Wal-Mart Real Estate Business Trust. The District Council heard argument on Walmart’s appeal on May 11, 2015.

  • Baltimore County, November 18, 2014 - Administrative Law rejects Developer’s request to be exempt from stormwater regulations for regional outlet mall that drains to the White Marsh Run and Bird River. Paragon at Nottingham Ridge PUD, PUD Case No. 11-1091.

  • Prince George’s County, September 24, 2014 - District Council vacates the Planning Board’s approval of a Walmart in the Duvall Village Shopping Center and remands case to Planning Board for consideration of traffic impacts, stormwater management, and master plan compliance. DSP-90063-07 Duvall Village Shopping Center.

  • Prince George’s County, August 5, 2014 - Zoning Hearing Examiner rejected Walmart’s proposal to construct a Super Walmart between two schools in Oxon Hill, MD. Oxon Hill Associates, LLC, Case No. SE 4738. Walmart appealed decision to Prince George’s County District Council.

  • Prince George’s County, April 9, 2014 - Circuit Court reversed a decision by the Board of Appeals to approve a variance. Talamas v. Board of Appeals,  Case No. 13-20891 (Cir. Ct. for Prince George’s County, Md. April 9, 2014). 
  • Maryland Court of Special Appeals, November 20, 2013 - The Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled that our clients have standing to challenge the comprehensive rezoning map and may challenge the comprehensive rezoning before construction commences in accordance with the rezoning. Bell v. Anne Arundel County, Maryland, 215 Md. App. 161, 97 A.3d 976 (2013).
  • Baltimore County, August 6, 2013 - Circuit Court ruled that the Board of Appeals erred when it allowed reconfiguration of lots to facilitate residential development in the agricultural zone. In the Matter of: Lisa Arthur No. 03-C-12-11992 (Cir. Ct. for Balt. County, Md. August 6, 2013).
  • Maryland Court of Appeals, September 30, 2011 - The Maryland Court of Appeals held that the Patuxent Riverkeeper had standing under new state law to challenge non-tidal wetlands permit issued by MDE to developer, because member had alleged sufficient harm to his aesthetic, recreational, and economic interests in connection with the issuance of the non-tidal wetlands permit. Patuxent Riverkeeper v. Md. Dep’t of the Env’t, 422 Md. 294, 29 A.3d 584 (2011).
  • Maryland Court of Appeals, December 23, 2009 -The Court held that the Prince George's County's Planning Board must consider the requirement in the County's General Plan that no more than 1% of all residential development in the County may occur in the County's Rural Tier. Md.-Nat’l Capital Park & Planning Comm’n v. Greater Baden-Aquasco Citizens Ass’n, 412 Md. 73, 985 A.2d 1160 (2009).
  • Maryland Court of Appeals, December 18, 2009 -The Maryland Court of Appeals granted certiorari to consider whether the Court of Special Appeals’ dismissal of a citizen's appeal was premature. Smith v. County Commissioners of Kent County, 411 Md. 740 (Dec. 18, 2009).
  • Maryland Court of Special Appeals, November 24, 2008 - The Maryland Court of Special Appeals affirmed the trial court’s remand to the Planning Board for further consideration of a residential subdivision in Prince George's County's Rural Tier. Md.-Nat’l Capital Park & Planning Comm’n v. Greater Baden-Aquasco Citizens Ass’n, No. 2489, September Term 2007 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. November 24, 2008) (Davis, J.).
  • Maryland Court of Special Appeals, November 14, 2008 - The Maryland Court of Special Appeals affirmed the District Council's disapproval of a rubblefill in Prince George's County's Rural Tier. Brandywine Sand and Gravel Company v. County Council of Prince George’s County, Maryland, Sitting as the District Council, et al., No. 2105, September Term 2007 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. November 14, 2008) (Davis, J.).
  • Maryland Court of Special Appeals, September 29, 2008 - The Maryland Court of Special Appeals affirmed the trial court’s ruling that no commercial traffic was allowed on a shared driveway. Charles T. Coon, Sr., et al. v. Richard A. Stevens, Jr., et al., No. 01846, September Term, 2007 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. September 29, 2008) (Meredith, J.).
  • Maryland Court of Appeals, March 12, 2008 - The Maryland Court of Appeals granted certiorari to consider the proper interpretation of the special exception standard. People’s Counsel for Baltimore County, et al. v. Loyola College in Maryland, 403 Md. 612 (March 12, 2008).
  • Maryland Court of Appeals, February 13, 2008 - The Maryland Court of Appeals granted certiorari to consider whether the General Plan of Prince George's County guides development in that county's Rural Tier. Garner v. Archers Glen Partners, Inc., 403 Md. 304 (February 13, 2008).
  • Maryland Court of Appeals, December 5, 2007 - The Maryland Court of Appeals granted certiorari to consider whether the decision of the County Commissioners to amend the Master Water and Sewer Plan is an appealable order. Appleton Reg’l Community Alliance v. County Commissioners of Cecil County, 402 Md. 352 (December 5, 2007).
  • Maryland Court of Special Appeals, November 27, 2007 - The Maryland Court of Special Appeals denied apartment owner's request to stay circuit court order to close. Thompson v. Prince George's County.
  • Prince George's County, November 26, 2007 - Circuit court ruled that the Planning Board failed to articulate how a proposed subdivision in the County's Rural Tier complied with the requirements of the Master and General Plans. The court also ruled that no substantial evidence supported the finding that the proposed subdivision complied with the Master and General Plans.
  • Prince George's County, September 24, 2007 - Circuit Court affirmed District Council's disapproval of application for rubble fill in the O-S zone. Brandywine Lapin Rubble Fill, Case No. S.E. 4355. Brandywine Sand & Gravel Co. v. County Council of Prince George’s County, Maryland, CAL 06-26284 (Cir. Ct. for Prince George’s County, Md. September 24, 2007).
  • Prince George's County, July 26, 2007 - Circuit Court ordered the closure of an apartment complex which lacked a legal sewage system. Thompson v. Prince George’s County, CAL 07-06500 (Cir. Ct. for Prince George’s County, Md. July 26, 2007).
  • Maryland Court of Special Appeals, February 15, 2007 - The Maryland Court of Special Appeals affirmed Planning Board disapproval of Preliminary Plan for church and related buildings because the proposed impervious surfaces exceeded the maximum allowed for the parcel of land on which the church would be built. Reaching Hearts International Church v. Prince George’s County Planning Board of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, et al., No. 673, September Term, 2006 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. February 15, 2007) (Eyler, Deborah S., J.).
  • Prince George's County, November 14, 2006 - District Council disapproved application for rubble fill in the O-S zone. Brandywine Lapin Rubble Fill (Remand), Brandywine Lapin Rubble Fill (Remand), No. SE 4355 (District Council for Prince George’s County, Md. November 14, 2006).
  • Maryland Court of Special Appeals, October 17, 2006 - The Maryland Court of Special Appeals affirmed the Prince George's County District Council's denial of a Special Exception for a senior apartment complex. L. Scott Armiger, T/A Orchard Development Corporation v. County Council for Prince George’s County, Maryland, Sitting as the District Council, et al., No. 1770, September Term, 2005 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. October 17, 2006) (Adkins, J.).
  • Anne Arundel County, September 20, 2006 - Board of Appeals ruled that applicant will lose a previously approved special exception unless it implements and completes the special exception within two years. Chesapeake Terrace/NWM, Inc., No. BA 7-06V, BA 8-06V (Bd. of Appeals of Anne Arundel County, Md. September 20, 2006).
  • Prince George's County, June 2, 2006 - Circuit Court ruled that the Planning Board failed to address how the proposed subdivision met the requirement that not more than 1% of all residential growth occur in the County's Rural Tier and remanded the case to the Board for further action consistent with his opinion. Betty Garner, et al. v. Archer’s Glen, No. CAL 05-22788 (Cir. Ct. for Prince George’s County, Md. June 2, 2006).
  • Baltimore County, May 5, 2006 - Circuit Court ruled that the Board of Appeals erred as a matter of law in approving a special exception and remanded the case to the Board for further action consistent with its opinion. In the Matter of: Citizens Against Loyola Multi Use Center, et al., No. 03-C-05-007730 (Cir. Ct. for Balt. County, Md. May 5, 2006).
  • Cecil County, January 11, 2006 - Circuit court affirmed the Planning Commission's disapproval of a Concept Plat for a development of seventy-four houses. Aston Development Group, Inc. v. Cecil County Office of Planning & Zoning, No. 07-C-05-0000218 (Cir. Ct. for Cecil County, Md. January 11, 2006).
  • Frederick County, October 6, 2005 - Circuit Court vacated Board of Appeals' approval of Special Exception and remanded case for proceedings not inconsistent with its opinion. Singley, et al. v. Frederick County Board of Appeals, No. 10-C-05-0000423 (Cir. Ct. for Frederick County, Md. October 6, 2005).
  • Prince George's County, September 23, 2005 - Circuit Court affirmed the District Council's disapproval of a 280,000 square foot housing complex on fifteen acres at the intersection of Adelphi and Cool Spring Roads. Petition of L. Scott Armiger t/a Orchard Development Corp., No. CAL 04-21068 (Cir Ct. for Prince George’s County, Md. September 23, 2005).
  • Carroll County, June 8, 2005 - Circuit Court granted Plaintiff's request for Preliminary Injunction and ordered that Defendants must shut down their illegal mulch operation by August 1, 2005. Richard A. Stevens, Jr., et al., v. Charles T. Coon, Sr., et al., No. 06-C-04-041365 (Cir. Ct. for Carroll County, Md. June 8, 2005).
  • Prince George's County, April 7, 2005 - Planning Boarddisapproved Preliminary Plan for church and related buildings because the proposed impervious surfaces exceeded the maximum allowed for the parcel of land on which the church would be built. Reaching Hearts International Church, Preliminary Plan No. 4-04088 (Planning Bd. for Prince George’s County, Md. April 7, 2005).
  • Washington County, April 4, 2005 - Planning Commission recommended disapproval of quarry on 80 acres of land. Citizens presented evidence of the proposed quarry's adverse effects including blasting damage, destruction of Revolutionary War era archaeological sites, incompatibility with the surrounding community, the mining of ground water, and the increased risk of pulmonary problems. Application of H.B. Mellott, Inc., No. RZ-04-008 (Planning Commission for Washington County, Md. April 4, 2005).
  • Cecil County, January 25, 2005 - Circuit Court vacated decision by the Town of Rising Sun Board of Appeals to approve apartment complex with seventy-eight apartments. Friends of Rising Sun, et al. v. Rising Sun Board of Zoning Appeals, No. C-04-0000308 (Cir. Ct. for Cecil County, Md. January 25, 2005).
  • Prince George's County, January 18, 2005 - Court of Special Appeals reversed decision of Planning Board to approve residential subdivision in the Rural Tier because the Planning Board failed to articulate how large houses in agricultural areas were consistent with the goals of the Master Plan. Betty Garner, et al. v. Prince George’s County Planning Board of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, et al., No. 2715, September Term, 2003 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. January 18, 2005) (Davis, J.).
  • Carroll County, November 23, 2004 – Circuit Court affirmed the decision of the Maryland Department of Environment's Final Decision Maker to deny Carroll County's Request for a Variance from the prohibition against the discharge of heat into a trout stream. In the Matter of: Carroll County Commissioners, No. 06-C-03-039953 (Cir. Ct. for Carroll County, Md. November 23, 2004).
  • Prince George's County, September 28, 2004 - District Council reversed decision of Zoning Hearing Examiner to approve 280,000 square foot housing complex on fifteen acres at the intersection of Adelphi and Cool Spring Roads. Scott Armiger t/a Orchard Dev. Corp., No. SE 4437 University Place at Cool Spring (District Council for Prince George’s County, Md. September 28, 2004).
  • Baltimore County, September, 2004 - Baltimore County Council denied developer's request to rezone six acres of RC2 land to BR or ML.
  • Baltimore County, July 6, 2004 - Board of Appeals denied restaurant's request for special exception to expand operation in agricultural zone. In the Matter of the Application of Oregon, LLC, No. 02-461-SPHXA (Bd. of Appeals of Balt. County, Md. July 6, 2004).
  • Baltimore County, March 12, 2004 - Deputy Zoning Commissioner denied subdivision because the proposed storm water management violated the forest buffers and because there was unsafe access from Falls Road. In Re: Development Plan Hearing Becker Property, Nos. VIII-791 & 04-262-SPH (Bd. of Appeals of Balt. County, Md. March 12, 2004).
  • Montgomery County, June 10, 2003 - Montgomery County District Council denied zoning reclassification of 25 acres to the Planned Development zone because the proposed development contained too high a percentage of impervious surfaces.
  • Maryland Court of Special Appeals, September 26, 2002 - The Maryland Court of Special Appeals affirmed the decision by the Baltimore County Board of Appeals to deny the request to operate a helicopter pad in an agricultural zone. Lucas v. People’s Counsel for Balt. County, 147 Md. App. 209, 807 A.2d 1176 (2002).
  • Maryland Court of Special Appeals, August 14, 2002 - The Maryland Court of Special Appeals affirmed the decision by the Circuit Court for Calvert County to vacate the Calvert County Department of Planning and Zoning's approval of a landscape and nursery business. Kelly’s Tree and Landscape Nursery, Inc. v. John M. Carrier, et al., No. 1899, September Term, 2001 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. August 14, 2002) (Murphy, C.J.).
  • Calvert County, October 31, 2001 - Circuit Court vacated the Calvert County Department of Planning and Zoning's approval of a landscape and nursery business. John M. Carrier, et al. v. Calvert County Planning Commission, et al., No. C-01-512 (Cir. Ct. for Calvert County, Md. October 31, 2001).

Photo courtesy of Patuxent Riverkeeper (paxriverkeeper.org)