Sides Argue Over Rouse Project Appeal

October 24, 1990

The Rouse Company asked a Howard County Circuit Court judge on Friday to dismiss an appeal by opponents of its Benson Business Center, now under construction.

Rouse Co. lawyer Susan M. Reutershan argued before county Circuit Court Judge Cornelius F. Sybert Jr. that the Route 108 Coalition is not aggrieved by the Dec. 4 Planning Board decision to allow the center to proceed because it owns no property affected by the development of a 131-room hotel, gas station/car wash and five restaurants.

The group's appeal should therefore be dismissed, Reutershan told Sybert.

Agreeing that the coalition owns no property, its attorney, Leonard Schwartz, asked that Sybert permit the group to amend its appeal. Instead of naming the coalition as the appellant, he asked that the coalition's individual property owners -- many of whom live within the legally prescribed 1,500 feet of the Rouse Co. property -- to be named as appellants.

But Reutershan argued against such a change, saying it would be the same as allowing other parties to file appeals after the 30-day deadline.

The coalition, which fears the center will bring noise, excessive traffic and crime to the area, filed its appeal in August, only a few days before that deadline. The appeal followed a county Board of Appeals decision upholding the Planning Board's decision.

Sybert said he would rule on the Rouse Co.'s motion and the coalition's request soon.

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