Circuit judge rules against development

February 15, 1994

Opponents of a townhouse project near Cape St. Claire won a major victory yesterday when an Anne Arundel Circuit Court judge reversed a county administrative decision giving a green light to the project.

Judge Lawrence H. Rushworth said the proposed 153-unit Woods Landing II development violated the intent of the Critical Areas laws enacted by the General Assembly in 1984 to protect the Chesapeake Bay.

"It appears the General Assembly intended that the . . . limitations should encompass and restrict all development within the critical areas," the judge wrote in a 24-page decision.

The ruling reverses a Feb. 19, 1993, decision by the county Board of Appeals saying it was powerless to stop the development, because the County Council had exempted Woods Landing II from the Critical Areas restrictions.

The council exempted Woods Landing II, a 31-acre parcel on the Lower Broadneck Peninsula, when it adopted its Critical Area enforcement program in 1988.

Council members said the development had been on a waiting list for sewer service at the time the Critical Areas mandates were enacted.

The lawyer representing the developer could not say whether his client would appeal.

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