Md.'s high court rejects rezoning bid

Developer of site near Annapolis had promised to upgrade infrastructure

July 19, 2002

The state's highest court yesterday shot down a rezoning that would have allowed a mixed-use development outside Annapolis, agreeing with lower courts that a developer's promise to upgrade roads and other public infrastructure to handle it was contrary to Anne Arundel County law.

Annapolis Market Place sought to rezone 33 acres off Bestgate Road near the Annapolis Mall to allow a mix of businesses and homes. The county Board of Appeals allowed the rezoning in 1999, but courts overturned that. County officials had argued that a rezoning would allow any of 140 uses and would not force developers to make the public improvements.

Charles Fred Delavan, attorney for the developers, said his clients are likely to seek to build what is allowed under the current residential zoning.

The Court of Appeals ruling was a victory for the county as well as for the 25 community groups that opposed the rezoning.

The court upheld the county's position that its law requires public facilities to be adequate at the rezoning stage, noting that it is not enough for developers to pledge to meet the requirements later, said Sarah M. Iliff, senior assistant county attorney.

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