Common sense gets buried in Pikesville

February 17, 2011

The report on the legal wrangling over the Druid Ridge Cemetery in Pikesville demonstrated the extreme remove of professional legal minds from ordinary common sense ("Neighbors see threat to cemetery," Feb. 17). The disputed text from a deed required "That the said property be maintained and operated as a cemetery." Any reasonable person would suppose that "the said property" was a parcel described precisely earlier in the document, not some fraction of it currently in use, but the entire parcel, as nothing else could be "the said property." A reasonable person would also suppose that a cemetery is a burial place, not a housing development. Judge Kathleen Gallogly Cox's opinion that maintaining the property as a cemetery does not preclude other uses flies in the face of common sense.

The fact that both the Baltimore County Circuit Court and Court of Special Appeals have ruled against the citizens' groups in this way creates a strong and unfortunate impression that they are biased in favor of business interests. It is to be hoped that the Court of Appeals will show more regard for the principles of equal justice and the ordinary meanings of words.

Katharine W. Rylaarsdam, Baltimore

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