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The Queen Anne’s County Board of Appeals has decided to proceed to a hearing on the merits of a lawsuit brought by Queen Anne’s Conservation Association and several citizens against the proposed K. Hovnanian Four Seasons development on Kent Island. 

On January 27, following oral argument by counsel, the Board lifted a stay of the lawsuit that had been in effect since shortly after the lawsuit was filed in December 2003.  The Board determined that the stay no longer applied, since Circuit Judge Thomas Ross had recently decided that the Board of Appeals, and not his court, was the proper forum for the lawsuit.

The proposed Four Seasons development on Kent Island is an age-restricted, 1350-unit residential project situated almost entirely (89% of the project property) within the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area.

The Queen Anne’s Conservation lawsuit challenges the October 2003 agreement of the County Commissioners and K. Hovnanian to resolve their differences and to go forward with the Four Seasons project.  The Plaintiffs allege the 2003 agreement, that incorporates and expands upon the 2002 DRRA (Developer’s Rights and Responsibilities Agreement) for Four Seasons, violates several provisions of State and local law.

After the Board of Appeals ruling, plaintiff Richard Altman stated:  “We are gratified that we are finally before a tribunal that will examine the illegalities that have been accumulating as this project has moved forward.  For over two years, with procedural maneuvering, K. Hovnanian has denied us our day in court.  The Board of Appeals is the same tribunal that will also hear our appeal from the Planning Commission’s preliminary (and, should they get that far, final) subdivision approval for Four Seasons.  So we are now in a place where the irregularities and illegal overreaching associated with this inappropriate project are going to get an airing.  We look forward to laying all this out in the public record during the next few weeks and months.”  (mail to this address goes to all 5 Commissioners)

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