20, 2006 – For Immediate Release
is article from The Capital regarding The Cloisters lawsuit against the
QAC Commissioners decision to deny them sewer allocation. The Cloisters
would be located off Route 8, behind the Kmart, between Ellendale and the
Kent Manor Inn. Please note that the article refers to Ellendale
as “a neighboring 285 unit senior complex” – but this is incorrect, Ellendale
has not been planned as a senior subdivision. KIDL
to rule on Kent Island growth fight
ERIC HARTLEY, Staff Writer
after they were elected on a slow-growth platform, Queen Anne's County
illegally blocked nearly 300 homes for seniors on Kent Island,
lawyer for a developer told a judge yesterday.
Lynch, the Pennsylvania developer who wants to build the 289-unit
project, sued the county in Circuit Court last year. His attorney,
K. Rich, said commissioners can't choose to block one development
because they don't like it.
a government of laws, not man," Mr. Rich said yesterday in an
courtroom as the lawyers presented their closing arguments in the
"As much as these five commissioners wanted to change the laws or
growth, there's a process you go through to do that. They didn't do
- they tried to shortcut the process."
Thompson, an attorney representing the Board of Commissioners, told
judge elected lawmakers have the right to guide growth and development.
a legislative act," Mr. Thompson said of the November 2003 vote to
Cloisters the requested sewer-service designation. He added later,
this court is willing to become the super-legislator for Queen
County, it should leave that decision alone."
Arundel County Judge William C. Mulford II, who heard testimony several
ago and closing arguments yesterday, said he didn't know when he'll
his written ruling.
said the principal issue is whether the commissioners' vote was
and capricious" or was within their rights. The plaintiffs filed
case in Anne Arundel County, arguing that it involved a statewide
and another judge rejected a defense request to move it to Queen
case could have a major effect on growth on booming Kent Island, where
future of a number of developments is still up in the air. Cloisters is
of several subdivisions in the works, the largest plan being the Four
retirement community, with 1,350 homes.
Rich, who's asking Judge Mulford to order the county to give the highest
designation to Cloisters, argued that the commissioners' denial was
because they approved Ellendale, a neighboring 285-unit senior
are in Stevensville, which had been slated as a growth area for
Mr. Rich said. Kent Island is the most densely populated part of
Anne's County, with the rest being more rural.
Rich called the commissioners' vote against Cloisters "arrogant," saying
Lynch spent several million dollars to buy about 75 acres with the
of building hundreds of homes.
buyer beware," Judge Mulford interrupted. "We are a capitalist
Thompson agreed, saying it's not the county's fault if Mr. Lynch bought
property not designated for planned sewer service on the assumption that
county would grant service because it's near other developments.
said lawmakers have to consider not just existing growth plans and rules
water and sewer allocation, but quality-of-life issues like traffic,
capacity and law enforcement.
the attorneys made their closing arguments, Judge Mulford said he was
by the idea of a judge in Annapolis deciding such an important case
Queen Anne's County.
am truly puzzled why in the interest of justice this case was not sent
Anne's County," he said.
addition to arguing that the case raises statewide issues, the developer
the case in the state capital because the Maryland Department of the
which guides local development plans around the state, was
even after the MDE was dismissed from the case, Anne Arundel Circuit
Judge Paul G. Goetzke rejected the defendants' request to move the
to Queen Anne's.
SAUSE ISSUES INJUNCTION AGAINST FOUR SEASONS
(mail to this address goes to all 5 Commissioners)
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