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In case you missed the article:  
“Circuit Court won’t review new critical area maps for Four Seasons project”  

Judge Sause issued a memorandum dated May 4 that he didn’t have jurisdiction over the maps now that Hovnanian had appealed his injunction.  Commissioners Cupani, Cassell and Smith signed new maps anyway on May 9 (Ransom and Koval did not sign).  The question was asked, “why would the 3 Commissioners sign the maps, knowing the Judge could do nothing with them?”

As far as we know, Judge Sause’s injunction on Four Seasons stands until the Court of Special Appeals makes a ruling (unless Judge Sause rules favorably on one of the motions described in the article).  It is unlikely that the Court of Special Appeals ruling will be available before the next Board of Commissioners take office.

So once again this will surely be a hot topic during the election.  Have you registered to vote?  One thing for sure – the primary in September will be critical.  Don’t miss it!

Circuit court won’t review new critical area maps for Four Seasons project
June 1, 2006

CENTREVILLE —— The revised critical area maps for the Four Seasons project signed by three of the five Queen Anne’’s County Commissioners won’’t be reviewed in circuit court while the case is before the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.

Queen Anne’’s County Circuit Court Judge John W. Sause Jr. issued a one-page memorandum May 4 which said he believes there is nothing to prevent the county from preparing and submitting the maps, but the circuit court currently lacked jurisdiction to hear the case because an appeal was filed.

Sause issued a decision Feb. 9 in response to a lawsuit challenging the accuracy of two sets of critical area maps for the Four Seasons at Kent Island planned residential development. The project planned by K. Hovnanian Companies would include 1,350 homes, a clubhouse, and an assisted living facility on the north side of U.S Route 50, bordering the Chester River, Macum Creek, Cox Creek, Castle Marina Road, and three communities.

The Feb. 9 judgment includes an injunction that bars the county and Hovnanian from taking action on the Four Seasons project until the court determines the critical area maps are correct. The order set a June 1 deadline for the county commissioners to sign correct critical area maps at a public session and submit the maps to the court for review.

County Commissioners Joe Cupani, Richard Smith and Ben Cassell signed the maps at a public session May 9 after County Deputy Planning Director Steve Cohoon told the board the planning staff corrected the maps and believes the maps accurately reflect the growth allocation approved for Four Seasons by previous county commissioners in August 2001. Commissioners Gene Ransom and Mike Koval didn’t sign the maps.

Hovnanian appealed the Feb. 9 circuit court ruling to the state court of special appeals. The plaintiffs (Chester residents Robert and Carolyn Foley, and Stevensville residents James and Karen Wimsatt and Marilyn Donovan) filed a cross-appeal. The county commissioners, through their attorneys, Patrick Thompson and Christopher Drummond, filed a motion May 12 asking the circuit court to approve the revised critical area maps and dissolve the injunction.  Hovnanian, through its attorneys, John Zink, Joseph Stevens, and Nancy Slepicka, filed a motion May 17 asking the circuit court to vacate the
injunction and hold a hearing on the county commissioners’’ motion to approve the revised maps.

Under Maryland’s critical area law, growth allocation is the process that allows counties and municipalities to allow more intensive development in the critical area —— the area within 1,000 feet of the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The growth allocation approved for the Four Seasons project changes the critical area designation for 373 acres of the 550-acre property.

UPDATE: JULY 16, 2006
JUDGE SAUSE ISSUES INJUNCTION AGAINST FOUR SEASONS  (mail to this address goes to all 5 Commissioners)

KIDL Web Guy Says:  Write to our Commissioners!  QAC Voter's Guide Lists Campaign Promises  |  |

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