Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold has vetoed several sections of a zoning bill that recently passed the County Council and sought to intensify development in some of the county's most rural areas.

Leopold announced Tuesday that he had vetoed 16 amendments to the comprehensive rezoning bill for South County and Annapolis, which the council passed unanimously last week. Leopold called the amendments in question a "flagrant violation of the principles of the General Development Plan and the Small Area Plans that proceeded it."

The move is likely to be cheered by some South County residents, many of whom opposed the changes. The portions that Leopold vetoed would have allowed commercial development south of Route 214, permitted a car dealership in Edgewater and intensified development near Lothian Circle. All but one of the vetoed amendments affect South County.

"I stand with the communities who have worked hard to protect their farms, streams and neighborhoods," Leopold, a Republican, said in a statement. "Many of the proposed zoning changes are irresponsible spot zoning. Enacting these changes would start a domino effect of rezoning requests to commercialize a rural district."

The council needs five votes to override the vetoes.

nicole.fuller@baltsun.com

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