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Appeals court dismisses challenges to city's approval of 25th Street Station

By Larry Perl, lperl@patuxent.com

12:55 PM EST, February 2, 2012

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The state's second-highest court has thrown out appeals of two lawsuits that challenge Baltimore City's approval of a planned unit development for 25th Street Station, a proposed shopping center in Remington, which would be anchored by Walmart.

The Court of Special Appeals in Annapolis on Feb. 1 upheld a 2011 ruling in Baltimore City Circuit Court, dismissing one lawsuit filed by Benn Ray, of Hampden, and Brendan Coyne, of Charles Village, and a second filed by Allen Hicks, of Hampden, and Douglas Armstrong, of Remington, a clerk in the appeals court said Thursday morning.

Only the ruling in the Ray-Coyne appeal was posted online as of Thursday morning. That opinion, written by Judge Charles Moylan, upheld the Circuit Court ruling that Ray and Coyne lacked legal standing to ask for a judicial review of the PUD approval, because both live too far from the shopping center site at Howard and 25th  streets and cannot even see the site from their homes.

In the Ray-Coyne appeal, the Court of Special Appeals affirmed Circuit Court Judge Pamela White's ruling last March, which stated, "The city ordinance establishing the PUD at 25th Street Station does not adversely affect petitioners' specific personal interests or property rights, and petitioners are not specially affected in any way different from how the project impacts their neighbors and the general public. In summary, petitioners lack standing to seek judicial review."

Court of Special Appeals Judge Charles Moylan wrote in his Feb. 1 ruling, "We completely agree with Judge White's decision, which we hereby affirm."

Hicks, former president of the Hampden Community Council, when contacted Thursday morning, said he and Armstrong had checked with the Court of Special Appeals the day before, on Wednesday, Feb. 1, and were told at the time that no ruling had been issued in their case.