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Referendum case to be heard by top Md. court

Supporters of an effort to bring certain comprehensive zoning decisions to referendum have learned that their appeals will be heard by the state's highest court later this spring.

The petitioners, who are fighting a ruling by Howard County Board of Elections Director Guy Mickley that the petition they circulated did not provide a "fair and accurate summary" of the comprehensive zoning decisions it calls into question, are currently making their case at the regional circuit court in Ellicott City.

The case had already been assigned an out-of-county judge after petitioners expressed concern that they could not receive a fair trial in Howard.

Oral arguments in front of the Maryland Court of Appeals are scheduled for June 5.

Susan Gray, the attorney for the referendum group, Citizens Working to Fix Howard County, called the decision to take the case to the appeals court "really good news.

"We're out of Howard County," she said. "It's a really good development."

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