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Marriottsville residents back off zoning appeal

Marriottsville residents have concluded that an appeal to a zoning decision they disagree with is out of their reach.

At a Carroll County Board of Zoning Appeals hearing last month, the Marriottsville residents expressed their opposition to a landscaping company, Carroll Landscaping, relocating to their neighborhood, which is in a conservation zone.

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For one thing, the residents said they were concerned that Ridge Road is barely wide enough for two cars to go through at once, so there was worry about children being able to safely use the road to get to and from their bus stop for school while trucks were going to and from the landscaping business. They also had concerns about water and septic.

The property in question covers more than 30 acres at 7720 Ridge Road.

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Despite the local opposition, the board approved variances for Carroll Landscaping by a 4-1 vote. The board did add the condition that the business would not be permitted to be open past 5 p.m. on weekdays.

The ruling left the community members with an option of filing an appeal by Oct. 25.

In order to do that, the community needed a lawyer. According to resident Linda Crites, their lawyer, Gary Desper, gave them a sense of their chances to succeed on appeal.

“Based on the meeting with the attorney, there really is no reasonable way forward unless we want to spend $30-to-50 [thousand] fighting some of the stretch arguments we came up with, plus any others the attorney might find. Gary was very upfront right out of the gates by telling us that he has never seen something like this successfully appealed,” said Crites in an email.

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Desper explained to them in great detail why the case wouldn’t end well for them, such as Carroll Landscaping hours coinciding with school hours, that they would need expert testimony which would costs between $5,000 and $10,000 and because individuals can’t “just go to the courthouse and fill out SF123 to appeal,” according to the email.

Desper also advised that the community try to buy the property themselves, which none indicated they intended to do.

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