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Letter: Why hasn’t Harford County acted on zoning hearing examiner’s recommendation on sober living homes? | READER COMMENTARY

Is it arrogance or stupidity? I can’t decide.

Over the course of two years, neighbors questioned whether a business which built five large houses, each holding eight to 10 individual men for sober living treatment and a place for assembly for 100 persons was allowable in a residential R3 neighborhood. The Harford County Department of Planning and Zoning Director said yes it is because the department has no control over how the houses are used once they have been built.

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Neighbors questioned this decision and filed a request for the Zoning Board of Appeals — the legislative branch of county government — to decide whether this interpretation of zoning law is correct. In essence, did the Department of Planning and Zoning follow the rules of the zoning code?

Harford County’s Zoning Hearing Examiner judged that the use of these houses is only allowed as a Personal Care Board Home and needed a special exception to continue to operate, stating that the Director of the Department of Planning and Zoning is “in error.”

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Since then, the Department of Planning and Zoning has declined to require a Special Exception be issued for the continued use of these houses as Personal Care Boarding Homes. Apparently the Department of Law has also refused to require the decision of the Hearing Examiner to be upheld. The County Council — also the legislative branch of the county — now well aware of the situation, has said they can’t do anything to remedy the situation.

So, be it arrogance or stupidity, five months later, the county still refuses to uphold the legal decision rendered, making it an unlawful inaction and failure to uphold the Harford County Code.

GLORIA MOON

Joppa

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