Anne Arundel County planners agreed yesterday with a Davidsonville developer that the County Council mistakenly placed 58 acres into a protected, "open space" zone four years ago.
The planners' position apparently clears the way for a rezoning that would allow houses on the land, located near U.S. 50 and the South River.
Planning Administrator Richard Josephson told the county Board of Appeals that his office supports a request by Halle Enterprises, developer of the Eagles Passages subdivision, to rezone the land for low-density residential use.
County officials opposed the request last winter when it was being considered by Administrative Hearing Officer Robert Wilcox. Mr. Wilcox denied the rezoning, leading to yesterday's hearing.
Mr. Josephson said the county reversed its position after realizing that planners who had recommended the 1989 rezoning had used inaccurate maps. He said the planners, who had intended to protect a 100-year flood plain, also included a 50-foot-wide strip around the flood plain.
If the rezoning is approved, it would allow Halle to build 17 additional homes.
Already, the developer has approval to build 133 homes on the 519-acre tract. Twelve houses are under construction.
The Davidsonville Area Civic Association had voted to oppose the rezoning before "we knew the county had admitted they had made a mistake," said Ralph Connolly, its representative.
Mr. Connolly said he and his neighbors have long been concerned about the development of Eagles Passages because bald eagle nests are located on the property and because of worries about increased traffic. But, he said, those concerns were addressed at earlier hearings.
The hearing was halted after about 1 1/2 hours of testimony and rescheduled for June 21 after board members learned that the session had not been advertised properly.