A Baltimore County judge rejected plans yesterday for an office building at Falls and Greenspring Valley roads, a decision neighbors call a "clear-cut victory" in their fight to preserve the gateway to Green Spring Valley.
Circuit Judge Robert E. Cadigan reversed a decision by the county Board of Appeals, ruling that Foxleigh Enterprises could not build an office building at Green Spring Station.
Foxleigh submitted plans for an eight-story building in 1998 and an alternative two-story building in 1999.
Both proposals called for parking decks, retail shops and office space.
Cadigan ruled that Foxleigh abandoned plans for the eight-story building when it submitted plans for the two-story structure in 1999 and that plans for the smaller building represented a "material change" that was never properly reviewed by county zoning officials.
"I'd say it was a clear-cut victory," said James Tebay, a neighbor who formed a coalition in 1998 to hire lawyers to fight the plans.
Stuart Kaplow, Foxleigh's lawyer, called Cadigan's ruling "unfortunate" and said that he would discuss it with his clients, Thomas Peddy and Herb Fredeking, before deciding whether to appeal.
Peddy said that he still hopes to develop the site.
"It ain't over till it's over," he said yesterday. "It's just one step in a process that goes back now three and a half years."
Tebay and K. Donald Proctor, the lawyer for the homeowners, said the ruling means that new plans would be subject to review procedures required for plans submitted after 1992, which ensure a public hearing, notice to neighbors and public input at critical stages of the review process.
"They can always submit a new plan for approval, but if they do, they'll go through the [County Review Group] process properly, and we'll express our opposition," Tebay said.
Kaplow had argued that the plans were exempt from regulations requiring a public hearing because Foxleigh's original plan was approved in 1983, before current development regulations took effect.
The plans submitted in 1998 and 1999 were only "refinements" of the 1983 plan, he said.
Community leaders objected to both plans, pointing to concerns about traffic.