Standing Victory in the fight to save Deep Cove Creek!
Wednesday afternoon, the Anne Arundel County Board of Appeals decided that both South County Citizens for Responsible Development (SACReD) and the West/Rhode Riverkeeper have standing to contest a hotly disputed housing development in Churchton, MD – Turtle Run at Deep Cove – proposed by Snyder Development Corporation.
The 12-plus yearlong battle to save one of the last, pristine tidal waterfront areas in Anne Arundel County has been hard fought by SACReD, the Riverkeeper. and individual citizens, as well as the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF). Along the way, CLA volunteer attorney John Wyss of Wiley Rein (Washington, D.C.) has provided critical legal support and was joined later in these efforts by volunteer attorney Jonathan Guy of Orrick (Washington, D.C.).
Attorney Guy’s compelling closing statement, along with the statement by CBF attorney, Ariel Solaski, convinced the Board of Appeals that both SACReD and the West/Rhode Riverkeeper had meaningful interests in the proposed development that were different than the average Maryland citizen; and, therefore, they should be allowed to participate in the currently pending appeal of the county’s conditional preliminary approval of the sketch plan for the development.
Snyder wishes to increase building density on the waterfront land by transferring densities from inland lots contrary to the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Act and despite there being no local rules to support the proposal. Opponents say using density from other lots to build in the Critical Area buffer would set a dangerous precedent.
After the Board’s decision was announced, Mike Shay, Vice President of SACReD, stated,“SACReD has a 22 year history of spearheading community support and standing up for important lands along Deep Creek and Deep Creek Cove. This effort shows that against all odds, citizens can win when we stand together. Special thanks to CLA who helped make that happen.”
While the fight is not over, CLA volunteer attorneys won a strategically important battle today. We will keep you updated on this case as the appeals process continues this month.