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County Executive Leopold Vetoes Zoning Amendment Opposed by Citizen and Environmental Groups

Special treatment for developer rejected. The zoning legislation was also opposed by the Anne Arundel County League of Conservation Voters.

Annapolis, MD (September 24, 2010) - County Executive John R. Leopold today vetoed a zoning amendment that would grant special treatment to a developer and allow the 300-acre Arundel Gateway project to bypass zoning procedures.

Citizens interests trump special interests in this Administration, County Executive Leopold said.  I am proud to join the Generals Highway Council of Civic Associations, the Sierra Club, the League of Women Voters and concerned citizens in opposition to this zoning amendment.  I am also pleased that Councilman Jamie Benoit, who represents the district that includes this project, has consistently opposed this amendment.

If approved, the amendment passed by the County Council would have created a new mixed-use zone allowing construction of the project, a development of retail, offices and 1,600 homes near Fort George G. Meade.  To view all pending rezoning applications, go to http://www.aacounty.org/PlanZone/LongRange/CompZone.cfm.

While I consider Arundel Gateway to be a good project, it is not fair to rush the approval of a zoning change for one property, County Executive Leopold said.  The County has received hundreds of similar requests, and this sort of spot zoning is bad policy.

As the Office of Law noted, the amendment effectively rezones specific parcels of land in a manner that violates well-established principles of law intended to preserve the integrity of the zoning process and the rights of citizens protected by that process.


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