West and Rhode Riverkeeper

We work with our community to enforce environmental law, to
promote restoration, and to advocate for better environmental policy.
Contact us: 410-867-7171  ♦  4800 Atwell Rd, #6, Shady Side, MD 20764

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Win for Deep Cove Creek!

*** A note from Chesapeake Legal Alliance Executive Director Jackie Gould***

Congrats to residents of Churchton, MD, South Arundel Citizens for Responsible Development and the West/Rhode Riverkeeper in their defeat of an application for a variance to carve into one of the few pristine waterfront areas in Anne Arundel County, MD!
HUGE THANKS go out to John Wyss, Esquire and his law firm Wiley Rein LLP for their PRO BONO legal assistance over the years to these groups in their efforts to stave off harmful effects to their community and the Bay posed by the proposed development on the banks of Deep Cove Creek.  John’s unwavering dedication, tenacity, and wisdom are to be credited with this latest WIN and his other successes on this project. 
Before an Administrative Hearing Officer (AHO) was an application for a variance to cluster a subdivision on a parcel of land in such a way that would require carving unnecessarily into the critical area– 100 feet from the high water mark of  tidal waters, wetlands and tributaries, and the expanded critical area covering other sensitive areas- in order to relocate a road and extend sewer lines. 
Last week, the AHO issued his opinion finding that the developer FAILED in its application for a variance because he had better options that would allow him to cluster the subdivision on other parcels while not disturbing critical area and virgin forest.
IMPORTANTLY, the AHO found that the developer would not be “denied the reasonable and significant use of the entire parcel or lot for which the variance is requested.”
This WIN not only helps to minimize impacts to this beautiful waterfront forest and protect water quality, but also sets good precedent regarding protection of land included in the Critical Area and what does not meet the legal hurdle of a “denial of reasonable and significant use” of land.
Kudos to all involved!
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Jackie Guild
Executive Director
Chesapeake Legal Alliance