Friday, October 29, 2004

Dowell Appeals DPZ-FBCG Rulings

This newsletter is designed to present a first-person update in the matter of the Howard County, Maryland, Department of Planning and Zoning (DPZ) and its administrative rulings on behalf of The First Baptist Church of Guilford property(FBCG).


This update may be of particular interest to readers. The Department of Planning and Zoning (DPZ) approved the First Baptist Church of Guilford (FBCG) plans to add on or build a larger structure and parking lot. However, the department regulations prove it was an illegal act. After the Board of Appeals had rejected my motion for reconsideration and before the time ran out, I filed an administrative appeal with the Howard County Circuit Court. I also filed a motion for stay to keep the church from proceeding with providing site development plans and, also, a motion for change of venue to remove the case from this county, because of the church's conflict of interest with the county council and the Howard County government officials. The Circuit Court denied both of those motions, and I appealed. However, the court had scheduled a trial date for January 2005.

I filed an administrative appeal with the Court of Special Appeals (COSA) in Annapolis, MD, for a ruling on the Circuit Court's denial of my two (2) motions. Then, on September 10, 2004, The Circuit Court ruled a stay on the lower court case pending a ruling by the COSA. The date scheduled for the COSA hearing is March 2005.

The DPZ has proceeded without the legal provisions of the church having to go through the public hearing process for its input. Meanwhile, FBCG has conducted a large groundbreaking ceremony. Included in the audience and participants were members of the county council.