Sunday, December 30, 2007


Purpose of this note -- To inform the citizenry.
(not to garner sympathy or solicit advice)

Goals --
To expose the ambivalent workings of our laws and our legislators/ judiciary failure of objective followthrough.

To foster official accountabiity.

Synopsis of Persistent Illegal HoCo-FBCG Problems (1998-Present)

Those who followed this ongoing saga since 1998 realize the gravity of their noncompliance. Serious impacts on property owners rights to protect their interests and that of their neighbors to avert possible state and county zoning "takings" of their own land (by legislation) with impunity, when they least expect it.

From 1998-2003, FBCG had their conditional use, later, their special exception and variance applications, denied at least four (4) separate times by Board of Appeals, Hearing Examiner, Three (3) Ho.Co. Circuit Court Judges overturned on administrative appeal/judicial review. Once denied, an applicant cannot by law file another application for 24 months from denial or six (6) months if their application is not the same or substantially the same.

FBCG kept filing applications and HoCo allowed them to do so during each pending administrative review. On the last overturn by the court in 2003, FBCG filed another appeal with the Hearing Examiner who turned the case over again to the Board of Appeals who accepted their case one more time for de novo hearing. Problem -- It was "the same or substantially the same application" and not even 30 days had passed let alone six months or 24 months.

During December 2003, with ongoing HoCo County Council 10-year Comprehensive Plan session, FBCG approached the Council ex parte during their own pending scheduled Board of Appeals hearing (scheduled for February 2004)and the Council rezoned (spot zoned) the church property. In February 2004, FBCG postponed their appeal hearing and it was rescheduled for March 2004. Later in February, FBCG sent an email to "withdraw" their scheduled and pending Board of Appeals de novo hearing. BUT HoCo allowed FBCG to proceed with their same previously rejected application and newly rezoned property to move with it towards site development plan and building permit. Needless to say, I protested loud and long with each of those HoCo-FBCG illegitimate moves, including filing administrative appeal petition in the HoCo Circuit Court for judicial review with appeal to COSA following denial of my motions for stay and change of venue.
But the COSA did not dismiss my administrative appeal in its entirety, because HoCo has never scheduled a hearing/trial on the merits, which I am continuing to pursue.

I believe this is a serious matter and it needs to be taken as such, because Howard County Homeowners are suffering property rights loss, in many cases, not because they failed to prove their case but, in too many cases, because courts use minor technical "twists" of the law to throw their case(s) out of court. It is a timely and expensive process. And I believe the only way to keep the process honest and for justice to prevail is for sunlight to be poured over, under, through, and around the entire process from start to finish. Our newspapers will not tell these stories leaving individual onlookers to believe they are going through these injustices alone.

So, you see, it is not merely a matter of how much money you can raise to pursue your case or how many people you can get to sign a petition on behalf of your cause. Justice demands that honest and just officials be seated over those laws which are passed to ensure legal objectivity and mandatory compliance as opposed to somebody's arbitrary, capricious, and illegal abuse of process.

Columbia, MD
(Alas, it was a beautiful place to dwell. May it once again be so).