Con­fus­ing lan­guage in ap­peals amend­ment

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

The Charles County Board of Ap­peals Zon­ing Text Amend­ment be­ing de­vel­oped by the county at­tor­ney’s of­fice was sup­posed to clear up con­flicts per­me­at­ing the ap­peals process. How­ever, first it says an ap­pel­lant must be an ag­grieved party — some­one who par­tic­i­pated in the de­ci­sion be­ing ap­pealed. Later it says an ap­pel­lant must be an ag­grieved per­son (no par­tic­i­pa­tion re­quired) who is also a party (par­tic­i­pa­tion manda­tory). So which is it — per­son or party?

State law says per­son and, if the Mary­land Gen­eral Assem­bly wanted ap­pel­lants to be ag­grieved par­ties, they would have said so in the Land Use Ar­ti­cle where it says ag­grieved per­son. If the county at­tor­ney wanted to get rid of con­flict­ing lan­guage in the zon­ing or­di­nance, sim­ply com­ply­ing with the en­abling leg­is­la­tion would be a good start — es­pe­cially since it is im­pos­si­ble to par­tic­i­pate in most ad­min­is­tra­tive de­ci­sions where public par­tic­i­pa­tion is pre­cluded and no one can be a party.

Maybe the Gen­eral Assem­bly in­tended for cit­i­zens to ac­tu­ally ap­peal de­ci­sions to the Board of Ap­peals in­stead of dis­crim­i­nat­ing against their ap­peal rights with legalese. Anne Stark, Wal­dorf

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