At the December 30 Kent County Circuit Court hearing challenging the August 2021 Zoning Board of Appeals decision to continue the non conforming land use status at the American Legion Post 36, Judge Harris Murphy found that the Zoning Board of Appeals did not commit an error of law.
Further clarification of what can and can not be done in non conforming Critical Residential Areas (CAR) will be made in Murphy’s final ruling.
Unless there is further appeal, the American Legion can now continue negotiations with Minary’s Dream Alliance, LLC to purchase the property and for the American Legion to continue using the facility for their meetings.
“This is good news for both the American Legion and Minary’s Dream Alliance, LLC, Steven Meehan says. “The sale of the property from the American Legion to MDA can move forward.”
Daniel Saunders, Attorney at MacLeod Law Group, represented Chesmar Community Association. Attorneys Stephen Meehan and Mitchell Mowell represented the American Legion.
The land use issue was first challenged by Thomas Voshell, an Annapolis resident who owns property on Mallard Lane, 900 feet from the Post property. The challenge was joined by the Chesmar Community Association, a group of homeowners in the same area.
The petitioners requested that the Post 36 property conform to Critical Area Residential citing that use of the property by Minary’s Dream Alliance, LLC was acting outside the scope of non-conforming allowances.
During the three-session Zoning Appeals Board hearing in July 2021, critical testimony was offered by Mr. John Diller, a member of the American Legion since 1964. Diller described the many functions of the Legion during its decades of use, from social events, hosting professional organizations, and blood banks, to outreach support of other community efforts.
In further testimony, it was shown that as a community service organization, MDA was acting within the same scope of community service.
Citing case law and weighing land use issues over 60 years, the Zoning Appeals Board determined that the nonconforming zoning status of the Frank M Jarman American Legion Post 36 property would remain legally nonconforming.
The petitioners appealed the Board of Appeals decision to allow the continuance of the non-conforming status to continue.
The Spy will publish Judge Murphy’s ruling when made available.