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Appellate court to hear three local cases

April 27, 2007|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

WASHINGTON COUNTY - The Maryland Court of Special Appeals is scheduled to hear a challenge to approvals for a new Washington County Hospital in June.

That same month, the court - the second highest in the state - is scheduled to hear local cases involving a quarry and a plan to build a Lappans-area house.

Five Washington County residents have appealed zoning variances granted for a new hospital on Robinwood Drive.

The county's approval was upheld in Washington County Circuit Court.

The residents - Gordon A. Bartels, Janet E. Bartels, Sally R. Hatch, Robert C. Hatch and Charles B. Hongell - appealed to the Court of Special Appeals, which is scheduled to hear the case June 12.

Officials from Washington County Health System, the hospital's parent company, have urged the residents to drop their appeal, arguing that delays are adding millions of dollars to the project's cost.

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During the last Maryland General Assembly session, Del. John P. Donoghue, D-Washington, sponsored a bill to require appellants to secure bonds covering the extra costs, but the bill died in a committee.

The existing hospital is on East Antietam Street.

A quarrel over a quarry expansion is on the Court of Special Appeals' docket June 6.

The Washington County Commissioners voted 3-2 in 2005 in favor of a zone change for H.B. Mellott's Beaver Creek Quarry.

Easterday Family Partnership appealed the case to Washington County Circuit Court, where the commissioners' decision was affirmed.

Easterday then appealed to the Court of Special Appeals.

Friends of Mount Aetna Creek, a citizens' group that joined the appeal when the case went to circuit court, is still involved, according to group member Paul Kessler.

A third local case involves a proposed house south of Hagerstown.

The county's zoning board approved a request that lets Brian and Danielle Nordyke of Mount Airy, Md., build a single-family house on 26 acres on Lappans Road.

The property, which is served by an existing 50-foot right-of-way, may not be subdivided further, a zoning board summary of the case says.

Susan A. Nicholson and Somerville Nicholson Jr. challenged the decision, which was affirmed in Washington County Circuit Court.

The Court of Special Appeals is scheduled to hear the case June 1.

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