Anne Arundel County v. BellAnnotate this Case
In 2011, the County Council for Anne Arundel County adopted a comprehensive zoning ordinance for a large portion of the County. County property owners and community associations (“Respondents”) filed suit challenging the rezoning of multiple parcels of land. Several County property owners and ground leaseholders whose properties had been rezoned to desired classifications (collectively, with the County, “Petitioners”) intervened. Petitioners moved to dismiss Respondents’ suit, claiming that Respondents lacked standing. The circuit court granted the motion to dismiss, determining that Respondents lacked standing because they failed to meet their burden of proving special aggrievement. The Court of Special Appeals vacated the judgment of the circuit court and remanded, concluding that property owner standing principles apply to a judicial challenge to comprehensive zoning legislation, and Respondents satisfied those principles. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding (1) plaintiffs wishing to challenge a legislative action adopting a comprehensive zoning are required to demonstrate taxpayer standing; and (2) Respondents in this case did not allege facts sufficient to meet the correct standing requirement.