Build Maryland Fall 2019 - 7

The City realized it had made an error in approving
a 30 foot setback instead of a 40 foot setback.
the BMZA did not sufficiently set forth
the factual basis for finding "practical difficulty." The court vacated and
remanded the case for further proceedings, instructing the BMZA to "articulate the particular practical difficulty
caused by the Property's unique physical
characteristics." The court wanted
specific findings of facts - not merely
conclusions or recitations of statutory
criteria - so that it could properly review
a decision to grant a setback variance.
The case will go back to the BMZA for
additional proceedings.
Wow! How could anyone not feel
sympathy for this homeowner? It
seems Mr. Naylor properly sought
and obtained City permits, yet he still
became embroiled in extensive legal
proceedings. Clearly he or his planner/
builder erred in preparing plans based

upon the generally applicable 30 foot
setback without accounting for the
"averaging" 40 foot setback imposed
by another section of the Code. But
this was a subtle error; City zoning and
permitting offices made the same "error."
The City issued building permits and a
use and occupancy permit for Naylor to
build and occupy the home with a 30
foot front yard setback. Isn't Mr. Naylor
entitled to rely upon the City's permits as
being valid? The Taylor case makes clear
that the answer is: "No - if a permit is
issued in error, it can be revoked."
Bill Shaughnessy is a member
of the law firm Gordon
Feinblatt LLC. He has over
thirty years of experience,
much of which has been
devoted to real estate and development

representation. Bill represents real estate
clients in a wide array of matters including
land acquisition, development, financing,
construction, leasing and sale, issuance of
commercial loans, workouts and foreclosures. He counsels builders and contractors
regarding construction disputes, lien claims
and general construction matters. In addition
to his general real estate practice, he has
extensive experience in land use, zoning,
permitting, entitlements, environmental
issues impacting development and
agricultural preservation easements. He may
be reached at wshaughnessy@gfrlaw.com or
410-576-4092.
This article is an excerpt of an article
previously published in Relating to Real
Estate (July 2019), a publication of
Gordon Feinblatt LLC. Copyright Gordon
Feinblatt LLC 2019. All rights reserved.

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Build Maryland Fall 2019

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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/MBIA/MBIA_Fall2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/MBIA/mbia_summer2019
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/MBIA/mbia_novdec2018_winter2019
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/MBIA/mbia_septoct2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/MBIA/mbia_julaug2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/MBIA/mbia_mayjun2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/MBIA/mbia_marapr2018
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