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Can a petition effectively stop re-zoning?

K Washington

Member
Messages
1
Points
0
I live in Laurel, Maryland. Residents in our neighborhood are trying to block a proposed "lifestyle center," which in regular English translates to a strip shopping center. The parcel of land is presently zoned for a Research and Technology Park, but the developer is moving to have it re-zoned as Commercial Shopping Center. This center will cause major problems with traffic, as it is already a traffic nightmare. It is also not desired by the community as there are numerous centers in this area already, many of which are not 100% occupied.

My question is will a petition stating opposition from the community be effective? If it could be effective, what kind of information should be included in the petition?

All feedback will be appreciated.

K. Washington (washkrdj@netzero.net)
 

Linden Smith

Cyburbian
Messages
141
Points
6
Yes it can be very effective.

Many places really need to seee the bodies in the hearing though, so encourage as many people as possible to show up at the hearing, the petition cannot take the place of lots of concerned citizens packing the meeting hall.

The fact that surrounding retail centers are not bursting at the seams, I think, is hugely important. I always focus on the state of the present market as an indicator of the wisdom of adding new services. Usually, this is also reflected in the land use recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan. Go to the planning office and get as much data as you can. The staff will produce a report on the zone change request, get one as soon as they will release it to you.
 

Mary

Member
Messages
127
Points
6
Just be sure that your petition gives planning valid reasons for not putting in or at least for rethinking and redesigning the development. Concerns such as parking, traffic, a surplus of development, environmental or other valid concerns will be considered seriously. If the petition reads that the neighborhood doesn't want it just because they don't like it in their neighborhood a good planning commission will read it, consider it's applicability to the situation, and then go on about approving the development.
 

BobH

Cyburbian
Messages
45
Points
2
It's probably more effective to show up at the public hearing and voice the points. Writing is fine, it shows up in the Record of Decision, but it's better to Be There in person. A roomful of angry residents has a lot more impact than a nicely formatted documents with lots of signatures, which nobody will read anyway.
 
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