Senior Communications Manager
Wiley Rein Helps Local Citizens Group Secure Standing to Contest Housing Development at Deep Cove Creek in Anne Arundel County
Washington, DC—Wiley Rein LLP recently helped the South Arundel Citizens for Responsible Development (SACReD) and West/Rhode Riverkeeper to secure standing in a hotly disputed housing development proposed by the Snyder Development Corporation—Turtle Run at Deep Cove—located in Churchton, Maryland. John Wyss, senior counsel in Wiley Rein’s Litigation Practice, provided pro bono legal counsel in the matter, working closely with the Chesapeake Legal Alliance (CLA), and another Washington, DC-based attorney in private practice. Wiley Rein associate Margaret Matavich also assisted on the project.
The case involves a 12-year long battle to preserve one of the last, pristine tidal waterfront areas in the Anne Arundel County. Snyder Development Corporation plans to increase building density on the waterfront land by moving densities from inland lots. However, with no local rules to support the development, legal experts and critics believe the project violates the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Act and point out that completing such a development would set a dangerous precedent for the region.
On May 3, 2017, the Anne Arundel County Board of Appeals decided that SACReD and the West/Rhode Riverkeepers had standing to contest the development in Churchton, MD. The Board determined that SACReD and the West/Rhode Riverkeeper had meaningful interest in the proposed development, and can participate in the pending appeal of the county’s preliminary conditional approval of the housing development’s sketch plan.
“SACReD has a 22-year history of spearheading community support and standing up for important lands along Deep Creek and Deep Creek Cove,” said Mike Shay, Vice President of SACReD. “This effort shows that against all odds, citizens can win when we stand together. Special thanks to CLA who helped make that happen.”
Wiley Rein and its lawyers have been recognized numerous times over the firm’s 30-year history for their pro bono contributions, and the firm prides itself on a strong tradition of pro bono service to both local and global communities.