Maryland’s office of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) has targeted standing reforms as a major initiative for the 2016 session.
MACo has raised concerns with the cross-filed bills (SB 166 and HB 243), citing worries that it may trigger increased litigation over comprehensive plans and rezoning actions. County land use planners and attorneys also question whether the bills as introduced simply addresses the holding of a recent Maryland Court of Appeals case as CBF maintains, or treads into new territory for lawsuit exposure. Concerns have also been raised over the bills’ effect on redevelopment and revitalization projects.
From the CBF website:
[T]he proposed legislation would mirror an existing statutory right of judicial review found in the Land Use Article of the Maryland Annotated Code. Currently, if a local legislative body rezones one parcel, a harmed nearby property owner may bring a judicial challenge under Land Use Article Section 5-401. This bill would provide the same statutory right of judicial review for harm caused by rezoning of more than one parcel, i.e. comprehensive rezoning.