On behalf of SJCA and the immediate neighbors to 4033 St. John’s Lane, a big THANK YOU to the residents who attended and testified at the hearing on Thursday evening, as well as at the prior hearing, about the conversion of the property to a two-family rental dwelling! Over this and the prior hearing, we were able to make and reinforce several good points across everyone’s testimonies: 1) how the use is not in harmony with HoCo’s general plan, 2) egress/ingress safety and traffic issues, 3) the objectionable size/location of the 4-car parking pad in the front yard, 4) negative effect on market value, 5) current lack of maintenance at the property, 5) overcrowded schools, 6) setting bad precedent for developers to do the same throughout our neighborhood, and 7) mistakes/other gaps in the DPZ technical staff report.
There is another hearing scheduled for Monday, 1/25, at 6 pm at the George Howard County Building, weather permitting. (If schools are closed, the hearing will not occur. If schools are open but travelling is difficult, the hearing examiner will decide by noon on Monday whether to conduct the hearing or not, and we will post.)
To be clear on status, upon review of the application, the DPZ staff makes a recommendation and then hearings are held. In this case, the staff has recommended that the conditional use be granted. However, we as protestants/opposition, have the right to challenge the application, including challenging the staff report conclusions. Over the last couple hearings, the applicant and we have put on direct cases through testimony. The next (and final, we believe) hearing will be the applicant’s rebuttal. Upon the conclusion of the hearings, the hearing examiner may grant or deny the application, or grant the application with conditions. The hearing examiner may announce her decision at the end of the final hearing or take the matter under advisement for up to 30 days. No decision is final until it is made in writing and delivered to the clerk. If either party is not happy with the decision, there could be a request or reconsideration to the hearing examiner and/or an appeal to the Board of Appeals. We will continue to post status.
As always, thank you for your interest in this matter and preserving the character of Dunloggin!