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Richard Roeser Professional Builder, Inc. v. Anne Arundel County

368 Md. 294, 793 A.2d 545 (2002)

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Richard Roeser Professional Builder, Inc. v. Anne Arundel County

Maryland Court of Appeals

368 Md. 294, 793 A.2d 545 (2002)

Facts

Richard Roeser Professional Builder, Inc. (Roeser) (plaintiff) purchased two lots in Anne Arundel County (the county) (defendant) on which Roeser sought to build a house. One of the two lots was located adjacent to wetlands in a critical area buffer zone, and there were setback requirements in place. In order to build the intended-size house, Roeser had to apply for variances from the critical area and zoning provisions from the county that imposed the setback requirements. Roeser submitted applications for the variances but was denied by the zoning board. The board found that the conditions surrounding Roeser’s request were self-created because Roeser should have known of the setback requirements before purchasing the property. Roeser brought suit in circuit court contesting the decision of the board. The circuit court found in favor of Roeser that Roeser’s hardship was not self-created and was a result of the natural topography and placement of the property. The county appealed. The court of special appeals reversed the circuit court and found that Roeser was not entitled to a variance because it purchased the property intending to apply for a variance from the restrictions imposed by the ordinance and that did not constitute a hardship that would entitle him to relief. Roeser appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Cathell, J.)

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